In democratic governance, power belongs to the people. The people thrust on individuals the authority to represent them in the exercise of power and authority. So, the representatives are answerable to the people on whose behalf they exercise power and authority. This answerability is a feedback to the people on how the individuals exercise the power and authority they hold for the people. That is what is referred to as accountability.
The institution of checks and balances embedded in governance through separation of power among the arms of government is a veritable instrument for accountability of governments to the people, especially in a democratic system as ours. So, the probity of governments is something that is generated through the mechanism of the operations of the arms of government. It is akin to the people having put governments in checks through its own structure and modus operandi.
Part of what the legislature does is the oversight functions. They monitor and probe the activities of government ministries, MDAs and parasitatals through the budgeting and implementation processes. By this, what would have been executive excesses has been pruned and put in checks. The executive also has a way of checking the excesses of the legislature by its power to withhold assent to legislative bills. On its own, the judiciary holds the authority to declare any act of the executive or legislature that is found to violate the powers granted it by the people through the constitution ultra vires, null and void. So, by implication, the accountability of government to the people flows through the barrels of checks and balances occasioned by the separation of power among the three arms of government.
Moments ago, we read on social media some fake report that Ohaneze Ndigbo was mobilizing for one-million-man march against the Ugwuanyi administration on grounds accountability; that the Ugwuanyi administration should prove its accountability to Ohaneze Ndigbo. Such an unheard of kind of a thing, as queer as it is, also sounded funny.
Ohaneze Ndigbo has, however, disowned the report and dismissed it as fake and the handiwork of mischief makers and desperate politicians. Even if Ohaneze did not repudiate that report making the rounds on social media, the Ugwuanyi administration is not accountable to Ohaneze Ndigbo. The administration is rather accountable to the people of Enugu State on whose behalf it exercises the power and rights vested on it by the people. So, such quest for accountability would have been otiose if it had come from Ohaneze Ndigbo. Now that it is clear Ohaneze Ndigbo knows its boundaries and could not have asked for something beyond its rights, are the desperate politicians, said to have been behind such fake news, that daft to raise the question of accountability through a purported one-million- man march when common sense demands that such information can easily be obtained through the state house of assembly whose duty, by oversight, it is to audit the activities of the state government? The house’s Public Accounts Committee headed by Hon. Chinedu Nwamba is up-to-date in the audit of the state’s account and the information about the activities of the state is not withheld from the public. The house also has the duty to monitor the implementation of the budget and anyone who is in doubt as to the state of the budget implementation can obtain such information from the house.
So, it is ludicrous of anyone to moot the idea of casting doubt on the accountability of the Ugwuanyi administration when it is clear the administration has a clean bill of health in that wise. Any Thomas who would want to take a journey on the road to doubt can approach the house of assembly for such information.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has clear evidence of adroitness in prudent financial management, something for which the federal government has acknowledged and spoken about the Ugwuanyi administration in glowing terms. Governor Ugwuanyi is an expert in finance and has brought this financial expertise to bear on the administration of the state’s financial instruments excellently. With the paucity of funds at the disposal of the administration, Governor Ugwuanyi has done wonders in keeping faith with obligations in terms of recurrent and capital expenditure. It beats imaginations how with these financial encumbrances occasioned by COVID-19 and the resultant blighting economic blisters, Governor Ugwuanyi is able to regularly pay salaries and execute the numerous projects strewn all over the 17 local governments of the state, while also maintaining a comparatively low debt profile as can be gleaned from the data as provided by the National Bureau of Statistics.
For the said desperate politicians and their pull-him-down chicanery, let the leopard not pursue the monkey on the heights, for its mother was delivered of it on tree tops. Ugwuanyi is a nonpareil when it comes to finance. Anyone who wants to mouth accountability should visit the house and see for themselves that another name of the Ugwuanyi administration is accountability itself.
Ugwuanyi is an eagle-eyed leader. In his daily run of the state, care is adequately taken to do all things in line with the rules, even little things that could ordinarily have been overlooked. Governor Ugwuanyi is in charge. He does not rule by proxy. He is the true governor of Enugu State. He is people oriented and loved by the people and his government enjoys maximum acceptance by the people of Enugu State.So, let the so-called desperate politicians and mischief makers try something else bound to fail; the red-herring on accountability failed on arrival.
By Reuben Onyishi