By Yinka Okeowo
Three civil society organizations namely, Enough is Enough Nigeria, Paradigm Initiative and BudgiT will hold the third edition of their New Media, Citizens, and Governance Conference in Abuja in October. The organizers made this known as registration for the conference opened.
According to the Executive Director of EiE Nigeria,‘Yemi Adamolekun, “the conference will shed light on how new media leverages technology and platforms to connect, curate and share information in innovative ways. As a subset of new media, ‘social media’ requires interaction and it is this element that opens areas of risk – security and privacy challenges.”
“Social media has continued to play a crucial role in the political landscape of the world. Political office holders (elected and appointed), political office campaigners, government departments and agencies have utilized social media as a tool to lure and engage the constituents who benefit from their services,” Adamolekun added.
The former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu, will present the keynote address, while the conference is expected to welcome leading thinkers from across Africa as guest speakers.
It would be recalled that the 2nd edition of the conference was held in October 2016, 18 months after Nigeria witnessed the peaceful ouster of an incumbent president through the ballot; the first time in Nigeria’s democratic history.
The conference served as a follow up to several discussions on the use of new media in elections and as a tool for holding government officials and institutions accountable. The 3rd edition of the conference will happen in Abuja, Nigeria on October 24 & 25, 2018.
Speaking on the development, the Co-founder of BudgiT, Oluseun Onigbinde, said, “The conference creates an avenue to discuss rights and responsibilities of citizens and government in using new media in mutually beneficial ways. NMCG would include an array of panels on national security, social media conduct, national orientation and technical sessions, with experts and prominent voices in Africa invited to speak at the 2-day conference.”
The Director of Program of Paradigm Initiative, Tope Ogundipe, called on active citizens to register to attend the conference to ensure their voices are heard.
“Governance in the 21st century is a citizen-led affair. The office of the Citizen is the most important office in contemporary politics, and we must all play our part in ensuring good governance by leveraging our citizen power. The NMCG Conference is another opportunity to devise better ways of deploying citizen power for the good of our society“, she concluded.