Centre for Environmental Sustainability and Development Awareness, CESDA, a Non-Governmental Organization, NGO, has recently ventured into a series of very massive sensitization campaigns on Electioneering processes within the various Area Councils in Abuja.
To achieve the goals and objectives CESDA projected, the team visited and extended invites to the community heads in the different area councils including Politicians, Sarikis, Village Heads, Chiefs, Youth Leaders, Influential Market Women among other key development experts to join in the assignment to Education, Enlighten and Sensitize indigenous voters, just to mention a few of their activities.
The NGO organized a ‘COMMUNITY TOWN HALL MEETING AND ROAD WALK,’ and they served as the middlemen between the electorates and their leaders, engaging both parties in a dialogue, with hopes of addressing the disturbing issues and irregularities surrounding Area Councils Elections, and so forth.
During the Town Hall meeting organized recently in Kubwa, under the Bwari Area Council, the Executive Director, CESDA, Mr Olusola Babasola, hinted that said the reason for their gathering with the key stakeholders is to see all hands on deck to in charting a way forward in the forthcoming council elections, as well as trash other related political issues.
In general, the Non-Profit Organisation aimed to sensitize the people on service delivery, citizens’ participation and promote the rights of the Original Inhabitants, OLs of Abuja and how to deepen political issues with them come February 12 Area Council Elections.
Spelling out some of their targets, Mr Olusola said they aim to promote the rights of indigenous voters, those Orignal Inhabitants of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, ensure they come in their large numbers to participate in the electoral process.
He also pointed out that it is their job to listen to the plight of the Abuja residents and forward such cries to the ears of the Government for the appropriate actions.
Another important point put forward by the Executive Director is that his organisation was available to also give a voice to the voiceless, as regards political representation for the aborigines.
He pointed out that they further aim to improve the integrity of elections through voter education and impartial observation and reporting by domestic electoral observers during the 2022 FCT Area Council elections.
Some of the Chiefs that spoke at the event warned the electorates to desist from receiving bribes from politicians.
Others cautioned voters to vote for their conscience and the right candidates, even if they succumb to receiving gifts from the tricky politicians.
CESDA team later made attempts to engage the Abuja Original Inhabitants in a group discussion after the meeting and the findings below are based on the questions asked:
- The people belong to different pollical parties and their level of governance and democracy is based on manifesto and dividends of democracy.
- They intend to hold their leaders accountable by teaming up together and reminding them of the promises during the campaign.
- To use their power to vote them out if they do not keep to their promise(s), especially when they are coming for a second term.
- Vote them out so they can realize their mistake during the campaign.
On the other hand, It was learnt that what informs their decision of voting is the credibility of the person-tested and trusted.
According to the respondents, they believe in practicals like a politician who would evidently build roads, schools, boreholes, drainage systems, healthcare and even give scholarships.
Some participants at the meeting noted that the government don’t want to give the people their choice candidate, adding that they only impose their candidates on the people which is against their will.
However, some positive outcomes from the previous elections centred around the participation of women, youths and PWDS, especially being actively involved in governance and democracy.
As at the time of filing this report, CESDA had covered up to five (5) Area Councils effectively.