Hope Givers Initiative, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), in partnership with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Imo State House of Assembly, has commenced measures to build active citizens through constituency outreach and voter education in 10 federal constituencies in the state.
The group has already taken the exercise to Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi states to ensure the success of the 2019 general elections. The programme involved community leaders, traditional rulers, their cabinet members, Presidents General, market women, opinion moulders, traders and artisans.
The federal constituencies they visited include Mbaitoli/ Ikeduru, Owerri, Aboh Mbaise/Ngor-Okpala, Ahiazu/Ezinihitte Mbaise, Orlu/Orsu/Oru East as well as Ohaji/Egbema/Oguta and Oru West.
Mrs. Onyeka Okey Udegbunam, the Executive Director of the organisation, explained that Hoppe Givers Intiative, with the motto, ‘Voice to the People (V2P)’ was set up to make governance work for the poor and marginalised people.
She lamented that members of the legislature do not carry out quarterly constituency briefings in their areas to intimate their constituents with what they are doing to keep them abreast, carry them along and know their feelings, aspirations and challenges.
Lack of communication between the elected representatives in government and those who elected them she said more often than not, gives birth to the initiation and execution of projects that are not the priorities of the people at the grassroots.
She stressed that lack of input in budget proposals by the constituents often leads to the execution of projects that do not touch the lives of the people. She enjoined the people to register and to obtain their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) to be able to participate in the 2019 general elections.
She urged the people to vote wisely and ensure that their children and wards are not used by desperate politicians to derail the system.
A special feature of the event was the signing of agreement by lawmakers who attended the event to sustain the engagement quarterly and briefing their constituents.