Carry citizens along in all your programmes , SLD urges government

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Government at all levels have been charged to always carry the citizens along in all their activities and programmes in order to avoid unnecessary friction, conflict and misunderstanding.

The programme coordinator African Centre for Leadership , Strategy and Development (LSD) Mr Lawal Amodu gave the charge during a review of Kogi State Open Government Partnership (OGP) State Action Plan held at Idrinana hotel, Lokoja the state capital on Wednesday supported by MacArthur Foundation.

According to him, there is every need for government to carry the people along through the processes of preparations and planning stages until the programme comes into fruition, noting that the essence for that is to avoid over explanation of things to the citizens.

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“Carry the citizens along for me , it is not a difficult thing to do. Government may have a particular programme that they cut out for the state, for the people, the government can go on air through radio, television to explain the programme to people.

“The people will naturally understand what the government want to do, but what is important here is that before government embark on the programme, they should carry along people to enable them give their own side of the story before government can conclude on what they want to do.

“By doing that there is citizens engagement because government has taken the people from the scratch through the whole process and the citizens can be the one to defend the programme for government.

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“So if government embark on citizens engagement in all that it does, it will reduce a lot of frictions between citizens and government in the areas of asking questions and casting doubt in the activities of the government” he said.

The programme coordinator who described OGP as a global platform where citizens and government meet to discuss developmental issues, called on citizen groups to provide much information that is coming from the government and their own perspective to the information to have a balance information coming the ordinary citizens.

In his remark, Sani Haruna Muhammad a director of planning in the State Ministry of Finance , Budget and Economic Planning , assured that Kogi State is fully committed to the realization of OGP owing to it’s usefulness and importance to the State.

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Muhammad who is also in charge of department of international corporation, Ministry of Finance, stated that as part of commitment toward the realization of OGP , government has inaugurated the committee comprises of both civil society organizations and government.

He added that an office has been provided for OGP and budgetary provision has also been made for Open Government Partnership to function effectively in Kogi State.




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