Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have been enjoined to become partners with the Akwa Ibom State Government to develop the people and communities.

The Executive Director of the Foundation for Civic Education, Human Rights and Development Advancement (FoCEHRaDA) and who also doubles as the National Coordinator of the Akwa Ibom Human Rights Community, Clifford Thomas, informed Reporters during an interactive session over the weekend.

He noted that the Governor Umo Eno’s government which campaigned on the ARISE Agenda, must be assessed on the basis of its translating the ARISE vision, mission, objectives and strategies into concrete realities.

“The government has provided a monitoring and evaluation template with which he hopes to be evaluated by civil society organizations, and this, we will do, as partners in its development efforts in Akwa Ibom State.

“NGOs, FBOs, CBOs and other members of civil society are not enemies of the government. While we urge government not to see us as enemies, we also want to advise our compatriots and operators of civil society bodies, not to portray thew impression that we are enemies fighting the government.”

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Clifford Thomas who is both a Layer and Journalist, believes that the space needs to be opened for a very healthy and robust engage of the government by CSOs, who will show understanding with the government , with an effective “Feed Back mechanism” that will make the government appreciate the views of the people.

He called on communities to get involved in a Needs Assessment regime, to be able to feed the government with the right information in a Bottom-Top approach to development, rather than allow government officials to imagine the needs of the communities.

In his words, “society is broadly made up of Governments, Businesses and Civil Society, and no government can go it alone. CSOs must work to help strengthen the government and businesses for effective service delivery.”