The Programme for African Leadership (PfAL) of the London School of Economics and Political Science has partnered with Vive Africa to explore avenues for citizens engagement particularly against the backdrop of the general elections taking place this weekend in Nigeria.
Titled ‘The Role of Active Citizenship in a Democracy’, the Twitter Spaces forum was hosted by media personality, Moremi Akano, with other notable speakers including Adenike Aloba, Programme Director, Dataphyte; Gideon Olanrewaju, Cambridge University Alumnus and Founder, Digilearns; Akintunde Babatunde, Chevening Scholar and Mandela Washington Fellow; and Mahmud Abdullahi, Public Policy Scholar, London School of Economics & Political Science, UK.
Akintunde Babatunde assessed the current socio-political situation in Nigeria and stressed the need for citizens to take action towards entrenching quality leadership.
“The driver of the next wave of structural change in Nigeria will be poverty,” he said. “Citizens are taking action and many more will join in. We have a nation that constantly reminds people that they need to take action. Every other day people are getting to know that they need to be part of the system that will bring quality leadership to Nigeria.”
According to Adenike Aloba: “As much as we as journalists are the watchdogs of the society, we also need to build bridges with government agencies and institutions.
“We need to communicate our impact and let people and organisations see what is being achieved so that others can follow suit. We must engage with not only the political administrators but also with the administrative leaders in agencies and ministries — so as to encourage them to act right and also show how it is done because sometimes it’s simply an issue of them not knowing how to do it.”
The Twitter Spaces forum saw other speakers urging citizens to model responsible citizenship and make sustainable impact in their areas of influence.
In his submission, Mahmud Abdullahi said active citizenship is a full time job. He urged young people to be open to learning and willing to engage at the grassroots so as to gain the trust and support of the people that they wish to influence.
The Programme for African Leadership (PfAL) of the London School of Economics and Political Science was established to empower a new generation of African leaders who will promote best practices of economic and social development in their organisations and countries.