Town-Hall-Meeting in Kaduna

March 17 Thursday

Date/time

March 17, 2016

Loc.

Kaduna, Nigeria

With

Alh. Galadima Zubairu Soba; Ngozi Ekeoba; Hildegard Behrendt-Kigozi; Dr. Ahmed K. Babajo;

Type

Panel

On March 17, 2016 Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation (KAS) in partnership with the National Orientation Agency (NOA) organized a one-day Town-Hall-Meeting in Kaduna. The event was very well attended with approximately 120 participants.

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The forum was used to promote the communication between elected public officials and their electorates, in order to fulfill their responsibilities towards the citizens. This is for the civilian population of enormous importance, because the experience shows that after elections the gap between them increases rapidly. Furthermore, this gap takes away the possibility of the electorates establishing contacts.

Alh. Galadima Zubairu Soba, the director of the 'National Orientation Agency' (NOA) in Kaduna introduced the forum and presented the NOA with their vision, the objectives and activities. He addressed the government's position regarding the future development of the country and stressed that the citizen themselves must find a way to change this for the benefit of all and sundry. It is important that everyone understands that a change can only take place in governance when the attitude of each individual changes. Therefore he stressed the slogan of NOA 'Do the right thing: Change begins with me'.

Mrs. Ngozi Ekeoba, the acting director general of NOA, explained the background of the forum and pointed out the existing communication deficit between the elected public officials and the electorates. For this reason the platform was created so that after elections electorates can ask direct questions to the elected public officials, which will guarantee more transparency.

Mrs. Hildegard Behrendt-Kigozi, the country director of KAS in Nigeria, presented the work of KAS in Nigeria and stressed the importance of the event in order to strengthen the contact between elected public officials and the population. She also mentioned the consideration to educate citizens through civic education so that they can also give input to the government. She also pointed out that Nigeria should learn from the political experience of Germany after the Second World War.

Dr. Ahmed K. Babajo, the deputy vice chancellor of the Kaduna State University, highlighted the importance of public discussions and transparency of the work from elected public officials in order to verify whether they comply with their responsibilities. He referred also to the speech of Mrs. Behrendt-Kigozi and also stressed that Nigeria should learn from Germany and can find a way to ensure human rights, peace and the rule of law as well as involve citizens in shaping the country.

The representative of the National Youth Council, key associations such as the 'Association of Market Women', NGOs, traditional and religious leaders, party representatives and others participated actively in the event. Executive and parliament were mostly represented for various reasons.

After the speeches and addresses the participants had the opportunity to make comments and to discuss the content. It has been underlined that the society should assume more responsibility and they ask themselves how they can improve the situation, instead of looking for the culprits elsewhere. The important role of the media was discussed as editors do not publish significant reports and this creates a gap of information. But also the inadequate relationship between the media and elected public officials has been argued, because after the elections the elected public officials do not make efforts for more media presence. Therefore the role and the behavior of elected public officials have been discussed as well as the broken promises. Another important topic was the possibility of participation of women in politics and at the government level as men are more dominant. Women were encouraged not to be discouraged and should participate more in political affairs in accordance with the NOA motto 'Do the right thing: Change begins with me'.

At the end of the event, the participants thanked the National Orientation Agency and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation for their efforts and the opportunity to participate in this forum. Finally Mrs. Hildegard Behrend-Kigozi encouraged the traditional leaders to get the citizens to engage themselves actively in the society. Mrs. Ngozi Ekeoba also called the participants to support the government by their active participation in public matters and also by shaping opportunities and conditions to help themselves. She explained that the NOA will stay in contact with the government and parliament of Kaduna after the event to discuss the results of the town hall meeting.

High-ranking guests at the Town Hall Meeting
Participants of the Town Hall Meeting
Mrs. Hildegard Behrendt-Kigozi with participants of the Town Hall Meeting
Head of Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation in Nigeria, Mrs. Hildegard Behrendt-Kigozi, during her speech at the Town Hall Meeting in Kaduna
Ngozi Ekeoba, director general of NOA, during her speech at the Town Hall Meeting in Kaduna

Contact person

Hildegard Behrendt-Kigozi

Head of the KAS office in Nigeria and temporary of the office in Ghana

Hildegard Behrendt-Kigozi
Phone +234 70 982 128 35