Some traditional rulers in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State have called on politicians in their area to begin to give accounts of their stewardship to the people.
The traditional rulers, Saturday, during a ‘Community Engagement on Cost of Corruption, Constituency Projects and Social Accountability,’ in Enugu,
called on their subjects to begin to scrutinise Federal and state government budgets with a view to holding their representatives accountable.
An Enugu-based non-governmental organisation, Divine Era Development and Social Rights Initiatives (DEDARI), in partnership with ActionAid Nigeria and the support of UKaid, sponsored the engagement.
The traditional ruler of Obofia Awkunanaw autonomous community, Igwe Felix Nwobodo decried the dearth of infrastructure in the area due to poor representation and said that it was time the people of the area stood for their rights and questioned their representatives.
He faulted the process that led to the emergence of some of their representatives, he admitted that, “we, the masses, are partly the cause of the poor representation because we have sold our conscience to the politicians.
“We receive money from them during elections and do their bidding, which is the wrong thing.”
As he flayed the political class for subjecting their people to untold hardship, he said that a well informed people would keep their representatives in check by demanding for their scorecards.
The traditional ruler of Amakpu Agbani autonomous community, Igwe Sampson Nnamani, said that the people of the area could not monitor the execution of projects in their domain without proper information and called on them to begin to show interest in the development of their communities.
The monarch commended some political representatives who were doing well, like “our local government chairman who employed palace guards for all traditional rulers in Nkanu West local government.”
The Executive Director of DEDSRI, Ms Ogechukwu Enwelum, said that the project was part of efforts to get members of the rural communities involved in governance.
She said that the SCRAP-C project was a five-year programme being implemented in six states of the federation, including Enugu, where the project would be carried out in 14 local government areas.
Enwelum tasked the grassroots to show more concern about projects executed in their communities by their representatives at all levels.
She said that it was sad that so much money had been expended on constituency projects across the country without commensurate result.
According to her, “about N21 billion have been expended on constituency projects in the last three years but we are yet to feel the impact.
“Our leaders at all levels must be accountable to us. It is our responsibility to hold them accountable because lack of accountability breeds corruption.”
Enwelum said that the sensitisation campaign was a call for action on the part of the people who would be needed to hold their leaders at all levels accountable.