#FixPolitics’ Executive Director, Organises Hackathon

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Nseobong Okon-Ekong writes that the new political platform by Presidential Candidate in the 2019 national elections, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili has consolidated its presence on the polity with appointment of an Executive Director and development of a forum that delivers voters’ information hub, community sensitisation and political accountability

#FixPolitics, a citizens’ movement recently launched to fix politics in Nigeria and ultimately Africa, has appointed Anthony Ubani as its Executive Director.

Ubani will lead the implementation of the Triangular Pillars of Democracy, which uniquely identify the tripod focus of the #FixPolitics initiative on emerging an empowered and engaged electorate, building a new value-based political class and demanding constitutional, political and electoral change.

As a Richard von Weizacker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy in Berlin Germany, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili focused her research on #FixPolitics to develop a deeper understanding of the nexus between the quality of politics and the economic progress or decline of countries in Africa, with a particular focus on Nigeria.

The findings of the research subsequently informed the composition of a 125-member Work Study Group – of Nigerians from diverse endeavours and regions. The WSG, chaired by Ezekwesili, work collaboratively to design and implement a systemic structural change agenda for the politics of Nigeria with the aim of raising the quality of our democracy and governance and improve the wellbeing of citizens.

In a statement on Tuesday, the group’s Spokesperson, Mr. Ozioma Ubabukoh, stated that Ubani would resume duties in January 2021.

Ubabukoh explained that the “incoming executive director is expected to bring his practical political experience to bear in the realisation of the objectives of #FixPolitics.”

Part of the statement read, “Ubani’s mandate is to ensure the emergence of an empowered and engaged electorate; a new values-based political class; and a reformed constitutional, political and electoral environment as the three cardinal pillars of #FixPolitics.”

Before his appointment, Ubani was the President/Chief Executive Officer of Women Leadership Institute. He has held various executive positions, including Acting Country Director, Mississippi Consortium for International Development; and Director General, Peoples Democratic Institute.

Some of his recent researches include ‘Leadership Recession in Nigeria and the Perennial Predicament of Deferred Development’; ‘Deconstructing Professionalism in the Context of Economic Recession in Nigeria: A Fresh Perspective’ and ‘Partisan Politics, Civil Societies and the Consolidation of Institutions in Africa.
Meanwhile, #FixPolitics recently hosted a hackathon event to bring together a network of data enthusiasts, developers and product designers who would be dedicated to the development of a platform that delivers voters’ information hub, community sensitisation and political accountability.

According to the group, the event, ‘#FixPolitics Hackathon’, was held at the Co-creation Hub/Virtual Connection. Participants registered via the link: bit.ly/fixpoliticshack.

“The event was aimed at revolutionising the interest of Nigerians towards participating in the country’s electoral process,” a statement issued by its Ubabukoh, read.

The statement pointed out that the hackathon was informed by the need to expand voters’ participation in the electoral process and leverage technology to sustain momentum for community engagement.

“Apathy has become a potent weapon to ‘foist’ unpopular candidates on Nigerians and citizens who do not have the requisite information to organise for different outcomes.

“We want to use this hackathon to find meaning to three things – voting process, office of the citizen awareness and candidate selection, which remain key to strengthening the country’s politics,” the statement read.

#FixPolitics explained it had observed with interest that the voting process had been “bastardised” to the extent that the complexity of voter registration and other challenges had made it difficult for voters to easily possess voter’s cards, find polling units and vote during elections

It said, at the #FixPolitics Hackathon, issues on developing a resource hub (including leveraging existing platforms) for voters, which provides candidate information; past performance of incumbents; polling stations; allocations to their communities; and other data required to make informed electoral decision will be addressed.

The Co-founder of Future Africa, Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, said the hackathon would also be used to address issues surrounding the office of the citizen, which also has not progressed politically, as voters do not understand the power they have as citizens to effect meaningful change.

According to him, #FixPolitics has identified that four stakeholders who can provide information to candidates on the ‘Office of The Citizen’.

“These include: Advocates (general populace who would like to be involved and encourage people to vote within their sphere of influence); Community Organisers (#FP volunteers/recruits who can help inform people); Community Leaders (existing leaders in communities); and Partners (existing organised groups/organisations in a society which cut across socio-economic classes, e.g. NBA, NSE, WIMBIZ, NURTW, Students Unions etc.),” Aboyeji added.

The Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of budgIT, Mr. Seun Onigbinde, shared Aboyeji’s views and stated, “This is an opportunity for young Nigerians to pitch their skills for civic purpose. We want to build on the recent momentum for accountable governance and active
citizenry.”

QUOTE

According to the group, the event, ‘#FixPolitics Hackathon’, was held at the Co-creation Hub/Virtual Connection. Participants registered via the link: bit.ly/fixpoliticshack. The event was aimed at revolutionising the interest of Nigerians towards participating in the country’s electoral process,” a statement issued by its Ubabukoh, read. The statement pointed out that the hackathon was informed by the need to expand voters’ participation in the electoral process and leverage technology to sustain momentum for community engagement. Apathy has become a potent weapon to ‘foist’ unpopular candidates on Nigerians and citizens who do not have the requisite information to organise for different outcomes