By Chiamaka Okafor
In a year of rising attacks on media freedom, legislative agenda to constrain civil society, and a rash of judicial decisions on freedom of expression, Nigerian partners of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) are seeking to round up the year with a virtual symposium on December 29 themed ‘Protecting Civic Space in Nigeria: Reflecting on the Year 2020.’
The event, which is a brainchild of Abdulrazaq Alkali, Executive Director, Organisation for Community Civic Engagement (OCCEN) and an alumnus of the Fascell democracy fellowship program at National Endowment for Democracy will have past beneficiaries of the NED fellowship as panelists.
Abosede Alimi, Executive Director Women in Leadership Advancement Network and co-founder ElectHer; Joshua Olufemi, Executive Director Dataphyte Nigeria, and Samson Itodo, Executive Director Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement (YIAGA) will serve as panelists during this event with Dapo Olorunyomi, Publisher, Premium Times, as the moderator.
Mr Alkali who has over the years directed projects that seek to enhance government transparency and accountability through advocacy for policy reforms, good governance and voter education said the planned event aims at reflecting on issues around shrinking civic space in Nigeria by looking at individual efforts of organisations.
In his comments, Mr Olufemi, a panelist and alumnus of NED, said, “the expected outcome is to identify ways in which civil society networks and collaborations can be broadened to strengthen and advance civic space in Nigeeria.