How have the Strengthening Citizens Engagement in the Electoral Process (SCEEP) project assisted the National Orientation Agency towards the preparation of a free and fair election in 2019?
There are lineup of activities to be fully prepared to conduct a free and fair elections in 2019. Since the last election was rated very high by both local and international observers, the National Orientation Agency are preparing to deliver a more credible election in 2019 to surpass previous achievements.
That being said, the participation with SCEEP project has empowered National Orientation Agency to fulfill their goals to assist Independent National Electoral Comission to publicise its activities and mobilise people to participate in electoral processes.
We had the pleasure of speaking with Mr Bulus Dabit at the SCEEP dissemination event on the 5th July 2018. Mr Bulus Dabit is the State Director of National Orientation Agency for Plateau State in Nigeria and he shared insights on how SCEEP Projects has impacted the work of the National Orientation Agency.
Here’s what he had to say: you can decide to listen to the audio of our interview or you can read up what he shared.
How would we rate the SCEEP project along with what INEC does as an institution?
Mr Bulus Dabit: It is as if we have the same vision, INEC is all about inclusivity – to get everyone involved especially the groups we have mentioned. 1. PWD 2. Youth 3. Women. In fact, as the professors has said, we have a policy guiding women on gender and PWD and we have been interacting with youth because it is their time.
Especially with the #NotTooYoungToRun, we have been interfacing with then being sponsored with international donor and it is helping because we want everyone to participate believing that the more the merrier.
How would you say the SCEEP Project and its intervention impacted the work that National Orientation Agency does as an Institution?
Mr Bulus Dabit: The SCEEP project as you well know is about engagement and the goal of engagement is participation, and that touches on the core of the mandate of National Orientation Agency. One of our major mandate of National Orientation Agency is to mobilize citizens to participate and if you do not have the skills or platform then we have a problem.
Our participation with SCEEP project has empowered our staffs. We now have the skills; we can also use the models SCEEP projects have used to engage. We are already engaging in local government where your program could not reach because of the participation of other 6 local government officer. It impacts heavily on what we are doing
What preparation is the National Orientation Agency doing to ensure 2019 elections, 1. It is free and fair the PWD women and youth participate in that process?
Mr Bulus Dabit: We discover that our political education is key. People must link their participation in the democratic process to good governance. The village book was developed and it’s about good governance. We think that there is a relationship between voting and good governance, they will not go and do registration or even get their PVC.
Because they think, they are doing the politician a favour or a favour to themselves, if the politician will give them something. Often times they ask what is it in for them now, so if a politician comes out with what he can give them at that particular time that is he end.
They have collected their own dividence of democracy. However, we have to let people know that beyond that is what participation can bring in terms of infrastructure, in terms of all the social services they are supposed to get, it is supposed to put food on their table. Whatever they do it is their welfare and their security is a function of the voting process. Therefore, that type of education is supposed to be intensified.
How would you rate SCEEP as a project and the impact of its intervention?
Mr Bulus Dabit: I think the SCEEP project is excellent. The impact is very high in the state and local government area where they are working. The percentage of the local government area and states where SCEEP is working vis-a-vis the states and local governments in Nigeria, SCEEP has only done a little.
We are advocating this project could lean on the platform of National Orientation Agency in all the state and local government areas and we have officers that are trainable and can easily deliver on the same mandate.
With little resources, it is possible to leverage on the kind of platform that SCEEP has and the one National Orientation Agency has so we can have a greater impact. The kind of celebration we had today ought to be a National Celebration but unfortunately there are many states left out because of the constraint of funding. In terms of the impact within the areas SCEEP worked, it has been excellent.