Active Citizenship

I have decided to be an Active Citizen of Nigeria and to help the people around me become more active. I strongly believe that a democracy can only progress if the majority of the people play their part. This has the potential to take absolute power and impunity away from people who ordinarily should be public servants.

By being actively involved in the management of our country, we can

  1. Provide assistance to any sincere professionals in public service that have something to offer
  2. Deter sluggards in public service by publicizing the performance/impact (or lack thereof) of all sectors
  3. Help other citizens recognize that we can make an impact by providing input to public policy

Active Citizenship is a form of literacy (1) : coming to grips with what happens in public life, developing knowledge, understanding, critical thinking and independent judgement of local, national, European, global levels. It implies action and empowerment, i.e. acquiring knowledge, skills and attitudes, being able and willing to use them, make decisions, take action individually and collectively.
We can identify some key characteristics of Active Citizenship:

  • Participation in the community (involvement in a voluntary activity or engaging with local government agencies)
  • People are empowered to play a part in the decisions and processes that affect them, particularly public policy and services
  • Knowledge and understanding of the political/social/economic context of their participation so that they can make informed decisions
  • Able to challenge policies or actions and existing structures on the basis of principles such as equality, inclusiveness, diversity and social justice.

(1) Council of Europe, Education for Democratic Citizenship, Dec 2004.

Taken from: http://www.faceitproject.org/active_citizenship.htm
Feel free to substitute “European” with “Nigerian” above :-)

Join me and other well-meaning Nigerians at www.activecitizen.org.ng today! Although the first project is providing easy-to-navigate information about states, candidates and parties in the 2015 elections, please note that this is not a partisan platform.

I hereby confer upon myself the title of ACFRN

Active Citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Active Citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

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