Service Delivery: Union tasks Nigerians to hold leaders accountable
Timothy Choji, Abuja
Nigerians have been advised to ensure that government officials at all levels and those in leadership positions are held accountable for the services they render to citizens.
A veteran Journalist and Public Affairs analyst, Mr Amos Dunia gave the advice in Abuja on Wednesday, at a Town Hall meeting organized by the Federal Capital Territory’s (FCT) Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
According to Dunia, “People must not be afraid or shy to criticise or demand for accountability from their leaders or those in government. An average leader is always uncomfortable when criticized.
“So, the more the people come out to talk about that, the better for the society. The leaders will sit up and do the right thing since they know that the people are watching and will always demand that they do the right thing.”
He added that if leaders are held accountable at all times, corruption and other bad tendencies will be properly checked.
The public commentator stressed that democracy, so far, remains the best form of government and must be sustained.
Corroborating Mr Dunia’s stance, a female analyst and publisher, Kemi Yusuf, noted that democracy remains the best form of government that must be nurtured and sustained by all because it promotes transparency.
She called on Journalists to take advantage of the Freedom of Information Act as they beam their searchlight on the activities of government at all levels, with the aim of ensuring that more democratic dividends are provided for citizens.
Another panellist at the parley, Dr Joseph Ocholi, said the ambitious expectations of the young generation must be properly managed, to sway them away from vices and violence.
“Politicians will always want to take advantage of the youth by using some of them to perpetrate violence. We saw what happened during the EndSARS movement. The youth must always be checked to ensure that they pursue genuine goals and ambition,” he said.
All the panellists were unanimous in their submission that qualified Journalists should be appointed to serve as the Minister of Information or spokespersons of government at all levels in Nigeria.
They stressed that Professionals must be appointed into such positions, not propagandists that cannot perform effectively but hire the services of Journalists to do their work for them.
Earlier in his address of welcome, Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, FCT Council, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, said the forum was organized to remind Journalists of their roles of agenda setters and serving as watchdogs of the society.
“Journalists must rise up to their task and also participate actively in shaping the society in which they live, as well as exercise their franchise during elections,” Ogbeche said.
The NUJ Chairman said similar parleys would be organized from time to time, to keep sensitizing members of the union so as to further equip them for their noble profession.
Participants were drawn from the chapels of the FCT Council of the NUJ and Civil Society Organizations.
The theme for the two-day summit was “Government and Citizens Participation: Making Democracy Work.”