The Network for Justice, a Human and Consumer Rights Association, has mobilised 171 persons on sustain efforts toward good governance and anti-corruption fight in Bunkari and Maikulki villages in Binji local government area of Sokoto state.
Speaking at an interactive sessions on Wednesday, the Programme Coordinator, Mr Aminu Sule, said that the Non-governmental organisation (NGO) was established in 1994 with operations in Kano and Kaduna states and now covering other northern states.
Sule said the association aimed at creating more awareness for communities to demand action on fight against corruption and good governance, human right abuses, consumer protections among others in Nigerian communiites.
He expressed optimism that the effort would raise increased public hopes and aspirations where the public could understand the dangers of maladministration which retarded nation’s growth and development.
The Resource Person, Dr Yahaya Tanko-Baba, Head of Political Science Department, Usman Dan-Fodio University, Sokoto (UDUS) said research showed that democratic system of government was suitable to all nations.
Tanko-Baba said that different nations practice democratic governance because it allows members of the public the freedom to vote leaders of their choice.
He, however, said after electioneering campaigns, voting and declaration of election winners, the real democratic challenge began, because leaders are expected to be accountable of their actions.
He said members of the public through chains of programmes are also expected to keep track of campaign promises, budgetary allocations, projects execution and their quality to ensure good governance.
He also explained that corruption has become a major impediment to nation’s growth, stressing that fighting it should be the responsibility of all not only government organs.
He noted that struggle against corruption on individual basis; groups and other joint efforts remained the only solution that would ensure success.
He said government officials are not the only persons engaging in corruption as it is also being perpetrated by family members, traders, teachers, farmers and associations when they short- change each party to gain unnecessary favours.
He called for intensifying efforts on inculcation of right attitudes to children and complete attitudinal change among Nigerians from the grassroots to higher level.
The Sole Administrator of Binji local government area, Alhaji Muhammadu Wadata, described the programme as timely in recognition of importance of the struggle against corruption in the country.
Wadata blamed some electorates for engaging in excessive demands from political leaders which distracted their attention on purposeful leadership and delivery of dividends of democracy.
”A salary of political office holder could be expended within two days because of the enormous monetary pressure from such demands and they were mainly on personal needs.
”Such demands can lead them to engage in shoddy deals to satisfy people’s demands,” Wadata said.
In his contribution, one of the participants, Malam Suleiman Nabello, emphasised the need for Nigerians to change their attitude in the conduct of their daily activities as a transitory stage to fighting corruption.
Nabello urged electorates to stop celebrating political office holders who are enriching themselves with public resources.
Another participant, Alhaji Altine Gidan-Buji, advocated for the establishment of branches of Network for Justice at ward levels in order to facilitate more public enlightenment on the ills of corruption and importance of good governance.
Malam Mujitaba Babi, a youth leader, commended the organisation for its efforts in fighting corruption.
Babi noted that the youths suffered neglect in the area of employment, alleging that some individuals are denying indigenes of the area chances of employment provided by both state and federal governments where they collected monetary inducement to allocate appointments to non indigenes.
Malam Abdullahi Maigado da Katifa, regretted the attitude of some political office holders who after winning election failed to live up to the expectation on executing viable projects.
Maigado da Katifa cited example of his community Maikulki which was without electricity for four years in spite of several complains and community efforts.
Malam Ibrahim Lumo-Maikulki, advocated for establishment of independent anti graft agencies that would be saddled with responsibility of fighting corruption.
Malama Inno Alhaji Aliyu and Fatima Abdulhamid said they gained a lot from the outreach on importance of good governance and assured to join hands with men in the struggle towards improving the wellbeing of citizens.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the separate events attracted 82 and 89 participants from Bunkari and Maikulki communities respectively.
Participants comprised women, youths, traditional and religious leaders, school teachers, traders as well as members of community-based associations. (NAN)