We have taken time to understand few things and why things happen the way they are. It is obvious things are not what they appear to be in the face value. There are deeper meaning to it when people are involved. No wonder ethnographic researcher had made a demand that if we must really understand things the way they are we must be able to relate with it without a glass mirror but to be involved. People says things which do not agree with their deeper outlook and one can be carried away by their saying alone.
For instance, I boarded a commercial motor cycle one day and the way the rider was going, it appeared to me this man must have a piece of garment he had spread in yonder which he wanted to go and pack as quickly as possible. Because my life was precious and I seemed not to be in a hurry to cross to yonder like him, I shouted on him to please drop me. His answer was ‘I have a brain and it was not that I wanted to die too’. I told him very few will acclaim they want to die by their words but your actions, attitudes to life speak volume.
With governance and accountability, we have noticed a correlation in the example above especially in developing Countries, Nigeria inclusive. Governance in the face value speaks volumes about ability to make laws and enforce them. It is supposed to come with providing services and whole lots of development fuelled by common goods and not that of parochial or sectional interest.
Governance must have strong institutions with check and balances in place. So this makes power associated with governance to look more like that of Infrastructural than that of dictatorial or greed. Governance and strong institutions are essential as these help in measurement of outcomes and set goals. Anything outside of this makes governance appears like a child play even if adults are the ones who are in charge of the process.
These institutions like many agreed must have democratic or bureacractic autonomies which are the standards, hall marks of Political systems. We should not forget the purpose of governance really is to ‘steer things’. So the power and strength of governance can be better viewed from the way it steers people, resources and everyday activities to the advantage or otherwise of the governed.
Some good codes of governance reflect in people participation or whether people’s voice are given expression or stifled. This is closely followed by whether there is rule of law and check and balances in place or whether the scenarios draw more from George Orwell ‘ s “Animal Farm’ where all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.
Couple with this is the level of efficiency and effectiveness of systems, policies and administrative process with regards to their impact on the governed. Of course, even if we do not discuss others, transparency is a vital indice by which we know what values drive the central engine.
This last issue leads us to the second key element in this piece which is accountability. No system is entirely perfect even the USA system that most people look up to is fraught with its own teething problems. But the point here is that without a commitment to accountability there will be no hope for our world. Someone has defined accountability as ‘answerability or responsibility for one’s actions’. This is more so when its really affects or concerns issue of Public interest. In no sensible environment will accountability suffers and everything will still be at easy. When accountability is over looked, things may fall apart and the centre may no longer be strong enough to hold them together.
Every players must carry on their head obligations without shielding it away where no one can see or assess actions taken in relations to the opportunities, responsibilities as well as roles to be performed.
Each actor who holds a position in trust must avoid entrenching personal vendetta into a system established for public interest and no organizations must cross its own boundaries by pretending nothing is happening while ‘heavy water’ is being passed under the bridge in the name of whatever.
Bureaucratic autonomy we talk about above must come with balance, capacity and high level of professionalism that is not tainted by coloured opinion of the leadership but a transparent action based on what the laws, codes say. A step outside this will create chaos and anarchy. For bureaucratic autonomy to be entrenched and successful, the set policies must be monitored and evaluated based on set and agreed standards and codes as nothing else we do.
Now let us look at sentiments. I love the way someone explain it as emanating from feelings and emotion. Nothing is bad about this. People should have and be respected for their sentiments, at least to a certain degree. But when it comes to personal sentiment application to what the policies of any institution you are leading is demanding, there must be balance. Every sentiment that is a coloured thought emanating from very strong negative emotion for a hidden revenge can be disastrous to all.
Viewing the above from the brouhaha generated by Financial reporting Council code enforcement to non profits in Nigeria which had consumed the head of the Agency and generated a need for debate as well as restructuring couple with a high level of ignorance expressed by Nigerians have made me to see why Nigerians are easy to be misled and abused. We do not read anything or seek clarification but love talking out of context. In my own estimation, is that law new? not necessarily. Is it an evil weapon for witch hunting? absolute no.
The financial reporting codes demand accountability and transparency and urgent need for corporate capacity building which is a duty every leader should hold in high esteem as well as prioritised.
Unfortunately due to a high level of ambitions, many parties or actors involved overstepped their boundaries. But instead of us to ask for what went wrong, we all cry the baby should be thrown out with the birth water. In no way we will learn anything if we do not ask the right question in every situation but applying sentiments as a populist weapon either to gain popular approval or win people to our sides. We can only wait as this writer wants to see how events unfold before making any pronouncements for now. But the conclusion we can draw now is that when it comes to governance, accountability and sentiments, there is always a huge difference between six and seven even if they are close. It is like in a winner takes it all competition, the person who comes second may achieve this through two seconds away from the first position, but the first position winner would have gone home with all the goodies.