Paul Orude, Bauchi
Worried by the lack of effective communication between political parties and the citizens the International Republican Institute (IRI), a non-governmental organisation is planning to support political parties in Bauchi State to organise citizen constituency outreaches ahead of the 2019 general election.
This was part of the outcome of a three-day workshop organised by the IRI in conjunction with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the theme, “Bauchi citizens engagement and communication Development”, for political parties in the state.
IRI Senior Programme Officer, Mr. Sunday Alao, said the aim outreach was to develop party policies and manifestos that would improve responsiveness and representation in all political processes.
The workshop, which held separately for different political party leaders ranging from women, youth and local government party leaders, was anchored by Alao and thestate’s Coordinator of IRI, Amina Aliyu.
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Alao said that there was no way political parties could have successful mobilisation without effective communication, stressing that politicians should be involved in what their parties do.
He said, “Party communication will help publicise party strengths, achievements and future plans. Advocate and support policies/programmes of government, mobilise support and correct misinformation, and other false notions held by the public.
“During citizen constituency outreaches,we will ensure that women, youths, Civil society organizations and the media are included. The idea is not to criticise anybody, but to hear the concerns of the people so that you can draw state-based policies”
The Programme Officer said that a committee responsible for drawing up policies of the political party would be set up at the citizen constituency outreaches, adding that the group would support political parties with expertise, venues and other logistics.
Speaking with journalists at the end of the workshop, a participant, Mrs. Harsanna Arkila, a PDP women leader and national ex-officio, commended IRI for the workshop.
Arkila said, “The major problem or cancer in most political parties is communication gap and I am happy and proud that this organisation is bringing it to us and hitting the nail straight on the head that the major problem we have is communication.
“The teaching by IRI tells us that about 75 per cent of the citizens are languishing and not knowing what’s happening in the political system.
“They have taught us here strategies that we will use to make sure that communication gets to the grassroots, the channels of communication and so on we can use to reach the nook and crannies of our populace.”