As part of its efforts to drive citizens’ engagement in the democratic process and promote an issues-based presidential campaign in Nigeria, Civic Monitor – a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization – today launched its Know-Your-Candidates (KYC) tool – www.kyc.civicmonitor.com.
KYC uses technology to present information on the various presidential candidates, their positions, promises and profiles, all in one place, to enable voters make more thoughtful and informed choices at the polls.
“The most exciting thing about the KYC tool is the fact that voters can directly compare any two candidates on any issue of their choice, and the positions of the candidates would appear side-by-side for ease of comparison,” said Stanley Azuakola, the Founder and Executive Director of Civic Monitor.
According to Azuakola, an ignorant electorate is a danger to democracy, which is why KYC is committed to “improving voter knowledge at scale.”
“With over 90 registered political parties in the country and more than 70 fielding presidential candidates, it can be overwhelming for voters to keep track of where candidates stand on the most important issues. In addition, some political parties/candidates have more resources than others do, and this gives them an advantage in communicating their programs and ideas. KYC levels the playing field, such that every candidate has a chance at being heard,” he said.
The tool collates data on the positions of the presidential candidates concerning 15 issues. These include: security, power, education, healthcare, corruption, job creation, debt profile and the economy. Others are herders-farmers clashes, restructuring, federal character, state police, job creation, NNPC reforms and inclusion of women and youths.
Temilorun Olanipekun, a data associate with Civic Monitor added that, “the team presented its KYC data using the words of the candidates themselves, and mostly avoided editorialising. We wanted this to be all about the candidates and the voters – no intermediary, no spin, no bias.”
KYC is also a powerful resource for journalists, researchers, fact-checkers and activists, as it aids their efforts to hold political leaders accountable.
KYC is now live at www.kyc.civicmonitor.com and on social media.