By FELIX ANAYO
In the build-up to the 2023 general elections, the Network and Advocacy Group of Lux Tera Leadership Foundation has been at the forefront of organisations working assiduously to drive citizenship education. It has organised various leadership training programmes, targeted campaigns, public enlightenment programmes, youth development initiatives, and community-based initiatives. The Foundation has also organised developmental workshops, in the course of which it generated and spread advocacy materials, to guide the citizenry toward informed political decision-making.
One of the tools it has deployed most effectively is the media, especially through the facilitation of television discussion programmes in this regard. Besides its own branded television programme, it has also, on various occasions and through its programme partners and members of its Think-Tank, expanded the frontiers of national discourse through the deployment and appearance of third parties to drive its developmental narratives, and the one goal of creating a better society, on various media platforms.
For the 2023 elections alone, the organisation has remained consistently visible in the public space through its well-thematised initiatives, including, and especially, through its ‘Advocacy Thursday” interventions. These are targeted, periodic releases, skits, and educational content, which focus on core legal, statutory, and social responsibility steps and issues that would lead to free, fair, transparent, and credible elections. These issues are central to the integrity of the electoral process/outcomes, as well as lasting development and citizenship education.
By ensuring that each such advocacy message addresses specific, current, and urgent matters of leadership, citizenship, general public interest, and the general public good, the Foundation has created a unique, impactful, and admirable approach to sustainably building public awareness. It is working with a carefully selected person with confirmed voices and credibility in the Nigerian media, public and political space. It, thus, now has a committed group of persons who are held together by their convictions about the paradigms for sustainable leadership and followership in Nigeria.
The Foundation’s instalment and targeted advocacy work in such a way as to ensure that each advocacy theme builds on the one before it. The result is a series of mutually reinforcing narratives that allow breathing space for absorption and application in everyday life. This has been the approach in its handling of matters about the coming elections. The communication/campaign on the new electoral Act did not come before the one on display on the voters’ register. Nor did the one on the collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) come before the advocacy message on the need to register, etc.
The approach allows for a period of assessment, a feedback mechanism, and periodic review that monitors impact, the objectives attainment of the desired impact, and the recalibration of subsequent interventions. All the focal issues for communication, advocacy, and public enlightenment are articulated to improve the people’s understanding of the true meaning of development, better leadership, service delivery in office, a sense of community, improved political decision-making among the citizenry, and a better-governed society.
As we walk into the last weeks before the elections, Lux Tera must be counted among the few organisations that have maintained a consistent focus on improving governance, leadership, citizenship, and political engagement in Nigeria. When its Network and Advocacy Group Think Tank is measured against the background of its task as a platform for the birth of new ideas, promoting discourse, and suggesting solutions for extant and emerging leadership, developmental and citizenship issues in Nigeria, the Foundations stands tall in every sense of the word.
The creative initiative of creating a pool of informed persons who, in addition to being active on their own across several socio/political advocacy platforms and activities of their own, are now part of the Lux Tera team of informed advocates is a unique achievement of the Foundation. By generating, and projecting, new ideas toward creating a better Nigerian society, the Foundation’s well-produced Advocacy materials have been effective in this regard.
The print, electronic and social media, as also Talk Shows and Roundtables, have been veritable platforms for advancing the Foundation’s enlightenment and developmental programs. Its outreach and youth leadership training programs, including the programs organized for school teachers, students, and education stakeholders are all now dovetailing into three main focal channels, namely: measurable political education, the expansion of social consciousness/ group cohesion, and confirmed commitment to, and impact on, the imperative of free, transparent, fair and credible elections in Nigeria.
•Anayo writes from Lagos