As 2023 General Election Campaigns approaches, Civil Society Organization under the aegis of Connected Development (CODE) has called on politicians to flip the script by focussing their campaign manifesto on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to ensure inclusivity.
This call was made by the Chief Executive Officer of Connected Development (CODE) and Founder of FollowTheMoney, Hamzat Lawal on Saturday at the FollowTheMoney SDG 10th Anniversary hangout in Abuja, with the theme #FlipTheScript,
“The political atmosphere presents a unique opportunity to flip the script and as such, politicians must ensure that the SDGs are in the centre of the conversations during the campaigns and the election”.
In his words, “the SDGs can inform Nigeria’s democracy and politics, and flipping the script will ensure we have a script that works for every Nigerian irrespective of where they are”.
“We know that in a few weeks campaigns will start in Nigeria, and this week is world democracy week. We are using this opportunity to say that campaign season starts and in the spirit of flipping the script, we must ensure that campaign messages are based on issues and not sentiments.
“The SDG Goals literally talked about ending poverty, hunger, providing justice, equity and fairness, gender equality, inequality, education,green jobs and sustainable growth, technology and innovation, and even healthcare, and these are the issues plaguing Nigeria. If our politicians actually use the SDGs to inform their manifesto, it then means that its ideals will address our problems, but most importantly, provide opportunities for emerging solutions.
“The SDG slogan is ‘leave no one behind’, so we want a democracy and politics that leaves no one behind. People living with disability have a role in governance and we believe that SDGs provide that framework. FollowTheMoney for the past 10 years has learnt lessons and for us, the SDGs can inform our democracy and politics and we can take that into 2023 to flip the script”, he said.
As CODE celebrates FollowTheMoney 10 years anniversary, it has realized that the current script is not working for Africa, as according to him, it does not ensure justice, equity, gender equality, tackling inequality, ending poverty and ensuring that people do not go to bed with hunger, adding that flipping the script will ensure that more young people are mobilized, educated and sensitized.
While calling on citizens to most importantly collect their Permanent Voters Card (PVCs) in the spirit of flipping the script, come out and cast their ballot on election day so that voter apathy can be curtailed, he noted that Goal 17 talks about Partnership for the SDGs, he called for more commitment from the private sector, more organizing from the government, more sensitization from civil society actors, and most importantly, for citizens to take action, make commitments and ensure that SDGs become a household initiative that Nigeria can achieve in 2030.