As the 2023 general election draws near, Nigerians are waiting to make an informed choice on who will be at the helm of power for the next four years, but the news space has been dominated by the leading presidential candidates and they are not the only ones coming to the ballot.
TOP MEDIA reports that while it is essential to know all the presidential candidates and what they are willing to offer, it is also crucial to know who is contesting to have a seat at the senate and house of representatives chambers to make laws and also checkmate the president.
The same goes for the sub-national elections, the governorship and house of assembly. Many Nigerians are only aware of the leading candidate willing to sit at the executive arm of government. This practice has done more harm than good to the people of Nigeria. While those contesting for the parliamentary seats hide under the covers of their political party, they also have a role to play in nation building and the community they represent have a right to know what development they are willing to bring to them.
It is in this light that Orodata Science in partnership with Open Cities Lab developed a platform labelled MyCandidate where Nigerians can get information about every candidate at all levels and all states.
The platform has two key features; ‘Locate me’ and ‘Address search’. Users who visit are met by a large ‘Locate me’ button which upon clicking, prompts them to ‘allow MyCandidate’ to access their location. Users are to click ‘allow’ which then brings out their exact coordinate, address details showing their state, senatorial district and local government area. Users are able to see a list of all candidates from Presidency, the Senate, Governorship and House of Representatives elections.
MyCandidate also features an embed code, a piece of HTML code that can be used to embed its content into another website. This code can be copied and pasted onto any website that supports HTML. Online news platforms, civil society institutions, and other organizations can use this embed code to add MyCandidate to their own websites. This allows them to share the candidates’ profiles with their own audience.
Ọrọdata Science is known for improving the usage of data to empower people and institutions to tackle societal issues for development. This is an initiative to close the knowledge gap between electorates and candidates as well as supporting journalists and civil society organizations who aim to track the progress of each candidate after elections.
MyCandidate Nigeria which is an open-source platform relies on the exhaustive information provided by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and verified information sourced from the media. However, asides providing vital information about each candidate, it also does provide access to the Google search engine for additional information.
According to Uche Oti, the program lead, MyCandidate which has been piloted by Open Cities Lab and OpenUp in South Africa witnessed a tremendous success and he believes bringing the same initiative before the elections in Nigeria will have impact on voter’s knowledge and enable them make better decisions on who deserves their votes.
“MyCandidate Nigeria is an essential resource for making your voice heard in the 2023 Nigerian general elections.
“We encourage all citizens to use this platform and to make an informed choice about who will lead their country for the next four years.
“With MyCandidate Nigeria, citizens can feel confident in their voting decisions, knowing that they have the necessary information and resources to make an educated choice,” he said.