According to Wikipedia, “political stability is when a politician makes choices on behalf of the people and the people have the ability to reward or sanction the politician. In representative democracies citizens delegate power to elected officials through periodic elections in order to represent or act in their interest”.
Indeed, an accountable government is a government which is answerable or which is required to justify its actions or decisions before the people at any time. It is answerable to them and gives them the account of its stewardship sincerely. That is the beauty of democracy and that is the podium on which democracy is hinged.
It is the bedrocks of democracy as well as the lubricant through which democracy revolves. That the people are told the truth always makes them believe they are secured and feel the impact of government. They are also satisfied that they are part of governance and so work cooperatively.
Against this backdrop, it is pertinent to state that it is equally the constitutional duty of journalists as the watchdogs of the society to hold public officeholders accountable to the people. The duties of journalists have gone beyond the clichés of educating, informing and entertaining the society.
Journalists are now change agents. They point to the transgressions or benignity of politicians. They alert the public on the misdemeanor of an officeholder. Wikipedia says “journalists write and assemble together news stories that will interest their audience. By gathering together a number of different sources and ensuring that all the arguments are represented, they keep their audience abreast of events in their world”.
But the job is much more beyond that. These days, journalists point the way forward for politicians and elected officeholders, telling them in their faces where they have done well and where they have erred.
This is what thewitness magazine has elected to do henceforth as the 2023 general elections come on. This online magazine will henceforth visit randomly every project of any Elected/Appointed officials of Nigeria, particularly those in Abia State in a tasking assignment tagged “Operation See Projects (OSP)”.
Our Reporters working under the OSP will inform our readers what actually is on ground pertaining to governance through the reports. However, due to some obvious reasons, those involved may not be contacted. The interviewers will only go to the people, the beneficiaries of the projects and seek their opinions and as well evaluate the project/agency.
The aim is to gauge the opinion and ascertain the assessment of the people supposedly enjoying project/projects and then evaluate the project/projects visa vis-à-vis their impact on the supposed beneficiaries including the benefitting community. For some reasons, the exposé will be in words and of course in pictures as our team of Reporters is independent and is off from any side, camp, interest, faction, biases etc.
The public officeholders’ ratings in the performance index will show whether they deserve reelection or should be kept on the wayside for better candidate. Those who are serving out their terms whether they should red-flagged by the people who should mark them out as individuals not deserving of any public office again. Such people should be rejected whenever they present a proxy.
The performance of an officeholder who attracted project to the people will also be brought to the centre stage. Other players/architects of any amenity attracted/executed/presided over may not also be contacted to conceptualize the vision of the project to avoid manipulation. His/her views will only be sought on a special occasion.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.