*Says social accountability will determine winners in 2027
By JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
In the 2027 general elections, what would determine those that would make a mark is their tenability to social accountability, as the era of godfathers determining who wins polls in the country is gradually being relegated to history books.
Yusuf Ishaku Goje of the CS-Legislature Engagement & Accountability Platform (CLEAP) predicted this, while presenting a paper titled, “Social Accountability: A Tool For Ensuring Value-for-money in Service Delivery” on day two of a session organised by the Partnership to Engage, Reform & Learn (PERL-ECP) in partnership with CLEAP yesterday in Zaria.
In the presentation, he explained that Nigeria’s political trajectory is fast changing, with electorate becoming more sophisticated.
“The issue of god fatherism will soon be in the past. Using demography of the young people in the last election, they were politically active, using the Obidient movement they were able to deliver over 6 million votes, which is unprecedented.
“Even though Peter Obi didn’t win, he pulled his marks. This was achieved through social accountability,” he said.
According to him, the Social Media is a critical instrument in determining acceptance of a candidate in present democracies.
He explained that social
accountability therefore, allows citizens the opportunity to ensure that government answers their
needs by organizing amongst themselves and engaging
with government and service providers.
“It builds on the existing social and community structures
that allows citizens to push for what is best for them and
demand some level of responsiveness and accountability
from their government,” he said.
Goje explained that social accountability refers to the broad range of actions and mechanisms
that citizens can engage in to hold the government, (represented by public officials and service providers), its actions, civil society, media and other societal actors
promote or facilitate the capacity of citizens to hold the
state agents accountable.
“No government can run away from engaging citizens,” he stressed.
Speaking further, he said that social accountability is an approach towards building accountability that relies on civic engagement, in which citizens participate directly or indirectly in demanding accountability from service providers and public officials.
“Social accountability generally combines information on rights and service delivery with collective actions for change,” he added.
On the forms of social accountability, he said it includes, freedom of information petitions and procurement monitoring, Citizen report cards and community score cards, Community monitoring of public service delivery and Citizen’s monitoring of political campaign promises.
Other forms according to him, are participatory budgeting, public expenditure tracking and fiscal responsibility, Meaningful participation in public policy making including constitutional review process, Public commissions and hearings and
Citizen advisory boards; Citizen Charters Grassroots organizing and project impact assessment.