Can we organize at least, community town hall meetings, one for the very representatives who hitherto buy motorcycles, sewing machines and deep freezers to empower the people in communities where electricity has never been seen, and youths lack the technical capacity to compete with their counterparts in other States, women lack the capacity to sew. It would be great to design an economic growth and development plan that is truly based on the human development capacity needs of the people for the representatives. One that is sustainable enough to make the State not to be left behind from the 4th industrial revolution. Perhaps we review the economic growth recovery strategy and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), and pick areas of shared impact for our rural communities.
At the town hall meeting, the goal would be to sensitize representatives and leaders on the need for human capacity development and to redesign constituency projects.
The second Community Town Hall Meeting would be with members of the communities on the need to change their mindset and understanding of what empowerment means.
You know the most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind (ignorance) of the oppressed. The people in rural communities need a retooling of the mind from the brainwashing and myopic perception of the concept of “empowerment”. They celebrate such “empowerment” initiatives and neglect socio-economic empowerment opportunities ignorantly. We need to identify the root causes otherwise we would continue to treat the symptoms instead of the root causes of the problem. Elections are fast approaching. The people cannot go to the polls with such mindset.
Comfort Onyaga is a development expert and tech-preneur. She is from Cross River state.