One of the greatest challenges militating against our democracy which has been identified is the issue of the led not holding their leaders to account. This has created multifarious problems, 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.
Every process ought to have 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 deliberately circumvented 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 eye brow.
I think 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.
The seeming everlasting oil revenue has indulged us into wasteful and unnecessary spending but the experiences of the moment appear to be awakening our consciousness to prudent management. Lack of accountability is more pronounced in the public sector where politicians hold sway than in the private sector.
The managers of businesses in the private sector know 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 produce the desired results.
This is unlike the politicians who owe their loyalty to a certain god father or the millions they injected to win election. The perception that government business is no man’s business holds sway and greatly influences virtually every business activity in the public sector.
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 lack have continued to embarrass us even with the various changes experienced in leadership.
The process of throwing up the leadership is even faulty and so the system itself cannot give what it does not have. Bad leadership manifests in the form of corruption, election rigging, mediocrity, nepotism, and other forms of negative indices. The depth and magnitude of bad leadership which manifests at all levels of governance in all aspects of our national life is exemplified by the fact that each succeeding administration in the country’s affairs has never fared better than the government it succeeded. There could be very few exceptions though.
A factor that plays out which impedes the idea of accountability is the perception the masses hold of our leaders and also the perception of the leaders against the electorates. In the advanced societies, leadership roles are seen as opportunities to serve and do great things for one’s fatherland. Here it is opportunity to serve ourselves and jettison others.
Worst, the people view the leaders as a privileged class that must be worshipped and revered, who must never be questioned even when it is clear they are stealing us blind. People are scared that they would be denied their dues if they ask questions so they choose to recoil into themselves forgetting that their children will suffer the consequences of their inaction tomorrow.
In like manner the so called leaders also view the electorates as a conquered people who should not question their activities but accept what they see because they hold the knife and the yam and can only give to whoever they wish.
We are in the first half of the four year tenure.
News Echo wishes to remind the electorates that it is time they begin to question the stewardship of their leaders at whatever level. They must not wait until another election knocks at the door. The leaders too should search their consciences if they are meeting the expectations of their people.
People should begin to ask questions and challenge unpopular policies of the government. Sadly, the activities of civil society groups and human rights activists have shrinked considerably. It is time we take our destiny in our hands. However the 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.