When harbingers of societal development such as poor accountability, arbitrariness, corruption, and negligence are fed fat, socio-economic progress involuntarily suffers.
It is perhaps cliche but imperative to say that the leadership of any given society either makes or mars it. In essence, the progress and advancement of a community, to a large extent, rests on the shoulders of a selected few who are either elected or appointed to lead them. Therefore, it takes the semblance of fraud, falsehood and outright deception, when votes and political appointments exchange hands with corruption and total insensitivity to the plight of the people; trading places with Commitment, Transparency, Character and Accountability.
This is the situation suffered by the people of Ikot Idem Udo of Onna Local Government Area and Idong Iniang of Eket Local Government Area, both in Akwa Ibom State. These communities are currently denied access to clean water, fencing and staff quarters projects which should have been implemented by the Saving One Million Lives Programme for Result (SOMLP4R) of Akwa Ibom State Ministry of Health. The non-existence of these public services is a reminder that government seats and coffers are being infiltrated by Nigerians who do not mean well for Nigerians and Nigeria.
Ikot Idem Udo has a population of about 8,000 people while Idong Iniang has a population of 18,977 people. Both communities have been subjected to untold hardship in accessing basic healthcare. Sadly, their health needs are hinged on one Primary Healthcare Centre each; marred by huge inadequacies regarding, medical equipment and Instruments, drugs and WASH facilities.
For a truth, many Nigerians, especially grassroots rural dwellers, have been marginalised and their rights trampled on by a few who continue to swindle funds appropriated for development projects in these communities. The world is watching, more importantly, the International Communities are providing aid as a gesture to put out the enraging inferno that the Nigerian populace have had to endure for so long. However, meaningful impact cannot be quantified when officials, aided by greed, mental backwardness and myopic thinking, hijack the funds and get away without any penalty.
Good health is good for all, and to be candid, not much of it can be achieved when health workers are denied access to medical supplies and equipment, compelling them to work under harsh conditions in negation to professionalism.
It was Pericles, a prominent and influential Greek Statesman and famous Orator, who once remarked that: “What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the hearts of others.” Translated thus, your good works are your legacy. Hence, when you are in a position to impact the lives of people, do so.
By and large, for a community to grow in good health, develop and advance, its leadership, at all levels, must embrace Commitment, Accountability and Transparency. Only then, will progress find root in the society.
One can only hope that after a long and tortuous wait, the people of Ikot Idem Udo who only received a bore hole facility due to a tremendous follow up by CODE’s Follow The Money team and Idong Iniang in Akwa Ibom State, finally find relief and comfort.