HOLDING GOVT ACCOUNTABLE: The role of Citizens (Part 1)
So yesterday, I raised some questions concerning the gigantic projects done by the Council Chairman of my LGA, Ikwerre, Hon. Ishi Samuel.
The questions were more of accountability with a view to establishing whether as a people, we are indebted to any organisation for those projects and if yes, to what extent and what plans exists to repay the debts
Those questions are relevant and remain unanswered even till this moment because assuming a loan was taken, it would be in the name of the Council, meaning that everyone in the LGA would bear the brunt of repaying such.
But it appears those questions unsettled alot of people, especially those in the Council’s administration for which sponsored attacks were aimed at me
Even the Leader of the Legislative Arm, my brother, Hon. Nwobuisi Chikwe-Tasie who managed to offer response conveniently avoided answering the questions directly. As usual with public officers in Nigeria, he arrogantly boasted of not owing me an explanation, instead, he took us on a long unneeded lecture as though he didn’t know the position he occupied was that of responsibility to the people, both those he likes or hates, supports or opposes, agrees or disagrees with
Till this moment, nobody has answered our question on how much the projects cost us as a people. The right to know the cost of projects is a Constitutional right but due to military hang over, public officers make it look like they’re doing the people a favor by offering even the least explanation on how they manage public resources
Importantly, asking questions on how public purse is managed is not tantamount to attacking the govt, it does not mean criticisms, neither does it mean that one is against the office holders.
It is rather a matter of Transparency, Open Governance & Constitutional rights of the citizens
The people themselves must realise that they contribute to the development of their society when they ask necessary questions, as such, they mustn’t allow anyone to bulldoze them out of playing their roles
Govt is a creation of law, the offices occupied by those officials are also a creation of law just as the way and manner public resources should be expended/accountability are already decided by the law, it therefore smacks of convenient abdication of responsibility to accept the lucres of public offices without its corresponding responsibilities to the public
We cannot continue having a society of picture-snapping, long-grammar army of youths who look at aesthetics without bothering the opportunity costs that lie therein and expect to be a developed society, instead, we must have a leadership that doesn’t exalt itself above the people and a citizenry that engages their leaders for the sake of the society.
It is nothing personal, it is something general