By Rukayat Adeyemi
A United Kingdom-based Nigerian, Mr Olanrewaju Sharafa, on Sunday advised Nigerians to take ownership of the country through elections, to demand trust and accountability from leaders.
Sharafa, a chartered accountant and Principal Lecturer at Tower College, London, gave the advice in a paper he presented at the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN)-UK & District Society Pre -independence Seminar.
The event held virtually.
It had the theme: “Trust, Integrity and Accountability: The Bedrock of Good Governance For Nation Development”.
Sharafa said that for Nigerians to hold their leaders accountable and build trust in governance, they must get ownership of the nation and dialogue about their future.
The chartered accountant also said that the citizens must renew their commitment to nation-building.
“If you don’t own something , you do not have the power to demand right over it.
“Nigerians need ownership to demand accountability and trust from their leaders, and this can only be guaranteed through their right to vote.
” If a citizen loses his or her right to vote, he or she loses ownership because ownership is the basis of power, and without it, there can be no accountability, ” he said.
According to him, citizens lose their rights to their country’s ownership through vote selling and weak institutions.
Sharafa, also the National Treasurer of the Institute of Corporate and Public Sector Profesionals, added that the citizens should put away their diverse choices and embrace Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said that Nigerians must elect credible leaders.
The lecturer urged civil societies to continue to push for credible elections and strong institutions.
“It is when the citizens take ownership that they can vote credible leaders who will be held accountable and responsible for national development,” he said.
Sharafa also urged chartered accountants to take up roles in the leadership of the nation.
He said that chartered accountants must set the agenda on trust and integrity “because that is the brand they represent”.
“They can lead campaigns towards achieving the SDGs and use their expertise to support local, state and national governments on nation-building agenda.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ICAN-UK & District Society is one of four district societies of ICAN based overseas.
Established in 1988, the District currently has over 550 members in the UK overseen by an elected executive committee. (NAN)