Nigeria’s premier legislative and policy think-tank, OrderPaper Nigeria, and its partners, have announced that they are set to hold their maiden Citizens Town Hall and Election Debate for Legislative Candidates.

The event, which they said will play host to stakeholders in nation-building, is scheduled to hold on Monday, 5th December 2022 at Sandralia Hotel, Jabi, Abuja.

They explained further that it will feature National Assembly Candidates for the two House of Representatives seats and lone Senatorial seat in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

According to them all registered political parties with valid candidates for the legislative polls have been invited for the event.

“The town hall debate thus presents an opportunity for them to showcase their legislative agenda ahead of the February 25, 2023, elections and answer pertinent questions on a wide range of subjects.

OrderPaper said it is hosting the event in collaboration with civil society partners, including FixPolitics Initiative, Enough is Enough (EiE), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), and the Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA).

“It is being implemented as part of the VOTER (Validating the Office of The Electorate on Representation) Project with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under the Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement (SCALE) Project by Palladium

The organisers describe the event as part of their drive to encourage proper scrutiny of legislative candidates; with the aim of electing productive legislators integral to effective service delivery by government.

They added that Nigeria’s electoral system, as it is currently structured, encourages a bandwagon effect whereby legislative candidates are largely elected based on their alignment with popular executive candidates.

This, they said, is not necessarily on their individual merit, thus greatly affecting the quality of representation in our legislature.
Speaking on the event, Oke Epia, Executive Director of OrderPaper, disclosed that the initiative has become imperative given the important decisions for citizens to make in the 2023 elections.

“For us at OrderPaper, we believe in the legislature being the foremost of the three branches of Government in a representative democracy. Having also been at the forefront of putting the spotlight on the institution of parliament for nearly ten years now, and (of course) with numerous endorsements, we consider it a call to duty to put this pilot series together for constituents resident in the Nigerian capital,” he said.

OrderPaper Advocacy Initiative is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that delivers interventions in the legislative space to expand the frontiers for good governance and deepen democratic practice(s).

Their objective is to amplify the voices and participation of under-served and under-represented populations in leadership and decision-making to promote inclusive service delivery.

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