By Emmanuel Afonne
Civic Monitor, a civil society organisation has unveiled a platform to assist voters compare presidential candidates during the 2019 general election.
A statement issued on Monday by Stanley Azuakola, its Founder and Executive Director, said the platform called ‘Know-Your-Candidates’ (KYC) can be accessed at www.kyc.civicmonitor.com.
Azuakola said the introduction of the KYC would drive a new wave of engagement in the democratic process of the country.
“With just over a month to the elections, KYC presents the profile, promises and issue positions of the presidential candidates in a simple format and enable voters to compare the candidates on the most important issues.
“The election in February is perhaps the most important one for the country since 1999. Nigerian voters cannot afford to go to the polls blindfolded.
“With KYC, we are putting the spotlight on the issues, not insults or conspiracies.
”It is about voters comparing the candidates on different issues and deciding who has the best plan for them, their families and the nation,” Azuakola said.
He said that a survey conducted by Civic Monitor in November 2018 showed that Nigerians were most concerned about 15 issues.
He listed the issues to include: security, power, education, healthcare, corruption, job creation, debt profile and the economy.
Other issues are herders-farmers clashes, restructuring, federal character, state police, NNPC reforms and inclusion of women and youths in government.
“What KYC has done is to collate the positions and promises of 24 presidential candidates on each of these issues in their own words without spin.
“The data we have compiled with KYC is the most extensive and representative you will find of the candidates anywhere,” he said.
Azuakola also said that KYC would serve as a powerful resource for journalists, researchers, fact-checkers and activists, as it aids their efforts to hold political leaders accountable.