What Good Governance Is And What It Is Not

What Good Governance Is And What It Is Not, the word "governance" is not same as the word "government." It is much more than government. The word "governance" as the name suggests, is the way or manner in which a government (machinery) discharges its duties or responsibilities.

It shows the noblesse oblige–nobility entails responsibility.

Governance has been defined by various political scholars or philosophers.

Prof. Chukwurah opined that governance is a democracy in action or democracy at work, in the sense of "government of the people, by the people and for the people."

Unanka is of the view that "the morality of good leadership is the ideology of governance." He adds that national development does not happen by chance; it is planned, directed and managed by men and women in government who truly believe in the ideals of good governance.

Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, maintains that in practice, good governance involves promoting the rule of law, tolerance of minority and opposition groups, transparent political processes, an independent judiciary, an impartial police force, a military that is strictly subject to civilian control, a free press and vibrant civil society institutions, as well as meaningful elections. Above all, good governance means respect for human rights.

It is very disheartening and bad omen that the word "governance" has been misrepresented, misinterpreted and misunderstood or misused by Nigerian government in the time of their various campaigns and rulings.

Nigerian government has replaced good governance with corruption, no respect for human rights, electoral violence, abuse of power, fraud, etc.

For instance, when the salaries of workers cannot sustain them, there is tendency to engage in petty corruption. It is very annoying seeing workers working tirelessly to move our nation forward, but at the end, they received peanut as salary.

Fight against corruption should be a fight for humanity. It should be a fight that will challenge power relations, institutions, mechanisms and systems that promote corruption. It should be a fight for empowerment of citizens to enlist them in the war against corruption.

It should be a fight against a system of mediocrity that produces emergency millionaires or billionaires from being commissioned agents, contractors. It should be a fight for value reorientation.

For a good governance to exist in a country, her government must be effective, operational transparency, conformity to internationally acceptable good practice, accountability, respect for human rights, among others.

By Ukachi Christian Sochima

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