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Obasa, Lagos lawmaker list factors for successful exercise - Energy And Water Development Corp

Obasa, Lagos lawmaker list factors for successful exercise


Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, has advocated for earnest policy direction ahead of the 2023 General Elections, saying adequate preparations in terms of voter education, among others needed to be put in place to make the exercise successful.

Obasa said this at the weekend while speaking with newsmen at the Lagos State 17th Executive/Legislative Parley themed: “Mobilising Citizens As A Social Capital Towards 2023 General Elections,” even as he lamented the “fire brigade approach in some of our undertakings, especially as regards to voter education.”

Also speaking with newsmen, the lawmaker representing Eti-Osa Constituency II in the Assembly, Hon Gbolahan Yishawu spoke in the same vein, with both emphasizing the need for collaboration between the two arms of government for seamless governance.

According to Obasa, there should be adequate voter education to avoid voter apathy, violence and cases of void votes during the exercise, noting that the fact that Nigeria was preparing for the 2023 elections meant that democracy had become entrenched in the country.

“The fact that Nigeria is planning another election after over 20 years of democratic transition is a sign that democratic principles have been widely accepted in spite of the myriad of problems confronting the process.

“As the nation shows growing commitment to its stability, the time is ripe for civil society to prepare itself and the citizenry to demand power-sharing in a truly participatory democracy,

“As is evident enough, the negligence of the importance of voter education has been responsible for violence, a bulk of void votes, and apathy during past elections. It is unfortunate that Nigeria operates a fire brigade approach in some of our undertakings, especially as regards voter education.

“As it were, political education is a prerequisite for enhanced political skills, knowledge and participation in democracy.

“Electoral violence and other factors such as cultural practices, family background, institutional and low level of political knowledge, no doubt, militate against political participation.

“The citizens for want of security, consequent upon electoral violence, develop apathy toward political participation. Therefore, to maximize the benefits of political education programmes and ensure sustainable democracy in Nigeria, the government and other political education agencies should develop a pragmatic political education framework,” Obasa said.

The speaker, however, advised that the responsibility of educating potential voters should not be left to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) alone, saying political parties, civil societies, religious and traditional institutions, as well as the National Orientation Agency (NOA) should also collaborate with the electoral body in this regard.

Obasa said the government should be willing to fund such organisations in the voter education campaign, from the grassroots level upwards, arguing that when such campaign was prioritised, “the process of complaints where one’s name is omitted, the dangers of violence and rigging, how to protect votes and how to make votes count generally will be avoided.”

On his part, Hon. Yishawu applauded the parley, saying the purpose was not just bonding between legislature and executive, but more about sharing ideas on how to better the lots of the people.

According to the lawmaker, most of the policies and direction in Lagos today are being propelled from this kind of interaction, saying it was an interaction that was key to governance, even as he expressed over the outcome, and gave “kudos to the people who started it and the people that have sustained it.”

Speaking on the 2023 presidential election, Yishawu threw support for the ambition of the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, saying that the former Lagos State governor remained the only is the only candidate to beat, come 2023.

According to him, Tinubu has the pedigree having distinguished himself, adding that Nigeria needed his kind “to be able to take us from where we are today and take us to where we ought to be.”

“For me and I know a lot of people believe that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the only candidate to beat come 2023. This is somebody that has distinguished himself, his records and pedigree speak for him.

“But in politics, you don’t just sit back and say I know who I am. This is a leader that is able to see the unseen and foresee the unknown. So we need that kind of qualities to be able to take us from where we are today and take us to where we ought to be,” the lawmaker said.

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