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Nigerian woman is ‘taking the bull by the horns’ for launching ‘FixPolitics’ in Africa

Evelyn Dan Epelle

The School of Politics, Policy, and Governance (SPPG) has embarked on a mission to address the root causes of weak governance across the Africa with a transformative approach.

Empirical research conducted at Harvard University has revealed that deficient politics lies at the heart of governance and policy failures in Africa.

The SPPG, a #FixPolitics initiative, aims to instill disruptive change-making qualities in future public leaders, encouraging them to play an active role in governance beyond electoral periods.

Providing comprehensive politics and policy training spanning 33 weeks, the SPPG covers all facets of leadership challenges while cultivating disruptive thinking as a crucial skill for effective governance.

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The program culminates in a capstone project as part of the Certificate in Public Leadership and Policy (CPLP), fostering a community of practice for graduates.

The values, knowledge, and skills acquired empower participants to shape a new paradigm of value-based political leadership marked by competency.

Capacity, and character, thereby driving governance transformation at all levels in Africa.

The Citizens Participation in Governance CPG-1 capstone group, representing the SPPG Class of 2023, has undertaken a practical investigation into the factors hindering citizens’ involvement in political and governance matters in Nigeria.

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By scrutinizing data from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the group delved into the underlying causes of low voter turnout in the 2023 general elections through rigorous scientific methods.

Despite the enthusiasm generated, with over 10 million newly registered voters among a total of 93 million, the post-election voter turnout stood at a mere 27%.

This marked the lowest turnout in Nigerian election history over the past 44 years.

The findings and insights derived from this study will be presented in a research paper titled ‘Strategies for Activating Citizens Participation in Nigeria,’ propelled by the advocacy initiative #ActiveNigerian.

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The research illuminates reasons for the low voter turnout, encompassing disillusionment, socioeconomic constraints, deficient electoral infrastructure governance, and voter suppression.

However, it underscores that low political participation does not necessarily equate to low enthusiasm among Nigerian citizens; they are eager to hold leaders accountable.

This research equips them with methodologies for active participation in governance, as highlighted by Evelyn Dan Epelle, Policy Analyst and co-lead of the CPG-1 capstone group research development committee.

The capstone group selected the Omole estate in Lagos as a representative community due to its notably low voter turnout of 18.95%.

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The study employed questionnaires to gather data from a diverse sample, considering factors like gender, religion, education level, and social class.

The research aligns with fundamental principles at the SPPG, emphasizing the importance of data-driven public policy over mere anecdotes.

Rinu Oduala, an activist and capstone group member, expressed optimism for the future, noting that young Nigerians are adopting a democratic, participatory stance.

This involves supporting deserving candidates, rejecting electoral violence, and working towards a better Nigeria.

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The research outcomes offer valuable insights into how the experiences of young people during the 2023 general election can impact future participation in both elections and governance.

The CPG-1 capstone group also includes members such as Ogechukwu Ezeh, Obidare Samuel Oluwafemi, Abiola Oluwafemi Oladotun, George Erefagha Ikoli-Spiff, Akintayo Oloko, Ifeoluwa Oyedeji, Mercy Oge Onyukwu, Grete Owete, Dibang-Achua Raymound Odu Ph.D., Goodness Omatule, and Desmond Ekeh.

Expected to conclude in September, the SPPG Class of 2023 has already commenced the public dissemination of its research through media and civil society interactions.

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