A Non-governmental organisation, PolicyAlert has demanded governorship candidates to sign the Open Government Manifesto ahead of the general elections slated for February and March 2023.
The Executive Director, PolicyAlert, Dr. Tijah Bolton-Akpan made this known on Thursday in Asaba at a media briefing on the Delta Town Hall meeting holding on Friday, Jan. 20, 2023.
He said the town hall meeting would witness the signing of the manifesto to symbolise their commitment to an open government agenda and their readiness to sustain ongoing governance reforms if elected.
“The open government town hall meeting which is currently been implemented in six states of the Niger Delta region is being organised by the Niger Delta Open Observatory (NOGO) cluster.
“The programme is being supported by the USAID Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) project implemented by Palladium.
“The project is aimed at strengthening the uptake and implementation of Open Government Partnership (OGP) in the Niger Delta states”, Bolton-Akpan said.
The executive director disclosed that PolicyAlert is also working with other stakeholders to promote economic and ecological justice in the Niger Delta region.
On the Delta Town Hall meeting, he disclosed that the US Consul-General to Nigeria, Mr. Will Stevens attend the event to witness the signing of the open government manifesto by political parties’ candidates.
According to him, the town hall meeting would give citizens a firsthand opportunity to ask questions and demand explicit commitment from the governorship candidates.
“The opportunity for questions would dwell on insights on how the candidates plan to implement and sustain the OGP in the state as the baton of governance changes hands”, Bolton-Akpan said.
He further disclosed that plans are underway by the to hold similar events in the coming weeks in five states of the region where the project is being implemented.
The executive director gave the names of the states to include, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Imo and Rivers.
He said that NOGO is being implemented in the six states of the Niger Delta by PolicyAlert in partnership with Nigeria’s Open Government Partnership Secretariat and LITE Africa.