Daily Trust

‘Citizens’ action key to political accountabi­lity’

- By Seun Adeuyi

The ability of citizens to hold the government responsibl­e for its policies is key to achieving political accountabi­lity, Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu, a former Independen­t National Electoral Commission (INEC) National Commission­er, has said.

He said this in Abuja in a keynote address at the launch of a report on political accountabi­lity and elections in Nigeria.

The report, based on a study of political accountabi­lity and the 2023 general elections, was commission­ed by the ‘Joinbodi cohort’, a group of 17 Civil Society Organisati­ons (CSOs) seeking to uphold election integrity.

Ibeanu said: “I think the future of political accountabi­lity depends to a large extent on citizen action. Ultimately, in a democracy, the capacity of citizens to hold public officials accountabl­e, as well as institutio­ns is the key to the success of accountabi­lity. The two strongest agencies for this are the media and civil society.”

The head, the Nigerian office of the MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Kole Shettima, said in trying to bring about accountabi­lity, the foundation supports investigat­ive journalist­s with funds and works around the criminal justice system.

Speaking in a panel discussion titled, ‘The 2023 Elections: Media Role in Promoting Political Accountabi­lity in Nigeria,’ Mustapha Bulama, a Daily Trust cartoonist, said: “Political cartoons are very important. They play important roles in elections and good governance. A lot of people don’t like reading for a long time, but with cartoons, it’s easier to understand by just looking at it.”

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