Good Governance Or Waste Of Dialogue?

Posted: October 7, 2013 in Uncategorized
By Prince Charles Dickson
A person with two minds does not kill a lion.
Indeed, we are all talking even the before talk, the ranting is coming from everywhere. We want equal representation, the dialogue is a diversion, it is welcome development…to emphasize the task ahead, the 13 man plus woman committee will have to even define a nomenclature.
While we are already talking before the dialogue, the National Assembly has come out to its own terms for the seminar|workshop|conference or whatever name. 
My admonishment this week dwells on the phrase ‘good governance’. I believe that good governance is the only guarantee to peace, progress, stability, free, fair and credible elections, infact I view it as the only passport to delivering the dividends of democracy not dialogue. 
For the power, telecom, the manufacturing sectors, education and largely for the nation to work, we need good governance, in order to maximise our potential, improve the general welfare of the Nigerian people and even development in geo-political terms, there must be good governance.
But like the late Okadigbo puts it, asked to define good most Nigerians will waffle and babble. Most of our leaders that pride themselves as operating under the parameters of good governance cannot explain how.
What we have in our democracy is a battery of contradictory description or proposition as to what good governance is, as a matter of fact the term good is difficult to define and in the essential contexts of the Nigerian condition yet to be attained and no amount of talk will do us the desired good. 
Before I go far, defining good in relation to governance has often been a difficult task, to categorize it for decision makers and policy executors, so we say in political science that good is that to which everything tends, and in that regard indefinable and a naturalistic fallacy.
In the Nigerian context, our situational ethics sets the tone to the effect that we have relative dysfunctionality, what is good in one place may be bad in the other, there must be a given situation, time and space.
So for a dialogue/talk to hold in a nation with over 300 representing legislators, governors, state legislators, council heads and ward representatives is one that won’t go far because it is not in context with good–
Any talk, whether by ethnic nationality or professional groupings or traditional institutions, the talk of good governance in and for Nigeria, past, present and future is idle, not lending itself to any objective and precise analysis.
Until good governance is viewed as the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented) . We are still far off simply because the way and manner public institutions conduct public affairs, manage public resources, are corrupt, and without due regard for the rule of law
We lack good governance because despite political activity under the guise of democracy we are yet to find the balance; we still operate a political economy of state robbery, rather than popular democracy, it is a national malaise not a group or ethnic or class matter.
Good governance within the confines of a popular democracy should be anchored on two things, one, a constitution suited to the special needs and circumstances of Nigeria as multi-dimensional ethno-socio and econo-political structure: and two a leadership suited not only to the exigent needs of Nigeria as an unlawfully under-developed but also to the smooth operation of the same constitution.
We should stop glossing and know that by and large good governance require no ordinary type of leadership; tolerance; breadth of outlook, intellectual comprehension; hardwork; selfless devotion; statesmanship; a burning sense of mission are some of the virtues that are necessary to make a success of leading this nation.
Unfortunately past administrations have lacked these virtues or at best have possessed one at the expense of the other and as such led them to groping in the dark on how to deliver good governance.
We have refused to cultivate a regime of leadership that has shown a knack to develop a mental magnitude, as clear as our problems are, there seems a lack of ability in appreciating and grasping the salient details as well as most of the temporal and practical implications, of a given situation or problem, and in our own case the problem is a lack of good governance.
In my honest thinking while we keep debating on the morals or otherwise of a dialogue, and how we need to co-exist, the fact of the matter rather will be because the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles for which government exists remain non-justiciable; thereby the issues of good governance remain platitudinous rather than obligatory on our leaders.
So instead of providing good governance, the problem of political in-direction will continue, and indeed we will talk but achieve little. 
A continued economic morass in the polity,  an inability to have an ideological notion of destiny. An absence of a coherent body of thoughts; a lack of heroes, nobody to look up to, all our dialogue will exist only in a vacuum.
Good governance may be difficult to achieve in its totality, but for Nigeria to grow, for popular democracy to be entrenched we should work on; fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially. Full protection of human rights, particularly those of minorities.
It also requires a long-term perspective for sustainable human development and how to achieve the goals of such development. Ensuring that all members of the society feel that they have a stake in it and do not feel excluded from the mainstream. This requires all groups, and especially the most vulnerable to have opportunities to maintain or improve their well being.
Processes and institutions produce results that meet the needs of society while making the best use of resources at their disposal. It also means sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment.
Governmental institutions as well as the private sector and civil society organizations must be accountable to the public and to their institutional stakeholders.
In general organizations and institutions are accountable to those who will be affected by decisions or actions. The only minus and indeed the major constraint is that all that I have enumerated as a recipe for good governance is what we lack, in all best intents and to all purposes that are good, no matter for how long we talk, if it is not about ‘good’ we will be wasting time.
The small monkey completely shaves its head and breaks the razor; it thinks that its hair will not grow out again. All talk not centered on good governance, all dialogue without good governance, the hair will grow again, its only a matter of time, do we want good governance or just talk–only time will tell. 

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