Chocolate City, in partnership with Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) has charged celebrities, bloggers and media practitioners on the need to push for good governance and civic participation of citizens in the country.
A statement made available by THISDAY by Chocolate city said the celebrities discussed salient issues on corruption, embezzlement, human trafficking, failure in governance, stigmatisation of people living with disabilities, increased and perpetual suffering of the masses, gender-based abuses and violence against women among others.
In his remarks, ace rapper, Jude Abaga populary known as MI frowned at the poor state of the country’s economy, saying influencers have roles to play in making the country better.
“We are in a bad situation in the country and don’t be deceived. Nigeria is in trouble. If we don’t start thinking together, talking together and listening and coming up with plans, we are not going to figure this out in time.
“So, luckily through a sequence of events, I met an organisation called OSIWA and as our conversation kept on going, one of the things that became very clear to them was to speak to other people who have a platform. And we want to hear from them what it they see is, what is it they can do, how do we collaborate, how can we support celebrities and how can we keep them thinking about our art our influence,” he noted.
Country Manager OSIWA, Jude Udo Ilo, in the statement said: “Most of you in this room are influencers; you have been privileged by your hard work, circumstances of birth, your knowledge and your education to be in a position to make a difference in other people’s life. To be in a position to help us have a country we can be proud of and increasingly when we ask ourselves a question, how do we get ourselves to people to be different? How do we change the narrative of this country? We cannot discountenance the huge and enormous influence those of you here can peddle on society.
“All over the world changes don’t just happen they are influenced by people like you. Nothing is too small, nothing is too little, you cannot keep this influence you have in your pockets, you just can’t, it is unacceptable, you owe it as a duty to society and yourself. Beyond the benefits here or after, if you use your influence for the service of community, there are also financial benefits to it,” said Jude.
Going forward, the role of influencers in pushing for change, social activism, celebrities’ area of interests and linkage with relevant corporate social responsibilities were also not left out of the discussion. Music was considered a tool for electoral reform and drive for ensuring and enhancing good governance.
The Chief Executive Officer, Aliens Media, Segun Awosanya, said that because of the future of our children, he believed that it is time for us to begin to burn trees rather than running after low hanging fruits.
“It is time for us to begin to do things that will live on while we are gone. Every Nigerian is connected and it is time we begin to use our influence, our exposure, our links not to fend for ourselves, as a citizen you have a position that gives you everlasting power the kind of power the state government do not have, the kind of power your legislators don’t have, the kind of powers president do not have and that power is the power of your unity, power of your reach, power of using your position, your rights to educate others, enlighten them and give them hope even from your own little position. We can all lead, we all have the spirit of leadership and the leadership spirit in us to begin to exercise leadership from where we stand and inspire others to do the same.
“And that is simply what I am doing, am not printing posters, I am not seeking to be voted for, I am not even looking to be celebrated I simply wanting to leave behind a society our children can be proud of,” he said.
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