by Usman Alabi
Accountability is also a core characteristic of democracy, it is an essential item that cannot be overemphasized in the discourse of democratic rule.
People elected as leaders in a democratic dispensation are expected to give account of the resources placed at their disposal; these resources are considered to be the commonwealth of all and not that of the people elected into leadership. It is then expected that governors should give a complete account of how these resources were used to those that elected them (The governed).
This however cannot be said of our governors in Nigeria, only very few political office holders consider it a responsibility to give detailed account of their times in office. In recent times, only few governors give full account of the budget they set out to achieve at the beginning of the year, very few of these governors give a line by line account of their budget, projects they were able to implement, those they were not able to implement, why such projects were not being implemented, what happened to the funds allocated to those projects. The debts incur in the course of the administration and so on.
When it comes to accountability, it is the right of the governed to know, but their political leaders because of their shady deals only reveal information in part or take advantage of the fact that these people do not care and most times do not demand for accountability.
It is so amazing that at the end of a fiscal year, the governors’ main reason for going back to their state assemblies is not to account for the immediate past budget but to present and seek approval for the next fiscal year’s budget. It is not normal for you to see a political office holder set out a date to give a comprehensive account of his budget.
Accountability is nothing but a myth in Nigeria thanks to our leaders. Something that was meant to be a duty to the governed has now become a choice. What happened to the billions of naira allocated for budgets in all the states of the federation, what happened to all the projects that are in the budget but were not executed, what happened to the five flyovers in Ogun state that has their own allocation but yet to be completed after two years, what happened to the world bank abandoned projects in Lagos state, the ecological funds projects and others.
The core of the matter is these guys do not give a damn about accountability because we also do not care, we do not ask questions, we don’t demand accountability and then they keep taking us for granted. We would not get accountable leaders if we do not put a stop to their pretence and hypocrisy when it comes to issues such as this. We would not get accountable leaders if we do not stop that attitude of being awed by what is supposed to be their responsibility to the people.
Accountability would continue to be a myth if we keep moving on at every irresponsibility of government because eventually, the people deserve the kind of leaders they get.