Citizens’ Engagement Vital to Addressing Non-Performance in Government – Expert
The immediate past Chairman of Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, Hon. Olukayode Idowu, has advocated active citizens’ engagement as panacea for non-performance by political office holders.
Hon. Idowu, who was the Guest Speaker at a recent Town and Gown seminar of the Department of Political Science and International Relations of Covenant University, where he delivered a lecture titled, ‘Non-Performance of Political Office Holders in Nigeria: Whose Fault?’, said that active citizens’ engagement has the capacity to hold the political class accountable.
He stated that the constituent elements must be robustly engaged from the early stage of canvassing for votes, adding that the citizens must ensure that there is an accord between them and aspirants, stating achievable and measurable goals from the onset, so as to determine failure or performance.
Uncertainty over tenure or financial security of political office holders, Hon. Idowu argued, has contributed to self-aggrandizement, with devastating effect on performances across various sectors of the nation’s economy.
He challenged members of the public to wake up and lead the change towards ensuring that the political class becomes accountable to them, “because the political change must begin with the electorate”.
The Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero commended the guest speaker for the presentation while acknowledging that there is a dearth in citizens engagement, especially as it relates to doing due diligence on who they are electing into political office and holding them accountable to electoral promises.
Professor Atayero said that the Chancellor of Covenant University, Dr. David O. Oyedepo, understood leadership to be the bane of the continent’s development, which informed the establishment of the University to redress the scourge that has been a clog in the wheel of political, economic and social development.
“I do hope that with the interaction taking place through programmes like this, Department of Political Science and International Relations will help create and mould characters that will be true to their promises and positively affect the political landscape of Nigeria, towards enhancing good governance,” the Vice-Chancellor added.
The Dean, College of Leadership and Development Studies, Professor Charles Ogbulogo, in his remarks, said that situating programmes within the purview of addressing national challenges motivated the commencement of the University’s ‘Town and Gown’ seminar series. He stated that the dexterity of speakers at previous seminars have consistently enriched the base of study in the University. He posited that the topic came at a time when there is a profound deficiency in developmental and patriotic leadership in the nation.
The Head, Department of Political Science and International Relations, Dr. Oluyemi Fayomi, had earlier told the audience to expect not just a stimulating lecture, but a thought-provoking one toward bringing about a radical change in the society.
Also contributing at the event, a postgraduate student noted that the much sought-after change in Nigeria must begin with the electorate and the entire populace in general. According to her, there is something in every Nigerian that can be harnessed to address the question of non-performance by political office holders.