BY PROF PROTUS NATHAN UZORMA#
Accountability should be the watchword of any government that wants to succeed. Yes, the success of any government is his emphasis and practical action on transparency and accountability. Accountability is the product of trust for non can trust, any government whose watch word is bereft of the oil that lubricates success in any given administration-accountability
For any administrator to be successful, such must have planned to be real and sincere with everyone. His plan which is a method of action, procedure or arrangement must be in tandem with his ideas and thoughts which are concrete means of achieving his dreams. As a matter of fact, one of the major problems that have hitherto bedeviled Gov. Rochas admintration could be lack of transparency and accountability.
It takes humility to be transparent and virtue to be accountable. What humility is to virtue is what chain is to rosary. The same applies to transparency and accountability. Remove the chain and the entire bead in the rosary escape. When you take away humility from anybody, all the virtues disappear. At the same time, when transparency is removed from any administration, accountability becomes a problem.
Virtue is a great word which must be allowed to play its part in our political environment. No one can legislate for virtue it comes from within. It was the above that made Socrates to infer, ‘’the shortest and surest way to give with honour in the world, is to be in reality what we would appear to be, and if we observe, we shall find that all human virtues increase and strengthen themselves by the practice and experience of them’’. When Agesilaus the great was asked ‘’Why is it that Sparta is not surrounded by walls?’’ he replied ‘’What makes a city strong is not timber and stone, but its citizen’s virtues.’’
I wish to add that what also makes a city great are good policies put in place by the leader. The virtue of any leader determines how secured the city would be. In the words of Lao Tze, “I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness, the second is frugality the third is humility which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold, be frugal and you can be liberal, avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”
The above is a serious matter as the case of Imo is on the opposite. We have a governor that is not gentle but bold whose words do not radiate reality on ground. In fact, the so called rescue mission of Mr. Rochas has failed Imolites.
Each time I profoundly reflect on the rescue mission of Gov. Rochas Okoroach, one question comes in mind, has Gov. Rochas truly rescued Imo from his assumed bondage in the spirit of honesty, transparency and accountability? The answer I usually get is the result of my series of criticism aimed at giving him proper sense direction. Gov. Rochas has failed in many of his promises to Imolites. He has refused to be humbled to the leadership principles that would have enabled him achieve success and I mean laudable and appreciable success. In the words of Jack Mcalister, “humility is pure honesty.”
To carry a passport of universal esteem, one must be honest. An honest man must be a man of strict integrity. Honesty is to be responsible, transparent and reliable. When you are reliable then what you say to others must be a reality. When you promise a thing, it must be done no matter how hard it may seem. This is integrity in no small measure! When this happens the issue of accountability won’t be a problem if you are a leader. The case of Gov Rochas in not fulfilling his promises is a bugaboo. Dear Gov. Rochas pause a minute if you are reading this article and ask yourself a question of conscience, where are the job, job, job, industry, industry, industry, and factory, factory, factory you promised Imo people in 2015?
It is very unfortunate today that we all live in a society where an honest man suffers most. But there is no doubt honesty pays a lot good. Justice is the very basis of honesty. An honest man has no problem with accountability and transparency if he finds himself in power. King Edward iii (1312-’77) wanted a governess for his children. A Scottish lady of integrity was recommended to him. The king offered her the position. She did not accept his offer. “Royal children need a much more learned person than I am,” she said. The king, however, overruled her saying, “madam, I wish you to accept the position because you are an honest good woman. I can employ others who are possibly better prepared scholastically than you, but I cannot buy honesty”.
Nobody can buy honesty because it is inherent. Recently, the group of Imo based Newspaper publishers asked Gov. Rochas to explain certain actions of his government and to render financial account received by his administration. This call however generated some controversies and few interpreted it differently. I do not see any strange thing about this demand; it’s in line with the ethics and principles of democracy. I think it is very imperative for our governor to realize that Imo people want to know if truly he is transparent and accountable. A lot of money has entered into Imo and we want to know how Gov Rochas used them.
No sincere government should frown at accountability, probity and transparency they are the sinus to proper democracy. As you can recall, not quite long, the Federal Government released about N 13.2 Billion as Paris Club fund outside the N 26.8 Billion bailout found released in 2015. The problem generated by the bailout found is yet to be settled as accusations and counter accusations became the turmoil that is to be settled in the court of law. What we are asking the Governor is to tell us how the N13.2 billion was used. Accountability is not a crime rather lack of same is.
We need to know the projects executed by Gov. Rochas with this money. Even thought we are aware of the fact that most of his projects are substandard and that constructions are going on in our state by some road side bricklayers, oh no, I mean some contractors. It is obvious that some of the constructions going on are meaningless in my opinion. Yes, how can we justify the destruction of people’s properties in already dualized roads in the name of urban renewal? So many of our inter and intra city roads including many of our rural roads are begging for attention. My humble admonition as your unpaid adviser is for you to follow due process in the award of contracts so that accountability and transparency will speak for you whenever EFCC knocks at your door after 2019.
The call for accountability is not a call for threat. Gov Rochas has become richer than he was in 2010/11 through our money. Imo pensioners are gradually dying one after another, 30 percent is been deducted monthly from the salaries of civil servants. Imo people are in hell-fire as a result of bad government. Accountability must be a problem because my people my people has become my business my business. God is watching!