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  • Samson Omale

June 12: Yiaga Africa Wants Nigerians to Negotiate A New Social Compact

Yiaga Africa says renegotiating a new social compact can create a more inclusive society with equal opportunities and access to resources for all.

Samson Itodo, Executive Director of Yiaga Africa, one of Africa’s front line non-profit organizations promoting participatory democracy, human rights and civic participation made the call in his June 12 democracy day message to Nigerians.

Mr. Itodo said trust in government and institutions has declined over the past 25 years hence the need for a new social compact that can help restore this trust by making governance more transparent, accountable, and responsive to citizens'

According to the civil society activist, this social compact should aim to achieve improvement on social conditions through wealth redistribution, job creation, and food security. at the same time it can safeguard the right to vote and respects choices expressed through the ballot.

On the the third tier of government, Mr. Itodo insisted that "Strengthening local governance by devolving powers to local governments can promote local democracy, and enable citizen participation."

It will also help to deepen public accountability and ensure consequences for breaches of public trust, protect human rights and civil liberties, especially press freedom, freedom of expression, and the right to peaceful assembly.

The executive director however pointed out that "over the past 25 years since return to democratic rule, Nigeria has witnessed incremental political, social, and economic gains. As a system of government, democracy has enabled increased citizens participation and strengthened democratic institutions despite the allure of institutional capture".

Part of the positives Mr. Itodo explained is the conduct of periodic elections despite challenges and the transition of power attests to the durability of Nigeria’s democracy.

Yaiga Africa also alluded to the existence of a vibrant civil society, media and active citizens demanding accountability from public leaders and institutions which the organization believes has been pivotal to democratic consolidation in the last 25 years.

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