The Agency considers it most unfortunate that at a time like this, when all hands should be on deck to reposition our country and mitigate the effects of our recent and current challenges, some people are deliberately making false insinuations aimed at discrediting key organs and efforts of government in that regard. This is capable of setting back the gains of our collective efforts so far to positively reorientate our people and must therefore be discouraged.
The National Orientation Agency wishes to state categorically that the position of its Director General, by law, remains non-partisan and the current Director General, Mr. Mike Omeri, is very conscious of that fact. This is evident in his rejection in writing, of an appointment into a campaign committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) during the 2015 General Elections, stating clearly that the office of NOA Director General prohibits him from partisanship as stipulated by the Agency’s enabling laws.
It must be noted that Mr. Mike Omeri, since becoming NOA Director General, has never participated in any political rally or spoken on the electioneering podium of any political party. In furtherance of his firm commitment to the non-partisan tenets of NOA, the Director General also issued clear cut directives to all staff of the Agency to remain non-partisan, before, during and after the last General Elections. These are readily verifiable facts.
It is in recognition of the neutrality of NOA as a mass mobiliser and civic educator, under Omeri’s watch, that multinational organizations like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Democratic Governance for Development (DGD 2), as well as the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP) and several others found confidence to partner with NOA for voter education during the last elections.
Even after the elections, the Agency has continued to attract the partnership of organizations with international repute, like the German Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Foundation, to hold numerous engagements between state legislators and the electorate in various States of the Federation, irrespective of the party in power in those States. Only recently, the British Tony Blair Faith Foundation approached NOA for partnership toward curbing intolerance among the various religions in Nigeria, noting that the Foundation considered NOA a critical and reliable agency for social orientation and peace building in Nigeria. This would not have been the case if these international organizations which are very sensitive about their reputations had perceived any element of political or partisan bias in the NOA and its leadership.
Also, the current leadership of NOA has continued to hold programmes promoting the, policies, activities and programmes of government at all levels despite the variety of political colorations at the Federal and State levels and in spite of paucity of funds.
NOA remains focused, professional and ethical in discharging its mandate of sensitizing the citizenry on the policies and progammes of government as well as reorienting Nigerians towards positive values. The Agency will not be distracted by the antics of blackmailers and mischief makers seeking to insight government against the Agency in the lawful discharge of its mandate.