Group sensitises Enugu communities on constituency projects, social accountability
By Our Reporter
An Enugu-based non-governmental organisation, Divine Era Development and Social Rights Initiatives on Monday started the sensitisation of communities in the state on constituency project and social accountability.
The programme, which started in Awgu Local Government Area of the state is undertaken under the ‘Strengthening Citizens’ Resistance Against Prevalence of Corruption’ (SCRAP-C) project powered by ActionAid Nigeria.
The Executive Director of the organisation, Ms Ogechukwu Enwelum, said that the project was part of efforts to get members of the rural communities involved in governance.
Enwelum said that the SCRAP-C project was a five-year programme being implemented in six states of the federation, including Enugu State.
She said that in Enugu State, the project would be carried out in six local councils.
The executive director said it was time the people at the grassroots showed concern about the projects executed in their communities by their political representatives at all levels.
She said that it was sad that much money had been expended on constituency projects across the country without commensurate result.
“According to statistics, about N21 billion have been expended on constituency projects in the last three years but we are yet to feel the impact.
“We are, therefore, here to explain to you how to manage our common resources through social accountability.
“Our leaders at all levels must be accountable to us. It is our responsibility to hold them accountable because lack of accountability breeds corruption,” she said.
Enwelum said that the sensitisation campaign was a call for action on the part of the people who would be needed to, henceforth, hold their leaders at all levels accountable.
In a panel of discussion, the traditional ruler of Ngene Ugbo, Igwe Jerome Okeke, said that it had become necessary for the citizens to closely monitor their representatives.
Okeke said that corruption had dealt a big problem in the country, adding that the people at the grassroots who were mostly affected must be encouraged to speak out.
He said that the aloofness by the people even in the face of excruciating hardship was a major boost to the menace.
“Our political representatives must be made to know that they are representing us. We should put our eyes on the ground to monitor what they are doing,” Okeke said.
Also, the traditional ruler of Ihe community, Igwe Goddy Ekoh, said that sycophancy on the part of the masses was one of the major factors that had contributed to lack of accountability by political office holders.
Ekoh said that it was sad that the local government system was no longer working in some areas, unlike in the past, due to the greed of some council chairmen.
Also, the traditional ruler of Enuguoke-Ihe community, Igwe Martin Ibeziakor, said that most state and federal legislators were out of touch with their people as they had no functional constituency offices.
Ibeziakor said that the politicians were only seen during campaigns after which they would retire to their comfort zones.
Wawa News Global reports that the highlight of the event was the inauguration of a seven-member committee that would be monitoring constituency projects in the local government council.