By Blessing Bature, Abuja
In a bid to promote citizen-centered governance, Abiodun Essiet Initiative for Girls, (AEIG), in partnership with the DEAN Initiative on Wednesday urged the legislative arm of the area councils in the Federal Capital Territory FCT, to promote open governance and implement citizen-centric policies.
Speaking, Executive Director, (AEIG), Abiodun Essiet said the meeting was aimed at enlightening the legislators on the need to commit themselves to open government processes.
They gave the call at a town-hall meeting organised for legislators, respresentatives from the six area councils and Civil Society Organisations in Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja that the meeting which aim at promote accountability and transparency in governance, using Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) as a case study.
Essiet disclosed that AMAC has been able to commit themselves to Open Government Partnership and they have been successful, that is why we want to share the experience and success stories of AMAC with other area councils in the FCT to learn from.
“This is because the local governments are the ones closest to the people and the original inhabitants have their representatives at their various councils, saying our major goal is to promote the rights of the original inhabitants of the FCT.
She encouraged the Legislatives to do what they are being called upon to do by promoting public service delivery at the local level said.
In the same vein, Executive Director, Dean Initiative, Semiye Micheal, said it was important for citizens to hold elected leaders accountable and ensure that leaders promote citizen-centered policies.
According to him, open government partnership strive to embrace the value of improving governance, solve public challenges and the right of the indigenous people is also inclusive of good governance and ability to effectively participate in governance at the local level.
“So we are introducing good governance through the instrument of open-government partnership, to ensure that the parliamentarians are incorporated to know how to mainstream it into their legislative activities.
“We hope that people at the local level, especially the indigenous people can derive more benefits of democracy, more than just participating in voting process.
“Citizens need to also ask questions, vote for project, vote for budget and you need to hold people accountable and responsible, irrespective of the person in power,” he said.
The Chairman, Speakers’ Forum in the FCT who double as the Speaker, Kwali Area Council, Nuhu Kwali, loud the NGOs for the initiative and sensitising them to be aware of the benefits of operating a open-government partnership with their people.
He assured of their readiness to promote Inclusive governance in their various area councils.