In preparation for the development of a Citizens-Driven Legislative Agenda for the four states with the youngest Speakers in Nigeria—Kwara, Oyo, Plateau and Zamfara—YIAGA AFRICA, on Saturday 2nd November, trained researchers residing in these states to administer research surveys in all the local government areas of the states. The researchers are set to deploy to the field by Tuesday, 5th November.
According to the Senior Program Officer (Youth), Ibrahim Faruk “YIAGA AFRICA is developing a new dimension to developing a legislative agenda. It’s the first of its kind in Nigeria where citizens actually go to the field themselves to help in developing a Legislative Agenda.”
YIAGA AFRICA Coordinator (Centre for Legislative Engagement), Dr. Ernest Ereke, further stated, “the benefits of a citizens-driven legislative agenda will provide the platform for a responsive, innovative and accountable leadership, as it would encompass the needs of the citizens, thereby providing direction for representatives in the discharge of their legislative duties.”
Prof. Sola Omotola, and YIAGA AFRICA Senior Research Officer, Safiya Bichi supervised the training session, and built the capacity of the researchers, telling them to imbibe qualities such as “integrity, confidentiality, and dignity” as they gather data.
Present at the meeting were also honourable members of the State Houses of Assembly who head the Technical Working Committee inaugurated by YIAGA AFRICA for the development of the Legislative agenda. This includes Hon. Jimoh Ali Yusuf, member representing Ilorin East Constituency in the Kwara State House of Assembly, the Deputy Clerk of the Zamfara State House of Assembly, Alh. Mahmud Aliyu, and Hon. Dasun Philip Peter, member of the Plateau State House of Assembly. Representing the Technical Working Committee of the Oyo State House of Assembly was Engr. Adetoye Ogundoyin, a Special Adviser to the Speaker.
YIAGA AFRICA recognizes the legislature as the cardinal institution of democratic governance. Starting in 2015, YIAGA AFRICA started a campaign ‘Not Too Young To Run’ to open up the space to enable young men and women to run for elective offices, the result of which reduced the constitutional age limit for running to 25 years of age in the House of Representatives and State House of Assembly in May 2018.
Since the 2019 elections, more youth have been elected into office and YIAGA AFRICA has continued to support them, as they did with The Convergence, which brought together 300 young legislators across Nigeria in May to train them on legislative practices and procedures. The Civil Society Organization also conducted a two-day strategic partnership retreat for the youngest speakers of the State Houses of Assembly—Rt. Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin, Rt. Hon. Abok Nuhu Ayuba, Rt. Hon. Salihu Danladi and Rt. Hon. Nasiru Magarya—ahead of the development of this legislative agenda.
Check out more pictures from the training session below.