Town Hall Meetings As A Strategic Strategic Accountability Tool

BY MONDAY UWAGWU WHEN, in the medieval-era
Europe, the Greeks led the
way in the global search for
a more amenable leadership format,
they opted for public meetings at
which, in their city states, they held
public talks on the issues that concern
them for the day, and perhaps, far into
their future.
In Athens, Thessalonica and other
parts of the emerging Greek Nation
at that time, these open debates/talks
were a regular feature, and almost all
issues that bothered the citizens were
up for no-holds barred discussion. As
expected, many of the issues proved
quite cantankerous and definitely
divisive in actual and constructive
senses, hence decisions on them took
much longer time to arrive at, after
painstaking discussions. Others, being
far less divisive, were readily thrashed
out and hung up for implementation
by the relevant stakeholders of the
emerging nation.
Obviously, the Greek experience of
the type in reference, took place in the
far-flung medieval era, when, as is evident,
the variables were not exactly as
they are in our contemporary times.
For instance, while the Greek City
States were by far smaller-geographically-
speaking-than our modern-era
states (Delta State, in comparison, for
instance), it can also be argued, with
an appreciable tinge of reasonableness,
that the societies of today, on the
scale of objective comparison, are far
more complex than their medieval-era
counterparts, in spite of the profuse
existence of science and its producttechnology-
that should, on the basis
of their ubiquitous application, help
bridge the communication difficulties
that spring from the complexity.
However, while there is no doubting
the marked difference in the nature and profile of the contemporary and
medieval-era societies, there exists one
fact that can only be denied at great cost
to the truth and clear conscience. That is
the fact that, differences apart, the import
of the medieval-era activities of the small
Greek City States reverberate in today’s
world with resonating timbre. The proofs?
Well, without an iota of doubt, the political
and administrative culture of the
City States have given birth to a healthy
child in today’s world-the western –style
democratic module, and its ancillary, the
accountability culture. That accountability
culture, in the case of Delta State, has
found equitable equivalence in our own
version of open talkshops-more appropriately
called town hall meetings.
Today, just as in the medieval-era, town
hall meetings offer the exact opportunities
that the open talkshops of the medievalera
Greeks did.
So, with effect from Tuesday, May 9,
2017, the entourage of the Governor of
Delta State, Senator (Dr)Ifeanyi Okowa,
will hit the road in the fulfilment of one
of the golden and inviolable tenets of
modern responsive and responsible leadership
– stewardship and the necessity to
account to the people, the very sovereign,
in the name of the mandate they bestowed
on him in the 2015 gubernatorial poll
in the state and to explain to them, in
clear, transparent terms, how, in spite of
the humongous effects of the prevailing
gargantuan economic recession, he has
kept faith with the import of his SMART
Agenda, with critical regard to the costefficient
delivery of projects and services
to all stakeholders in the endearing Delta
Yes; in doing so, the governor, realising,
as it is said, that constructive criticism is
advice freely offered, will seek to have a
heart-felt no holds-barred dialogue with
the people, at which he would eke out the
import of their pulse for deployment in
the governance of the state as his administration
throttles, at reckonable blast of
speed and sure-footedness, to a successful
completion of the rump of its current
term and, hopefully, cruise into a second
four-year term on earned terms.