It is very much true that every country has the government it deserves. Government is also a product of the society. Nigeria is not an exception in this case. But the truth is that greater majority of Nigerians are not happy with the governance of our country. Larger percentage of the Nigerian populace is not responsible for the bad governance and corruption. It’s only a tiny minority of the Nigerian population that has held Nigeria to ransom. They are responsible for maladministration, poor governance and mismanagement of our resources. It’s worthy to note that, these very few Nigerians who have managed to be in power/governance (past and present) have succeeded in making corruption a household name in Nigeria. They have taught Nigerians corruption by their flamboyant life styles, excessive looting of government treasuries, over valued contracts awarded to themselves and cronies etc. They are leading us by example, and Nigerians are good followers.
A government which uses corruption to rule teaches her people that corruption is an acceptable way of life. Revelations upon revelations of corrupt practices by government officials succeeds in conditioning people towards being corrupt. Matters are made worst by high recognition of corrupt people as well to do people in our society. The magnitude of this monster (corruption) is overwhelming. Accordingly, “The United Nations (UN) says Nigerian Kleptocrats have milked the nation to the tune of about $100 billion dollars through various acts of grand corruption. The cost of which it lamented by far exceeded the damage caused by any other single crime” (Daily Sun, Wednesday December 3 2008, page 9.) No corrupt government is sincere; therefore they govern us by deceit.
Corruption is the biggest barrier to good governance. Both cannot work together. A case study is the horrible state of affairs in Nigeria. Things are not working the way it should. Power supply is almost unavailable, road network is still poor, and strike actions by academic staffs are still a regular occurrence in the educational sector. The government appears not to have a concrete plan of action to tackle these problems. I was not surprised when the Campaign for Democracy took stock of 2008 and concluded that, “No serious governance actually took place. Then it warned that a situation where the country is virtually on auto pilot without serious governance is not healthy” (Daily Independent, Wednesday December 31 2008, page 1).
Corruption and bad governance cannot continue indefinitely in Nigeria, otherwise the entire population will become endangered species. Nigerians have more work to do to salvage our great country. Every Nigerian should realise that he/she has many roles to play in the governance of our country. Every person has a duty to play. I have said this, because governance is too serious a business to be left in the hands of politicians alone. We should never let the politicians alone without all of us making suggestions or contributions towards good governance.
Government should be a collective effort. Every person should think of a suggestion to make to government, whether local, state or federal government. Emphasis should be on moving our nation forward. The politicians don’t know better than us. Experiences have also shown that. Let’s remember that two heads are better than one. Not only do Nigerians have to make suggestions or contributions to government. We also need to start asking questions to government on why so and so are not happening.
Many Nigerians are almost giving up hope, but that’s a wrong idea. Every one needs to become conscious of workings of the government. Governance affects our lives and that of our children. Our contributions are vital towards making governance a success. Nigerians should become a watchdog over every tier of government. If you have not been asking questions to government, please start now. If you have been asking questions, please increase your efforts. This should be applicable to all ministries, parastatals, etc. Not making efforts to make suggestions, contributions or ask questions to government will mean to accept whatever we get from government.
Am aware that dialogue with the Nigerian government can a times be like a dialogue with the deaf. This will require a great deal of shouting, a great deal of gesticulation and repetition. Which means that Nigerians should be consistent in making suggestions to government? Nigerians should consistently ask questions to government. Together with this approach, our leaders will start being responsible and responsive. May be we might start having a better government. May God bless Nigeria.
Chinedu Vincent Akuta
An activist and leader of “Support Option A4 Group” Leicester-UK