From Austine Tule, Makurdi
The President, Lawyers Alert and Chairman Open Government Partnership (OGP) Benue State Steering Committee , Rommy Mom , has called for the inclusion of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in appointment on government boards in the state.
He disclosed this during the review meeting of the OGP Benue Steering Committee at Lawyers Alert’s office in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
“There should be civil society representation on government boards,” Mom said.
He argued that OGP means much more than saying one is practicing it, “when there is no civil society representation.”
According to Mom, who is also a member of the Police Service Commission (PSC) representing CSOs, “at the federal level, they are setting up boards with the inclusion of CSOs. That should also be happening in the atate. One position should be reserved for non-political actors on government boards.”
He explained that it is only by involving CSOs in government business that a government can be said to be open, since CSOs are non-government actors and can question what the government is doing.
“It should actually mean carrying CSOs along in terms of involvement on government boards. That is open governance,” Mom insisted.
He maintained that nominations for such positions must not be made by the government; “they have to be made by CSOs. The Benue State Government needs to understand this. That is the way of citizens’ participation.”