By Odimegwu Onwumere
The expedition by General Muhammadu Buhari to give Nigerians good governance is giving a deep cut in the head from the way he is going about his government. His mind’s debate figuratively centres on which aspects of governance he should give the constituents.
His debate can be seen: He categorically believes that fighting corruption is the best part of governance that he has to promote. Buhari’s sojourn to the Europe and USA to assist him fight the monster called corruption may be seen as a miscalculated efforts.
This is said because these foreign continents or countries will not help in that aspect neutrally. They must seek for what their countries must take home as remuneration to their efforts. This is where Buhari has started showing administrative crisis.
It is palpable that Buhari has been expressing grievances against the government that he succeeded, without any advancement in harnessing sustainable human development over two months he took over the helm-of-affairs.
While he is bent on holding the other government to account, he is invariably losing better policies, by not empowering his government with cabinet members since May 29, he took over. One is not sure whether Buhari thinks that Nigerians should not demand for equitable and sustainable policies; that it is his sole right to do whatever he likes with Nigerians, at his own pace.
This is neglecting justice of abuse! It is essential to pinpoint that Buhari has abused and distorted governance to advance his government interest, which have not allowed Nigeria to flourish since two months now. This is neoliberal agenda that Buhari is showcasing to Nigerians, just the same way foreign investors and governments are mounting pressures on him to pursue policies that are in tandem with their rapaciousness.
Buhari is unaware that good governance is not mouthing and clattering about fighting corruption, but about its capability to deliver people-oriented government that is based on achieving the people’s fundamental Human Rights. Good governance is not about making reforms for foreign countries to hold Nigeria accountable than Nigerians.
Buhari has succeeded in making sure that an aura surrounds him, since he was declared the winner of this year’s presidential election. That aura is that many people think that he is still the military Head of State and not, a democratically elected president, due to his carriage and utterances.
One is poised to ask where transparency, accountability, participation and responsiveness exist in this government except the marginalisation of the people not to be represented in the cabinet. What Nigerians are seeing is a government that is nationally and internationally creating dimensions for itself, whereas the affairs of the communities are gasping for breath.
General Buhari, without doubt, is dwelling his energy at-a-large on what went wrong with Nigeria and not, what to do next. He is fighting and struggling between two things, which are how to give the people good governance and how to fight the so-called corruption that has bedeviled the country.
It is not expected that Buhari will be a successful leader, because his training as a military personnel, makes him focus on the country with bigoted mindset, which is hinged on his past failures and not actually on what he had achieved. (If there was any achievement as a military Head of State).
Obviously, Buhari has centered his energy on how to fight corruption, as if that is the height of giving the people good governance, without actually harnessing the root cause of corruption. Sadly, Buhari is focusing on the destination and not, the journey.
It is not about individuals being hounded and quizzed by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on daily basis since Buhari assumed power, but about putting every necessary measure in place to checkmate further practice of dishonesty in the country. It is sad that Buhari is depending on his eyes, when his imagination is out of focus. His presence rather makes democracy complex than it was assumed to be simple.
Nigerians can see that much blame on the woes that have befallen Nigeria, have gone to former President Goodluck Jonathan from Buhari, than to the shabbily Constitution which the military created, of which Buhari was once a Military Head of State.
It would be better put that the fear of failing in governance has made Buhari to fail already, because there is the decline of civility: He has no trust for the public and corporations. He believes that everybody is corrupt and he is the only incorruptible person in Nigeria. He has made his government to assume a harsh dimension inlure of tranquility, which is an exceeding mode of state.
Let Buhari know that Nigerians need the right kind of governance and not actually the Buhari’s effective governance. Buhari should eschew seeing governance to represent politics and public administration alone. He should see governance to represent economy, state and society.
He has to stop creating complexities in the economic, cultural and political interactions for the exaltation of his government. It is pointless for Buhari to expect a general answer to ‘good governance’ when political scientists are having a problem to define an ‘ideal form of governance’.
The “Good Governance: A New Public Managerialism” by Coskun Can Aktan and Hayrettin Ozler on February 6, 2009, states: Since Socrates and his student Plato, philosophers and practitioners have been searching for the best way of governance, a morally mature community and the best form of state.
The story goes further that Platon in his works, “the State”, “Politics” and “the Law”, contemplated on the ideal state and ideal political governance. He also couldn’t help to pose the question: “who guards the guardians?” Indeed, the states and governments in history usually based their power on coercion rather than persuasion in order to derive the consent of their subjects. Even policy sciences as a scientific branch of politics search for policies to have people conform to rather than searching for ways to increase public control over policies.
Are these not what General Muhammadu Buhari is doing?
Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Writer; he writes from Rivers State.