• Sunday, May 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

Sincerity and Governance

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One of the fundamental pitfalls of country governance in Africa is the apparent insincerity of the political leadership class.

This insincere disposition of the political class on the African continent which has manifested itself in varied dimensions and degrees is perceived to be the major obstacle to Africa’s development.

Africans have experienced this absence of sincere motives in the leadership class in the form of failed election promises, political brigandage and rascality, foot-dragging on essential areas of governance that should impact positively on the well-being of the people, massive abuse of human rights, embezzlement and mis-management or looting of the treasury and dictatorship. The Nigerian experience since independence is in no measure an exception.
Nigeria’s return to elective governments since 1999 brought back hope in a people who had almost accepted the fate of being governed by those who they did not choose to do such. Yet the unfolding experience since that return in 1999 does not confirm that the peoples hope, that elected leaders’, as it were, would govern their lives in a more responsible and humane manner, was not misplaced.
Ten years gone after our much celebrated return to a system that permits the people to elect leaders who would govern them towards achieving overall well being, our educational system is still in decay, truncated and destabilized by poor funding, inadequate capacity, cycle of strikes and widespread poor standards.
The state of physical infrastructure like roads and electricity is worse than the prevailing situation ten years ago. Nigerians, a people once ironically adjudged the happiest homo sapiens in the globe now live with the dilapidated and death-prone roads and the absence of electricity as if these conditions can never improve. Yet each passing day our leaders in their speeches tell the people that there are plans in the pipeline, to do the necessary things.

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We hold the view that to effectively re-brand Nigeria, those who have found themselves in the position of political leadership should first re-brand themselves by taking off the cloak of insincerity and put on the toga of sincerity and self-lessness. It is only by doing this that they would properly position themselves towards achieving development goals that improve the living conditions of the people they govern.
Nigerians cannot be fooled for long by leaders who engage in promise and fail tactics, political gerrymandering, inconsistent and contradictory policies, and insensitivity to the conditions and aspirations of the people they govern. The cynical response to statements laden with positive plans intended by government made by our leaders though unfortunate is a reflection of the generic poor performance of our leaders. Over the centuries, governments are never judged by statements, intentions, plans or budgets but by their concrete achievements that positively touch the lives of the people. Our experience cannot be different.
Nigerians will judge this government and others preceding or successive by what they have concretely done to transform the country and its people for good. Nigerians and indeed citizens of the globe are keenly watching the present Yar’Adua administration to see if it will end up in the political bin of insincere governments or in the select group of sincere, forthright and well meaning governments.
As things stand, two years after the President arrived in Aso rock, the feeling amongst the generality of Nigerians is that there is no one single and major achievement that we can put the name of this government against. Despite the many clear and unambiguous areas begging for attention, the government has not successfully mustered the will and commitment to usher in Nigeria into a path of greatness. While excuses can be made in the last nine months, the foundations of such excuses become shaky when it is compared to the performance when there was no global economic crisis. We hope that for this government, time will definitely permit a better judgement.