Governance is associated with how a an organization, nation is run. It brings together the combination of processes, control and systems aimed at safeguarding asset. Kaufman etal see ‘governance as the tradition and authority by which a country is governed’. A UNDP’s note defines governance as’ the exercise of economic, political and administrative authority to manage a Country’s affairs at all levels.Governance comprises of mechanism, processes, institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests and exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences’.
Governance can be either bad or good. Where good governance obtains, the system is participatory, transparent and accountable. It is also effective, equitable and promotes the rule of law’.
Without integrity, equity, transparency governance is a waste of everyone’s time. Because people have expectations which are often the product of set goals, initial promises made by the leadership. From its etymological use, governance means to ‘steer’. Good governance must therefore steer the process of making best possible decision and execution which propel a well rounded advantage for every stakeholder
Any governance structure which does not promote, cherish accountability as well as remain true to the promise made will never enjoy trust and solid policy support. When promises are is made, especially that which include inclusive engagement as well as seeking the well being of the entire citizenry, but are not kept, what is left is an empty shell which has no soul. No matter what level of image laundering and camouflage leadership puts into place, it will be easy to see the hollow.
Governance exist when a group of people come together to achieve an end. It is known to all everyone can not govern hence the need to select people to be involved in the day to day processes. Within democracy, many of those who are saddled with governance are politicians. Unfortunately, as we have noted in the past article, politics is only a profession that requires no preparation. No wonder politicians keep making same mistakes. It appears to us many of those thrown up by the system had never taken time to do their researches. Prior to many regimes, promises will be made. Some of which wevall know they do not have capacity or capability to keep or sustain. Many of our Politicians believe they need to speak what electorate wants to hear instead of speaking from the realities of their own hearts.
It is a sad situation which obtains here in Nigeria and in most Africa States. It appears most of our Politicians do suffer a form of disease called ‘selective amnesia’. They have the capacity to make all forms of promises they cannot and will never fulfill. They possibly always forget when promises are broken, the vitality of relationship is completely gone. What is left will be facades.
Thinking of the promises itself, it is here in Nigeria and Africa where basic functions and responsibilities of government are promoted as agenda to be pursued. Since basics have become major, the majors a render Ignored. How do we account for a President, Governor or Local Government Chairman who swore (promised) to an oath to protect the integrity of a nation and Its people yet could not even account for few lives? Why is It impossible for governance to be accountable? Like they said, promise is cheap. But why is it difficult to be low in promises and high in performance? Is it because we do not take time to do our due diligence before we talk? Here, leaders do the talking before the calculation. It is a common slogan with politicians to say ‘ we will get to the root of this and bring offenders to book’. Years later nothing will be heard.
Take for instance the Issue of Nigeria Immigration Service’s exams and its attendant woes for the thousands of job seekers. Some were killed, many were wounded. Promises were immediately made for the wounded, dead and their families. Unfortunately today, we heard in the news there was a protest by concerned people against failed promises made by the Federal Government which had not been fulfilled after six months.
Several unconfirmed reports always have ‘hired crowd’ of political rallies protesting after the events because ‘promises’ are not kept. Why is it difficult to tell the truth about the position of things? To cover up our failures here, voodoo statistics are produced weekly, monthly and yearly to protect personal and selfish image of few. The evidence of strong leadership is to come out and say ‘I am sorry I under estimate the enormity of the challenge’. Another very recent issue is the ceasefire agreement between Nigeria Government and the dreaded Islamic insurgent-Boko Haram. This was widely covered and Nigerians were happy about the possibility of having the over 200 abducted school girls back home. Just less than twenty hours, Boko Haram group attacked some settlements. The Burden of promise keeping is not only in shortfall in Public institutions. A cursory look at corporate environment is filled with lies.
After many Air crashes in Nigeria with a responsibility to pay families of the affected Air passengers certain amount of monies, it is on record that many have not been settled. In normal environment, Airline companies must have insurance which must be serviced as at when due. Premium must be paid so that if there is accident, it becomes easier for the insurance companies to perform. As our investigation showed, premium are often owed for months because they want to maximise profit. Yet in each passenger’s ticket, there is usually a promise of what will be paid in case of air mishap.
Most Air passengers here also know no such thing exist in most cases. So they must use ‘faith’ for an accident free trip. The impact of failed promises are showing everywhere. Publics Schools are run down, quality health facilities, road network and other vital infrastructures have become history. Nigerians are their own ‘local government’. They provide basic amenities for themselves.
To change the status qou, we must place the problems where they belong. Everyone is guilty and need for change is staring at all in the face. We have quite a golden opportunity to initiate the process of change as we approach 2015 General election.
Vote credible and worthy person over gain: truth is missing everywhere. Electorates are not truthful to themselves. Many want an immediate solution to age long problem. They follow the greedy part even when theirs hearts are saying No. We cannot eat our cake and have it.
Be informed and ask right question: we cannot be uninformed and expect a change. Every one needs to take the first step of getting informed. We must understand our own role in governance and be willing to play that role. Are will ready to hold political aspirants accountable? Can we start asking right question from now?
Trash, reduce the quota of religious and ethnic considerations: we all know this may be very difficult to do. But it is on record the percentage of religious and ethnic considerations we put forward before voting decisions are made is too high. As long and rs we hold on to this, we will be on the same spot for a long while.
Leadership must be exemplary: Bad leaders’ influence on the society may be far reaching. Leaders must remember they hold their positions in trust. They need to think about the impacts of their daily lives. Consistent life style of broken promises will live a generation with a gap that may not be filled soon. Be a promise keeper. Value your words and commit to it.