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NewsWe're positive forces for change, progress in society_CSOs 

We’re positive forces for change, progress in society_CSOs 

By Femi Mustapha

Civil society groups under the auspices of Open Government Partnership (OGP) Kaduna have, said they are positive forces for change and progress in society, helping to bridge the gaps of alienation between the Government and the Citizens.

The Citizens’ Co-Chair of OGP in the State, Hadiza Umar, asserted this at the closing ceremony of the three Days  2021 OGP Global Summit.

According to her, CSOs and NGOs have been at the forefront of making the world a much better place, by helping to fight Injustice, Man inhumanity to Man, Environmental abuses, Global Health challenges, Gender discrimination, and the evolution of a rules-based international system.

Hadiza Umar however, expressed dismay that previously, CSOs were known to be confrontational towards government and this doesn’t yield anything, rather makes government close the doors the more.

She explained that CSOs get more results through dialogue, saying that is what the OGP is all about.

The Co-Chair added that even in the developed countries, the government is not as open as the citizens will want it, but for them to get to where they want to, there is a need for Civil Societies to sit at the same table with govt, share best practices, reflect on what will help government move forward to reach to the citizens.

According to her, the relationship would be more complimentary because the government needs the CSOs.

“We are in the middle bridging that gap, they usually have hope, so we are the hope of government and we are the hope of citizens on the other side, and we are the voice of the citizens”.

She stressed that the way forward after the Summit is for CSOs in Kaduna to continue what they already started as it is yielding positively.

“This tells us that we are on track and it tells us that our struggle as civil societies are not left alone to us, because we have heard from other civil societies across the world what they have been going through, they have still not gotten there, talk more of us that we are in a developing country”

‘We are coming up, so it is a bit dicey but I think Kaduna CSOs has been tagged the vibrant across Nigeria, we have something to showcase now though”, she said.

In his remarks, the Civil Society, Co-Chair, Open Budget, Joshua James, said the 2021 Global summit has been an eye-opener, revealing and showing participants in Kaduna state that Open Governance is the best way to go because of the benefits accrued to it.

The Summit according to him, has shown that for there to be an improvement in service delivery, Governance, tackling corruption, there is a need for more participation in governance by citizens.

“In Kaduna State, we have done pretty well so far, why we have not come to where we want to be, we are not where we used to be and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we couldn’t attend the summit in Korea and that is why we hold the summit here at budget and planning commission”

we must also commend the Governor of Kaduna state for not only subscribing to OGP but also to appreciate his administration for opening the door of government and leaving it open for citizens to engage in the process always.

It has been a journey for 3 days, but it is a Journey that is worthwhile, we have learned a lot from the summit that we are taking back as citizens on how to mutually respect the doors open by the government in the governance process”, he said.


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