From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
A group under the aegis of Women and Family Advancement Initiative (WAFAI), a non-governmental organisation in Anambra State has identified bad governance at the grassroots as a contributing factor to Nigeria’s socio-political and economic challenges.
Founder of the NGO, Dr Francisca Obi made the assertion at its South East inauguration and induction of Ambassadors into the WAFAI Grassroots Foundation, on Sunday in Awka
The programme which attracted people from five States of the South East had the theme: ‘Advocacy for Good Leadership and Grassroots Development’.
Mrs Obi said that Nigeria was blessed with rich human and natural resources that would be enough to cater for its population.
She noted that the country’s resources were mismanaged due to bad leadership and poor governance, especially at the grassroots level which she insisted was why the nation was facing lots of challenges.
She said: “The rural folks that constitute significant segment of the country’s population live in abject poverty and are neglected in terms of socio-economic and political wellbeing.
“Good leadership and governance is about the upliftment and development of those at the grassroots. If this is not achieved, there will be socio-economic challenges.
“Poverty and unemployment are on the rise and this is fueling crimes and insecurity in our society.
“At WaFAI, we recognise that government alone cannot solve these problems which is why since 2009, we have been carrying out empowerment projects in about five States. Now we are in Anambra to do same.
“The goal of the foundation is to promote good governance through community response services aimed at supporting grassroots development and better the lives of citizens.
“We equally advocate against crimes and social vices, corruption and election malpractice, especially as we prepare for the governorship election in Anambra come November.
In his keynote address, Prof. Samuel Ezeanyika of the Department of Political Science, Imo State University, Owerri, said that achieving good leadership and grassroots development required intensified advocacy.
He is of the opinion that there is the need to increase advocacy and re-orientation of the people especially at the grassroots to vote for accountable leaders who would make them feel the presence of government.
Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Professor Lilian Orogbu in her remarks urged electorate to start looking out for credible leaders who would implement good policies, ahead of the November 6, governorship poll.
According to Orogbu, Anambra needed a leader who would understand that the purpose of leadership is to protect and empower the citizen.
In his address, the State Chairman of WAFAI, Mr Paul-Chuks Umenduka said that the programme was an interface with the public, private sector and community leaders towards building a better society.
He said that the organisation had successfully engaged in civic re-orientation, advocacy for the girl-child, women and children welfare, business and leadership training and empowerment since its inception in 2009.