Nigeria: Eie Launches ‘Footprint,’ Urges Nigerians to Take Responsibility in 2023 Elections

Yemi Adamolekun of EiE urges Nigerians to take action and not expect a miracle in the 2023 elections.

Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria, a coalition of Nigerian youth advocacy groups has launched its book titled ‘Footprints: Past. Present. Future.’

The book, which is to mark its 12th anniversary, chronicles the organisation’s journey and contributions to building a new generation of #ActiveCitizens.

It was launched on Monday at the Muson Centre, Victoria Island in Lagos State.

The foreword for the book was written by a retired career diplomat Christopher Kolade, while the contributors include Aisha Yesufu, Tunde Bakare, 2Baba, Seun Onigbinde, Banky W and 41 others.

Speaking at the event, the Executive Director of EiE, Yemi Adamolekun, described the beginning of its journey as an advocate as a “lonely one.”

“EiE then became a platform where I could use my voice and talk about the Nigeria that I want to leave for my children,” she said.

“I went from being stuck on what to do to execution. We realised that the shifts that we want to see, either from the perspective of elections or from the perspective of citizen engagement, had to come from citizens who understand their rights and responsibilities.

“Nigeria is where it is because of actions we have taken or actions we have refused to take. My challenge to you this evening is to ask: is enough not enough?

“What would it take to move us from where we are to where we want to be?”

Mrs Adamolekun urged Nigerians to take action and not expect a miracle in the 2023 elections.

Peter Obi of the Labour Party, Atiku Abubakar of the PDP, Bola Tinubu of the APC and 15 others are jostling for the presidential seat in February 2023.

The campaigns have started and the major candidates have been travelling across the country to convince Nigerians why they should be elected to the seat.

Chude Jideonwo, a broadcaster, speaking alongside Rinu Oduala, a rights activist, during the ‘inter-generational conversation’, said the book is the “only real compendium of people that participated in a significant protest.”

Speaking on the three things Nigerians should do to get good governance, he said participating in the elections by voting is crucial.

He noted that if “we had more local donors, local people, crowdfunding,” supporting civil society organisations and NGOs, they would be able to “speak to the issues that truly matter to us.

“I guess the third one is that people should not give up on protests. You know, there’s this meme going around that protests don’t matter.

“You know, like I say, the APC front-runner candidate, his direct legitimacy comes from his participation in the June 12 protest.

“The third force that we have today is being carried from the anger of the Endsars protests.”

In October 2020, young Nigerians took to the streets in many cities to protest against police brutality, particularly among the now-disbanded brutal special anti-robbery squad (SARS) police unit.

Ms Oduala, who joined the event virtually, described the Endsars protest as a success.

“Endsars gave us a sense of unity that we don’t need our tribesmen to be there for this country to become better,” she said.

“We all have to come together to say, let us move this country forward.

“What Endsars also gave us was transparency and accountability. You will see that several groups during the Endsar protests, the feminist coalition, young people were also collecting funds in different countries were showing accountability and transparency were literally the change that we wanted to see.”

Adebola Williams, the CEO of Red for Africa, and Tolulope Adeleru-Balogun, a journalist, both of them contributors, read excerpts of the book to the audience.

Mrs Adeleru-Balogun urged Nigerian citizens to demand accountability from elected officials.

Background

Enough is Enough (EiE) Nigeria is a network of individuals and organisations committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability in Nigeria through active citizenship.

EiE’s #RSVP – Register to vote | Select credible candidates | Vote not to fight | Protect is Nigeria’s longest-running voting campaign.

Among the numerous campaigns, it has been a part of are the #OccupyNigeria movement in 2012 and the ongoing #OpenNASS campaign that started in 2013.

It also launched the #OfficeOfTheCitizen campaign in 2015 to mark its fifth anniversary and started the #OnePerson campaign in 2020 to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Based in Lagos and Abuja, it has organised concerts, petitions, protests and workshops to call attention to the violence being committed by Boko Haram, freedom for the kidnapped Chibok girls, high remuneration of legislators and denial of visas for elected officials who travel abroad for medical care.

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