The media and civil society converged on Abuja Wednesday to work out strategies of positively engaging citizens in the constitution amendment process.
The meeting was facilitated by Partnership to Engage, Reform and Learn (PERL) a governance programme funded by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).
In his opening remark a federal partnership facilitator, Mr. Rommy Mom reminded participants of the need for synergy between civil society and the media to make citizens buy into the constitutional amendment process.
Speaking on the objectives of the meeting, Dr Otive Igbuzor of the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development, harped on the need for mapping out strategies for citizen sensitization, saying there was need for the media to live up to its constitutional responsibility of holding leaders to account.
Mr. Igbuzor further said one of the aims of the session was to create a network for civil society organizations and the media to work together.
The technical session also reviewed the highlights of the constitutional amendment bills, aimed at educating participants on the process and expected benefits.
John Mutu, Parliamentary Engagement Adviser, PERL who led the discussions called on the media to go the extra mile in ensuring that ordinary citizens understood the issues, by creating awareness and conveying citizen’s opinion and input.
In his contribution, a participant VinMartin Obiora Ilo of signaturetv.com.ng, praised PERL for the initiative and urged civil society organizations to increase their support for capacity building in the media, to make practitioners better prepared for the challenges ahead.