One of the issues which have stood out as a big minus in the practice of our democracy is the factor of accountability. This is clearly lacking in our polity and to a greater degree is the reason that our public officials are so reckless in the management of public affairs. It is also a critical factor why corruption has festered, taken deep root to become the monster that it is today in our land.
The matter of accountability is enshrined in our administrative process and is so much trumpeted even by politicians seeking public office but they are observed more in the breach than in action. This perhaps is the reason feathers appear to be ruffled each time there is an attempt by a succeeding administration to probe the government it has succeeded.
There are so many benefits that accrue when an outgone government is called upon to account for its performance, especially when the people are perceived to have been grossly short changed. In the first place there is possibility of recovery of looted funds. The punishment that follows acts as a deterrent. Besides, public officers get the message that they can be called upon at any time to account for their performance.
It is on account of this that the Edge Express does not find anything wrong in the current imbroglio between the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) government led by senator Hope Uzodinma and the opposition People’s Democratic Party, over the issue of probe of the past government.
The noise the issue has generated is uncalled for as both the past and present governments held and are holding the government in trust for the people. The ultimate beneficiaries of any probe action are still the people as it is bound to provide corrective measures in governance. We would, therefore, urge all those whose attention is required to account for their performance to submit themselves to the rule of law.
However, having said that, we would also like to caution that the ruling government should not use any such opportunity to witch hunt political opponents for the purpose of tarnishing their image in order to lower their reputation in the eyes of right thinking persons of society. Any probe activities we insist must be transparently and openly done to the conviction of all that there is no intended ulterior motive.
Edge Express frowns seriously at the current level of altercations, accusations and counter accusations including court actions which not only dissipate the energy of the actors but also amounts to a distraction to the ruling government.
When there is accountability there is the likelihood that things will be done much more transparently. And when this is the case we are likely to stem corruption. Today the activities of government are not transparent. Everything is done under cover. The people for whom government activities are meant for are not given the opportunity to know or make input on issues concerning them. If a government keeps its activities open there is the likelihood that operators are likely to conduct themselves with a high degree of integrity and the need for probe of any government either now or in the future will be vitiated. Probe is the result we have when a government refuses to keep its book open.