I have been having frank conversations with one of my friends who works high up in the Federal Government about how best to lay the sort of governance and social foundation that will guarantee that Nigeria fulfills its potentials. It was in the middle of one of these conversations that he turned to me and said profoundly: “Amara, we need to demystify Government!”
That statement has stuck in my mind.
In Nigeria, there is an uncomfortable distance between the Government and the governed. I doubt if that distance has ever been closed. The colonial masters that introduced organized government to us were not from among us… and frankly, the objective of their government was to steal from us. Since those days, till now, I believe that the general perception of Government by the governed has been that it is a small collection of “masters” whose objective is to enrich themselves using resources that are meant for the masses.
The politicians who took over from the colonial masters found it easier to abandon the patriotic zeal that fired us into independence and settle into the largess that the old masters left behind. The military came with their guns, but quickly dropped the guns and started chopping with both hands. Even after we chased the military bandits away, those who replaced them were not any better. The moment they were suckled by the breasts of Government, they became just like those that were before them. It is as if they stopped being Nigerian and just became… the Government.
So, What is it about this delectable woman called “government” that weakens every resolve that it embraces? What is in the bosom of government that sucks away one’s soul and disconnects them from the people?
Since I love tackling mysteries… and frankly, I believe Nigeria’s potential will remain unattainable unless the Government and the governed can collaborate progressively… I recently formed a committee and appointed myself the chairman – The Committee for the Demystification of Government and Governance.
I don’t know what this committee will do yet… but I like the name.
What do you think?