Holding leadership to account

Coat of Arms

One of the issues seriously impeding the benefits of democratic practices in Nigeria is the challenge of the electorates in getting leadership to account for its stewardship. The lack of accountability as it is experienced in advanced democracies is the reason it appears that our democracy is not adding value to the life of the people. Accountability is supposed to operate as the control factor which absence creates a situation of chaos and disregard for the people.
Lack of accountability has created a multifarious problem the greatest of which is corruption. When leaders feel that they are not accountable to anybody or would not be challenged to account for their leadership they run riot against all. Sadly, we run a system where there is a mass of illiterates, few unconcerned enlightened fellows, docile and nonchalant masses against wild, voracious, corrupt, thieving public officials.
Appropriately, there is supposed to be entrenched in every process an inbuilt mechanism that is supposed to ensure control and protect the system from collapse. All of these are found in our establishments but in reality, they are circumvented deliberately or made to fail by human effort. All of these human contrivances occur because the perpetrators are certain that they can do this without consequences since no one would raise an eyebrow.
Edge Express observes that it is a cultural thing that we do not get our public officers to account for their performance in office. Even at the domestic level how many of us as parents get our children to account for their performances in school or for the bills that we pay. We either think it is unnecessary or feign lack of time. We are more negligent over this especially when we have an abundance of resources and there is a surplus to fall back on if wastes occur. This is exactly the case with us as a nation.
The seeming everlasting oil revenue indulges us into wasteful and unnecessary spending but the experiences of the moment appear to be awakening our consciousness to prudent management. No matter how much we preach or pretend it, lack of accountability and transparency is more pronounced in the public than in the private sector.
The managers of business in the private sector knows they will account to those who have injected their resources and since their successes determine their growth, stay or withdrawal in the organization they get more committed to producing the desired results.
This is unlike the politicians who owe their loyalty to a certain godfather or the millions they injected to win an election. The perception that government business is no man’s business holds sway and greatly influences virtually every business activity in the public sector. Some years ago, one of Nigeria’s prolific writers and author of ‘Things Fall Apart’, the legendary Chinua Achebe of blessed memory had earlier dimensioned Nigeria’s problem as belonging to the realm of bad leadership.
Providing the right leadership remains a basic and critical tool in the management of the affairs of men. The leader is like the head of the body. It is said that when the head is sick every other part of the body is also deceased. This is typical of the scene playing out in the affairs of Nigeria. We have never gotten it right in this area and this is the reason poverty and lacks have continued to embarrass us even with the various changes experienced in leadership.
Edge Express wishes to express its grave concern over the recent revealed monumental corruption unearthed from the Niger Delta Development Corporation (NDDC) probe. It makes a mockery of leadership integrity and a wake-up call for the electorates to begin to hold leadership accountable. Politicians have continued to prove that they remain the enemies of this country judging by the manner they have run public office.
People should begin to ask questions and challenge the unpopular policies of the government. Sadly, the activities of civil society groups and human rights activists have reduced considerably. It is time we take our destiny in our hands. However, society turns out is entirely our own making. The docile masses should wake from their slumber and roar against the thieving politicians and they would flee.

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