Political campaigns

Hamzat Lawal: Why the SDGs should inform campaigns for the 2023 elections

Hamzat Lawal, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Connected Development (CODE), said candidates for the 2023 elections should base their campaigns on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Lawal spoke to reporters Saturday at an event marking the 10th anniversary of Follow The Money (FTM), a CODE initiative to foster accountability in governance.

The event also marked Global SDG Week.

The CEO said the SDGs should inform candidate manifestos and also improve the country’s democratic process.

“As we celebrate 10 years of Follow the Money, we want the script to be flipped. The current script does not work for Africa. The current script does not guarantee justice or equity, gender equality , the fight against inequalities and the eradication of poverty,” he said.

“Reversing the scenario means mobilizing more young people; educate them; let’s make them aware. We also know that in a few weeks campaigns will start in Nigeria and this week is World Democracy Week.

“As the campaign season begins and in the spirit of turning the script around, we need to ensure messages are issue-based, not sentimental, and that citizens would collect their PVCs and on Election Day , we will get citizens to vote.

“The SDGs talk about ending poverty, hunger, ensuring justice, fairness and equity. It talks about education. It talks about health care. It talks about job creation. If politicians use the SDGs to inform their manifesto, these are ideals that would solve our problems.

“We want a policy that leaves no one behind. The SDGs can inform our policy and we can take it to 2023, so that we have a scenario that works for Nigerians, whoever they are.