Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called on all presidential candidates of political parties in the country to tell Nigerians the specific policies they will adopt to tackle the numerous challenges facing the country.
In a statement signed by the Coordinator of Human Rights Agenda Network (HRAN), Melissa Omene, the group called on the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari respectively, to speak directly to Nigerians in respect of the prevailing livelihood and human rights issues to enable Nigerians vote based on concrete agenda.
HRAN asked the candidates to explain in detail how they intend to tackle the issue of corruption in the private and public spheres in Nigeria.
According to the statement, “HRAN being a network of over 303 registered members who are non-governmental organisations and human rights activists across Nigeria, issues this open letter due to concerns that key human rights and livelihood issues have not been addressed by the presidential, gubernatorial and other political candidates during the lead up to the 2015 general election.
“Democracy demands that politicians set concrete agenda upon which the electorate can select a suitable leader who can be held accountable using the concrete agenda.”
It asked them to tell Nigerians how they would tackle youth unemployment saying: “Today, 80 per cent of youths are reportedly unemployed or under-employed. Explain your strategy to tackle the issue of youth unemployment with particular reference to the empowerment of young girls.”
The group also asked them to explain how how they will improve the petroleum sector via policies towards production and refining petroleum products.
CSOs urged the candidates to tell Nigerians how they will ensure the security of lives and property with particular reference to the insurgency in the North-east and North-west regions?
It asked: “How can you reduce the quantity of small arms and light weapons that are illegally found in hands of people which increases insecurity of lives and properties in Nigeria?”
Other agenda posed for the candidates are: Protection of minorities – religious, tribal and economic minorities as well as persons living with disability who had suffered greatly from mis-governance;
Power Sector – practical agenda in increasing access to regular and consistent electricity;
Women’s rights – What measures will they take to ensure that women are protected from all forms of gender based violence and are given equal opportunities in the work place and in politics as well as ensuring affirmative action for women;
How will you increase Nigeria’s compliance with its obligations under international treaties including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (UN CEDAW), and the United Nations Convention Against Torture (UN CAT);
The group consequently, posed a question: “If elected, how do you intend to reform the justice sector, with particular reference to the police, prisons and lengthy delays in determining a case?”