From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Kogi state Governor, Yahaya Bello has been challenged to sign-up to Open Government Partnership (OGP) document as a mark of their commitment to fighting corruption and ensure that the government is transparent and accountable to people.
This is was the submission of the stakeholders, at a One Day meeting on OGP drawn from the civil society organisations, the ministry of finance , budget and planning, the legislature and the media , organised by the conscience for Human rights and Conflicts Resolutions ( CHRCH).
The stakeholders meeting was among other things to map out strategies that will appeal to the Governmemt of Alhaji Yahaya Bello to sign up to the document like his counterparts in fifteen states of the Federation have done.
Mr. Monday Osasah, Executive Director, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD), one of the stakeholders maintained that Open Government Partnership allows for governance to truly serve and empower Citizens.
The OGP stakeholders meeting according to Mr Osasah is to evolve mechanism that will institutionalise good governance, transparency and accountability in the state through an effective and result oriented Strategy that will spur Kogi government to key into the fold of Open Government Partnership (OGP) States in Nigeria.
He described OGP as a global coalition of reformers from Government and Civil Societies working to make governance systems all over the world transparent, participatory and accountable to Citizens .
He urged the Kogi State Government to leverage on the benefits of the OGP by signing the document to show that the state is actually committed to fighting corruption in all its ramifications.
Speaking further, the Executive Director said, ” At present, 15 States in Nigeria have signed up and domesticated the OGP with Centre LSD involved in the process in majority of the States.
” Our experience has also shown that some of the major reasons why some States are reticent signing up to the document may be their lack of full grasp of the essence of the OGP.
Another key speaker Tijani Abdulkareem of the Socio Economic Rights Initiative listed mistrust, misconception and sometimes irrational resistance from the Government functionaries as some of the factors militating against sign up of the document by some governors.
He therefore called on them to be in the forefront of mobilizing Strategic support for open Governmemt Partnership which he noted is a tool to be used in judging government performance in relation to openness , transperancy and accountability to the citizenry.
He Urged stakeholders to look at the objectives, and peculiarity of the prevailing environmental forces impacting towards achieving the desired results.
He Commended the doggedness and commitment of the convener of the meeting, Mr. Idris Abdul Miliki Executive Director of Conscience for Human Rights & Conflict Resolution (CHRCR), whose collaborative relationship and partnership with Centre LSD has been a mutual fulfillment and convergence of interests and aspirations.
In his opening remarks, Comr Idris Abdul Miliki, said all over the world Open Government Partnership is becoming the order of the day, maintained that kogi State cannot be left behind in ensuring transparency, participation and transparency in governance.