by David Dimas
The findings of the 13-man committee set up to audit staffing in local government areas in Adamawa state are egregious.
It exposes the truth that corruption in Adamawa actually reached a staggering proportion and explains why the lives of people in Adamawa had become inferior when compared to the personal glories of our political leaders and office holders.
Surprisingly enough, the most embarrassing aspect of the situation of corruption in Adamawa and Nigeria in general is presented by an anomic situation in which looters believe they will get away with the act no matter the amount of money involved or the material costs to the society. The Adamawa scenario is one of such cases.
As the news of the “discovery” filtered, certain questions come to mind. Who were the ruling class who turned governance into a profitable business? How long have they been flimflamming the citizens? Will they ever be brought to justice and made to refund the loot?
One will only think that this exposé is enough to generate public pressure and calls for amends to our accountability and performance management system. But, there is very little evidence that the public pays attention to key performance indicators generated from government scorecard.
That is why there is little evidence on the degree to which citizens’ perceptions of the quality of government services correspond to publicly reported details on their actual performance, especially in the context of services provided by all tiers of governments. This needs to change.
Indeed the fraud has been uncovered and may not be solved by report submission and words alone. An operational strategy has to be employed else, the term ‘fighting corruption’ might remain an ineffective jingle.
Moreover, for any society to be successful at curbing corruption the citizens must learn to hold their political leaders as well as office holders accountable and without sentiment reprimand those who choose to violate the positive societal norms.
As renowned Professor Wole Soyinka efficaciously noted “Impunity evolves and becomes integrated in conduct when crime occurs and no legal, logical and moral response is offered.”
With this in mind the Adamawa government should not wait until the treasury is looted before going after the plunderers to see how much the state can recover.
Perhaps, it is time indigenes of Adamawa at home and in the diaspora, knowing the critical challenges corruption poses to economic and social development, come together to pursue this critical cause.
We should not only be interested in who returns looted funds but also much more interested in them facing the full wrath of the law for placing themselves above the established law of a society. Lessons must be learnt.
Meanwhile, Adamawa State foreperson Governor Jibrilla Bindow’s message to state workers yet to get their entitlements was a plea for patience with the process of change and a promise to deliver further on his campaign promises. This process, nonetheless, may appear painful to those on the other end of the chair. But it is imperative to constantly recall that while many states are frustrated with what they see as a long list of broken promises from their leadership hierarchy, we in Adamawa seem to be making ginormous progress in physical development, and ensuring that public resources go towards visible development and securing the general welfare at the grassroots.
Good governance is not just about electoral catchphrase. It is also about how citizens and leaders relate to each other in order to make change happen. It is about service to the public
As it is, the solutions to our social and economic problems lie in the effective and efficient functioning of our united ideology. Attempting to divide citizens along religion and tribe to evade justice will only promote political maladroitness.
This has, over the years, circumscribed our pursuit of good governance and instigated a value of ‘who is in government’ instead of engendering a framework for achieving capable, responsive and amenable government.
Logical conclusion is that we need to do what is necessary to develop our homeland. We need to work towards being stronger tomorrow than we were yesterday. Hopefully, everything will work out for the best interest of our beloved land of beauty.
Author, Inspirational Speaker, Blogger, IT Consultant.
Laurel, Maryland, U.S.A
Twitter handle: @dimas4real