In its bid to reawaken a dormant citizenry to its responsibilities, civil society group Enough is Enough (EiE) through its #OfficeOfTheCitizen campaign launched its Citizen’s Guide to the recall process in Lagos on Thursday, April 26, 2018. The Launch which took place at Civic Hive, Yaba, Lagos was the first presentation of the guide to the media. According to EiE Executive Director, Yemi Adamolekun, the function of the legislative arm includes Appropriations, Lawmaking, Representation, Oversight functions and Approval of executive nominees. However, for an elected individual not living up to expectations, the recall process has been put in place to address the inadequacy.
The recall process as contained in the newly launched guide begins with the submission of a petition in which more than half of the legislature’s constituents sign, after which it will be submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for verification. The successful verification of these petitions will lead to a referendum which comes within a 90-day period subsequently followed by the affirmative votes which is expected to signal the recall of the affected individuals and an election of a new representative through a by-election.
The process as explained above is contained in the newly released Citizen’s Recall Guide. However, media personalities who spoke during the Question and Answer session said the process won’t come without its own challenges as being experienced in the recall process of Senator Dino Melaye representing Kogi West Senatorial District which has been slowed down by several court injunctions. Responding to this among other concerns, Adamolekun explained that the law was oblivious of such legal interference but this should not be not enough to discourage citizens from engaging in the recall process as seen in the Dino Melaye recall which continues this Saturday.
Is EiE taking these campaigns to Town Halls across the country? Mrs Adamolekun stated there is no such plan at the moment but the campaigns will continue through its various programs on radio stations across the country and the social media. With the support of the media, EiE believes the campaign will be taken to all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.
In his word as contained in the Foreword to the Citizen’s Guide to the Recall Process, the Chairman Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay says “Í hope that the Publication and distribution of this booklet will rouse the Nigerian electorate from their sleep and galvanize them into holding their representatives to the highest standards of representation or have them kicked out for being unfit to be entrusted with such a major responsibility”.
With the Launch of the Citizen’s Guide to the Recall Process, another phase has been introduced to effective citizen engagement in Nigeria.