Improving Citizen’s Participation in Governance

To achieve meaningful progress in development before the next election cycle in 2023, there is a need to increase participation in governance beyond the elections. Citizen’s participation in governance which entails more than voting and seeking public office, ensures that citizens are carried along in government decision making processes. As an author puts it, “the Nigerian political system and acts of governance as presently constituted does not encourage the mass participation of people. It is discretely skewed to be elite driven”. This absence of meaningful citizen’s participation has been a reason for the lack of confidence in political leaders, thereby leading to mutual suspicion between the government and the citizens. For instance, there were over 70 million eligible voters who were registered before the 2019 elections, however, only about 30 million voters took part on the election day. With challenges ranging from bad governance to a struggling economy, there are enough incentives for Nigerian citizens to get more involved in the decision making process. With the conclusion of the 2019 general elections, Nigerians now have a duty to hold newly elected officers accountable and closely monitor their actions.