Thursday, December 9

Stop complaining, hold government accountable – YIAGA tells electorates

By: Awesome Ekene

An independent election observer group, Yiaga Africa has expressed worry over increasing voter apathy that had characterized elections in Anambra state.

Board member of the group, Ezenwa Nwagwu stated this on Tuesday in Awka during a post-election reflection meeting with leaders of Civil Society Organizations.

He said the ugly trend was not necessarily ocasioned by insecurity that had always heralded elections in the past, but growing disconnect between the government and the masses.

He however said such gaps could only be bridged when the citizens learn to hold the government accountable to ensure better and quality governance.

He said, “Election is over, now we have to watch governance and the only way to do that is to clearly design pathways through which we can hold the government accountable.

“One of the ways is for the citizens to engage the government with budget process. Government every year estimates what it uses the people’s resources to do for them.

“Unfortunately, the people involved don’t show any interest, and four years later, the same people will start complaining that government has failed, even when there was nothing to track.

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“We need to see how the Media and Civil Society groups can collaborate and produce what I call a citizen charter demand that they can hand over to the new Governor-elect.

“They can liaise with other professional bodies to conduct infrastructural assessment in the state and use that as a document to organize a town hall meeting to engage government officials.”

Nwagwu further identified what he termed fear and complain industries as major impediments to the growth and development of the state, insisting that the duo factors must be shut to enable people of the state enjoy democracy dividends.

“We need to close up the two industries of fear and complain that has gripped the state, especially after the election so people can leverage the benefits of governance.

“If we continue with this scare-mongering and complains, we’ll only succeed in having few persons taking over the government and dictating the pace,” he added.

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