‘Citizens’ Participation Necessary To Solve Nigeria’s Security Challenges’
A socio-political group, Enugu State Citizens for Equity and Good Governance (ESCSEG), has advocated citizen’s participation in governance as a panacea to solving the security challenges plaguing the country.
State Coordinator of the group, Comrade Onyendozi E. Onwe, stated this Friday in Enugu during the official opening of the state office/inauguration of the state executive.
He noted that societal challenges such as armed robbery, kidnapping, terrorism, economic sabotage and vandalism were caused by bad governance, adding however that they could be checkmated with increased participation in the democratic process.
“The direct participation of citizens in the governance process remains a panacea. When citizens feel that development activities performed by the government is for them, it means the work performed by the government is people-oriented,” he asserted.
Onwe also added that the current security challenges across the country were traceable to decades of negligence and bad governance by successive governments at all levels.
“Almost all the ethnic nationalities in Nigeria are agitating for one thing or the other at this time. This is hinged on poor governance. Poor governance is increasingly regarded as one of the causes of societal ills. In the midst of this, the citizen remains at the receiving end. This is as a result of a disconnect between the governed and the government,” he said.
To close the gap existing between the government and the governed, he stated that the ESCSEG has adopted a ‘Citizen Empowerment through Advocacy’ approach aimed at mobilising and sensitising the citizenry on activities of government.
“We have also set up bottom-top continuous voter’s registration sensitisation committee since last month to ensure that our people are well informed on the need to have their voter’s card to enable them to participate in choosing who leads them in future elections.
“To us at ESCSEG, we believe that when citizens are well involved in governance, it helps to compliment government roles, taking ownership of government programmes and projects within their localities and ensuring its sustainability. This will greatly reduce vandalism, theft and other economic related sabotage by the citizens,” he added.
Onwe said that in the drive to promote good governance in Enugu State, the group has initiated discussion with three civil society organisations to convoke a summit on “The Role of Citizens in Good Governance”.
“I believe the greatest expression of faith in our ability is to be strong enough to look upon our imperfections and decide that it is in our power to remake our society in line with the highest ideals. This is the time! We, therefore, solicit for your partnership, our distinguished guests, as we work for a society where the citizens will take ownership of government policies/programmes or projects and government at the same time understands that power truly belongs to the people,” he noted.