Political office holders in Nigeria have been urged to maintain stronger ties with the electorate, as a means of promoting democratic values and enhancing sustainable development in the country.
This was part of the resolutions reached by stakeholders at the end of a two day Good goverance forum Organised by AA Peace Work, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), in Gokana and Abua/Odual Local Government Areas, of Rivers State recently.
Stakeholders in the two local government areas, decried the lack of accessibility to their political leaders, describing it as the bane of development in the LGAs.
Stakeholders also demanded that budgetary estimates should be made clear to the people, while the process of governance should be consultative- based.
One of the participants at the forum, Mrs Gladys Agbara called for a strategic development plan on yearly basis for the local governments, with full participation of the people in the process of monitoring and implementation of the progammes.
The forum further canvassed post election reconciliation plans, among the various political parties and interest groups to enhance an all inclusive governance.
In her remark, the Executive Director of the NGO, Dr Judith Asunu, said the aim of the programme was, “to enhance collaboration between government and civil society in the Niger Delta in order to improve governance and transparency in the region, and by so doing, improve the delivery of basic services critical to the reduction of poverty”
She said the programme was also inended, “to create a platform in the LGAs for positive dialoque between communities and council officials on issues of development”
Dr Asunu commended the high turn out of participants at the forum.
The Chairman of Gokana Local Governemnt Area, Hon Ledee Deemua, thanked the NGO for its initiative, noting that the programme had helped to build his vision on integrated rural development, and pledged that his government would always consult regularly.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Abua/Odual LGA, Hon Udi Odum, reiterated his commitment to the development of the LGA, and solicited the support of the people.
The chairman who was represented by his press secretary also thanked the NGO for choosing Abua/Odual as one of the LGAs for the good governance forum.
The African Representative, living Earth Foundation, an international NGO, Dr Macaulay Olagolice, also described the good governance forum as a veritable platform that would build trust between the government and the people, and fast- track development in the Niger Delta.