Wednesday 12 September 2012

NGO trains community leaders, youths

A non-governmental organisation, CLEEN Foundation International, has held a two-day training programme for town union leaders and youths in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
Over 500 trainees turned for the exercise, drawn from all the autonomous communities in the 27 local government areas of the state.
They were taught on how to partner with government in the areas of development and their roles as drivers of development in rural communities.
The conveners sought to bridge the gap between the government and the people, blaming ignorance on the part of the people for poor governance and its attendant consequences. 
In his address, the Head of the Foundation in Owerri, Mr. Ifeanyi Anyanwu, maintained that development of the society by government should not been seen as a charity but as a right of the people, noting that, “a situation where the government fails to provide basic amenities for the people, where it fails to create employment, the only option left is for the people to resort to self help, which often times lead them to crime”.
Anyanwu said that government will be ac countable to the people if they have the right attitude to development, “a situation where then people does not know their rights and obligations, government may not be accountable to the people and this has greatly impaired the delivery of democracy dividends in the Southeast. This training therefore is to prepare the town union leaders to teach their people at the grassroots on their rights to good services and governance”.
Blaming poor governance and leadership failure for the mounting insecurity and abject poverty ravaging the states in the Southeast region, Anyanwu, noted that, “a situation where government fails to meet its obligation to the people can become bedrock of crime and apathy to the activities of government”.
According to him, the near collapse of the industrial sector in the zone, occasioned by bad governance, has resulted to high level of unemployment with its attendant challenges, noting that if government provides an enabling environment through the right policies hinged on accountability, the temptation to take to crime by the youths will be drastically reduced.
The Foundation also blamed ignorance on the part of the people for the poor economic and social state of the zone, saying that, “this training therefore is aimed at broadening our knowledge of Right-based approach for adoption as a tool in promoting good governance in the Southeast and Nigeria at large”.
In his presentation, the Chairman of  Association of  Indigenous Imo Town Unions, Chief Emeka Diwe, disclosed  that the collective input of the people through various organized communities, in the development of the zone, far outweighs that of the government especially at the rural a, which forms more than 80 % of the Igbo population and land mass.
He said that the developmental consciousness among the Igbos has tremendously helped in laying a solid foundation for the government to actualize its development objective but lamented that government has failed to take advantage of the situation.
Diwe however maintained that the people should recognize and appreciate what their demands and right are to be in a position to hold the government accountable to them, stressing that the Right-based approach will identify and recognize the people’s need, culture, tradition and value system to drive development.
Speaking at the end of the training, some of the participants, commended the NGO for the initiative, stating that they have been exposed to right-based attitude that will assist them in demanding their rights from government and educating their people on adopting the right approach to governance.

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