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Civil societies set agenda for public office seekers

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Some civil societies, under the umbrella of Human Rights Agenda Network, have spelt 12 issues politicians seeking public offices in the February general elections would have to cope with.

A statement co-signed by the network’s Chairman, Chino Obiagwu, and its Coordinator, Melissa Omene, said on Sunday that Nigerians would determine their choice in the elections based on the agenda.

Issues raised in the agenda include youth unemployment, petroleum sector, human security, protection of minorities, corruption and power sector.

Other issues in the agenda are women’s rights, international obligations, justice sector reform, children issues, education and values and ethics.

The network, comprising over 303 registered civil societies, said the setting of the agenda became necessary “due to concerns that key human rights and livelihood issues have not been addressed by the presidential, governorship and other political candidates during the lead up to the 2015 general elections.”

The statement read in part, “Speak directly to Nigerians in respect of the following prevailing livelihood and human rights issues and we Nigerians will vote based on concrete agendas:

“Youth unemployment: Today, 80 per cent of youths are reportedly unemployed or under-employed. Explain your strategy for tackling the issue of youth unemployment with particular reference to the empowerment of young girls.

“Petroleum sector: How will you improve the downstream petroleum sector via policies towards production and refining petroleum products?

“Human security: How will you ensure the security of lives and property in Nigeria, with particular reference to the insurgency in the North-East and North-West regions? How can you reduce the quantity of small arms and light weapons that are illegally found in the hands of people which increase insecurity of lives and properties in Nigeria?

“Protection of minorities: Religious, tribal and economic minorities as well as persons living with disability have suffered greatly from misgovernance. How will you address the challenge of misgovernance?

“Corruption: Explain in detail how you intend to tackle the issue of corruption in the private and public spheres in Nigeria.”

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