The Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) Owerri Province has rolled out a well-articulated plan of action to insure the reign of democracy and good governance in Nigeria as a new political dispensation fast approaches.
The Owerri Provincial Director of JDPC, Very Rev. Fr. Anthony Jiwuba made the disclosure at St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish Okigwe, during a seminar on Democracy and Good governance held June 30, 2018, in continuation of the on-going voter enlightenment programme in Okigwe diocese.
According to the JDPC Director, similar fora have been held in the Ihitte/Uboma Deanery of the Diocese (Imo State). Expectedly, the train will move to Ehime Mbano, Isiala Mbano, Obowo and Onuimo Deaneries – all in Okigwe Diocese, with similar action plans lined up for the rest of the dioceses in Owerri Province, namely Owerri, Orlu, Aba, Ahiara and Umuahia.
Fr. Anthony Jiwuba clarified that the main goal of the JDPC is to educate the people on the real meaning and performance of democracy and good governance, so that the electorate will be capable of accessing their elected representatives in government at all levels, monitor their performance and flaws and be able to call them to order. He reiterated that the JDPC is non-partisan, but strives to push to the grassroots the social teachings of the church, with primary assignment as options for the poor.
The JDPC Owerri Provincial helmsman further explained that the first of the three-pronged action plan is the pre-election (preparation) programme which is on-going in Okigwe Diocese. The second and third are the election proper and the post election programmes respectively. The commission will soon kick-start the training and re-training programme for election observers for the forth-coming general elections, in partnership with relevant stakeholders.
Consequently, he revealed that a meeting of all Deputy Directors of the Commission would soon be convened to draw up a roadmap for actualizing the set goals in the next six months and re-affirmed, “We are moving on, and will continue moving.”
Addressing participants at the seminar which attracted over 10 parishes, the Director urged them to brace up to all political challenges in their environment and get them right. He harped on the need for all eligible adults to register and acquire Permanent Voters Card (PVC) for effective participation in elections. He outlined other JDPC programmes to include health, gender mainstreaming, human rights, Caritas, Prison Welfare/Legal Aid Programmes. Others include integrated empowerment development programme, parish/grassroots monitoring, resource and human capacity development, construction projects etc.
Fielding questions from participants, the Director blamed the suffering of the people on ignorance of their rights and charged Nigerians to identify unjust structures for dismantling and decried the non-participatory style of present Nigeria government.
Participants were tutored on the structure of the JDPC, aims and objective, programmes, strategy and functions, in addition to political awareness campaign.