By Emmanuel Acha
Enugu – Some traditional rulers in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State want politicians from the area to begin to give accounts of their stewardship.
The monarchs also called on their subjects to begin to scrutinise Federal and state government budgets with a view to holding their representatives accountable.
The monarchs disclosed this on Saturday in Enugu during a ‘Community Engagement on Cost of Corruption, Constituency Projects and Social Accountability’.
The engagement was sponsored by an Enugu-based non-governmental organisation, called Divine Era Development and Social Rights Initiatives (DEDSRI), in partnership with ActionAid Nigeria and the support of UKaid.
The traditional ruler of Obofia Awkunanaw Autonomous Community, Igwe Felix Nwobodo, said that it was time the people of the area stood for their rights by asking their representatives questions .
Nwobodo decried the dearth of infrastructure in the area which he blamed on poor representation.
The monarch, who faulted the process that led to the emergence of some of their representatives, carpeted the political class for subjecting their people to untold hardship.
“We, the masses, are partly the course of the poor representation because we have sold our conscience to the politicians.
“We receive money from them during elections and do the wrong thing,” he said.
He said that the foregoing could only result to joblessness “as you cannot eat your cake and have it.”
Nwobodo however, said that a well informed people would keep their representatives in check by demanding for their scorecards.
Also, the traditional ruler of Amakpu Agbani Autonomous Community, Igwe Sampson Nnamani, said that the people of the area could not monitor execution of projects in their domain without proper information.
Nnamani called on them to begin to show interest in the development of their communities.
The monarch said that though some of their political representatives were not doing well but others were trying their best.
“For instance, our local government chairman employed palace guards for all traditional rulers in Nkanu West local government,” Nnamani said.
Earlier, 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.
Enwelum said that the SCRAP-C project was a five-year programme being implemented in six states of the federation, including Enugu state.
She said that in the state, the project would be carried out in 14 local government councils.
The executive director said it was time people at the grassroots showed concern about projects executed in their communities by their political representatives at all levels.
She said that it was sad that much money had been expended on constituency projects across the country without commensurate result.
“According to statistics, about N21 billion have been expended on constituency projects in the last three years but we are yet to feel the impact.
“We are, therefore, here to explain to you how to manage our common resources through social accountability.
“Our leaders at all levels must be accountable to us. It is our responsibility to hold them accountable because lack of accountability breeds corruption,” she said.
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.