By Uzoma Okafor.
Information Technology and Development (CITAD), an NGO, has urged the electorate to elect credible candidates in the 2019 general election and ensure they hold elected public officers accountable always.
Mrs Maryam Haruna made this known in communiqué issued on Friday by at the end of the centre’s one-day interface forum between political parties and social influencers held in Abuja.
The communiqué said that holding elected public officers accountable at all times was the surest way of fighting corruption in the country.
It decried a situation where successive governments were unable to convert the country’s resources into providing necessary infrastructure and systems needed to support economic development and assure citizens of quality life.
“The story of the war against corruption in many years points to the fact that Nigeria and indeed Africa is faced with major crises of transparency and accountability.
“While both government and citizens agreed about corruption being a key factor in the protracted impoverishment of the citizens, governments too has failed to be accountable to the citizens while citizens have not been successful in holding elected public officers accountable.
“Since accountability is a transactional issue, citizens’ demand for it must be strategic, by incentivising it and dis-incentivising corruption through electoral action that makes duty bearers deliver sincerely on election campaign promises,’’ it added.
The communiqué further emphasised that fighting corruption and promoting accountability was a multi-stakeholder responsibility.
“Everyone is shouldered with a tasked of fighting corruption,’’ it added.
It faulted immunity enjoyed by some political office holders, saying that it inhibits the fight against corruption in the executive arm.
According to it, there are lots of biases in the court of justice too.
It further pointed out that the idea of Nigerians celebrating corrupt officials does not help the efforts to stem corruption.
“Nigerians celebrate and normalise corruption, which explains why politician found to have corruptly enriched themselves are not ashamed to be known for their ignoble acts,’’ it added.
It said that political parties were not left out in some of the corrupt practices.
“There is mismanagement of funds from our political parties.
“The high rate of forms of political parties encourages corruption,’’ it said.
While urging political parties to make forms affordable for all aspiring candidates, the statement canvassed for increased participation of youths and women in politics.
“Many youths are apathetic to political activity as they feel their opinions and votes don’t count.
“Governance should not be left for politicians and the leaders but the people, especially women and youths should participate in governance,’’ the communiqué added.