By Angela Atabo
Follow The Money (FTM) a Civil Society Organisation, has tasked politicians seeking elective offices in 2023 poll, to place the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the centre of their campaign.
Mr Hamzat Lawal, Founder, FTM, said this at the SDG and Follow The Money Hangout, marking the 10 years anniversary of mobilising communities for impact driven campaign in 10 African countries on Saturday in Abuja.
Today is a global SDGs campaign called flip the script and FTM in all the 10 African countries was marking the day by mobilising citizens to take action by holding government to account and taking the SDGs to the grassroots, Lawal said.
He said there was the need to flip the script in terms of how Nigeria and Africa were working toward achieving the SDGs, saying that the current script was not working for Africa.
This, he said, was because the current script does not ensure justice, equity, gender equality, tackling poverty and ensuring that people do not go to bed with hunger.
He stressed the need to localise the goals and have citizens take ownership of them.
The political atmosphere presents a unique opportunity to flip the script, that is why our politicians must ensure that SDG is in the centre of the conversation as we go into campaign and the election.
So flipping the script is saying that let us mobilise more young people,lets educate and sensitise them,let us be more organised and not dwell on the last but use digital technology to change the narrative by taking our destiny into our hands.
We know that in a few weeks campaigns will start in Nigeria, so we are using this opportunity to say that as campaign season starts, and in the spirit of flipping the script, we must ensure that campaign messages are based on issues not sentiments.
If you look at the SDGs goals , it literally talks about ending poverty, ending hunger, providing justice, equity and fairness, it talks about gender equality, education, healthcare, job sustainable growth among others.
These are the issues that are plaguing the nation ; so if our politicians actually use SDGs to inform their manifesto, these are ideals that would address our problems, but most importantly provide opportunity for emerging solution, he said.
According to Lawal, the SDGsslogan is leave no one behind, so youths want a democracy and politics that leaves no one behind including people living with disability because they have a role in governance.
So for us, SDG can reform our democracy and our politics and we can take that into 2023 to flip the script so that we can have a script that will work for every Nigeria irrespective of where they are, he said.
He urged Nigerians to collect their Permanent Voters Card and vote on election day toprevent voter apathy.
He said that the FTM would mobilise more than 20,000 observers across Nigeria to monitor the electoral process, saying that Nigerias democracy would be stronger with the synergy of all stakeholders to make sure that the SDGs become household initiative to be achieved in 2030.
Mr Semiye Michael , Curator ,Global Goals Community Centre and Executive Director, DEAN Initiative, said Nigeria had lagged behind in the achievement of the SDGs, thus the need to take deliberate action towards them.
Michael said that a new data in education had jerked up the number of out-of- children from 10 million to 13 million indicating that the figure could be getting to N20million.
Today is what we call the SDGs birthday globally, a week of action is declared by the UN to intensify effort on the accelerated action needed for the achievement of the SDGs.
So around the world, different mobilisation activities will take place like we are doing here today.
This year, we call it flip the script to see what scripts we are leaving behind for instance, COVID ravaged the world and it has staled the action on the SDGs.
So we are trying to see how we can galvanise action, mobilise more supports and also make statements to leaders holding them accountable to their promises on SDGs, he said.
Michael said there was a challenge with data so the government needed to be deliberated in putting mechanisms in place to know the progress made and areas of intervention through concrete data and performance tracking. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Saidu Adamu/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Source: NAN News