It is sad but true that those who do not learn from history are destined to repeat it.
Like a broken record, we constantly revisit the economic and social quagmire in which the majority of our citizens are trapped. Nonetheless, repetition doesn’t have to be redundant if the motive behind it is to underscore something of great importance.
The long-standing manufactured economic and social problems by the ruling class and in this instance, the governors, continue to destabilize and demoralize the soul and spirit of Nigerians.
One of the unique qualities most of the governors bring into the office is their terrifying ambiguity. They’re not innovative managers. And they’re having difficulty making up their minds.
Their greatest political indictment is living by abstract rules. Their impoverished imagination continues to haunt and hurt their resolve and decision making to govern like skillful administrators.
Time and time again, the governors return to their foolishness in their embarrassing maturity. They suffer from farfetched imagination. They’re short of inner fuel to move their states forward.
The Jonathan-Amaechi feud became advertised foolery by madmen without specialists at the National Governors Forum.
The governors are sickening examples of political leaders without political commitment. They lack human solidarity – a typical form of crime- that is morally abhorrent to a failing state such as Nigeria which needs an infusion of a new life.
Political commitment arises from compassion rooted in solidarity with others who are suffering in the same place or in the same way as oneself. Political commitment sides with human suffering.
Political commitment fosters compassion with others whose circumstances are quite different from one’s own. These latter kinds of Nigerians bear the brunt of the madness of the governors.
Throughout history, politics have been left to the few to conduct the business on behalf of the people. It is the expectation of the governed that the politicians would fight on their behalf for their interest at all times.
So far, those entrusted to carry out the business of the people have done such a bad job that even the rest of us who have no political inclinations could hardly have done any worse.
The great lapse of imagination on the part of those in close proximity to the problems of ordinary Nigerians is one of the most dubious blessings of our so-called democracy.
The continuing deprivation of basic necessities of life and fear of unsecured future for our people convinced me there is something radically wrong about Nigeria.
The governors’ actions and surreptitious exploitation of the masses put in glaring contrast the unparalleled resources and revenue never before available to any government in Nigeria.
The NGF should not be an information, fanfare or felicitation session but for the transformation of the people. Instead of chewing on the problems of their constituencies, the governors are busy expanding their power, wealth, rank, and honor.
The National Governors Association (NGA) in the US was founded in 1908. The NGA serves as a key public policy liaison between the state governments and the federal government.
The NGA provides governors and senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and at the White House when discussing federal issues to developing policy reports on state programs.
The NGA Center for Best Practices focuses on states innovations and best practices on issues that range from education and health to technology, welfare reform, and the environment.
The position of NGA chair alternates yearly between Republicans and Democratic governors so that neither party can control the position for two consecutive years. The vice-chair is usually of the opposite party to the chair, and generally assumes the role of chair the following year.
Governors, here are some brainteasers for you:
What is so special about the National Governors Forum? What are the priorities of the NGF? What are the objectives of the NGF? What impact has the NGF on your constituencies?
Governors, do you really fight for or represent the interest of your constituencies? Are your priorities not in tandem with the priorities of the people?
Are your priorities not centered on the acquisition of jets, real estate, media houses, and globetrotting attending overseas birthdays, funerals, graduations, weddings, lectures, seminars, and conferences? Governors, do you really know what it means to serve? The NGF means so many things to different people. For the majority of Nigerians, the NGF is an insulting oxymoron.
By the way governors, can you explain to us what “security vote” is? Can you justify the need for such a hefty budget? How do you spend the “security vote”?
How many jobs have you created in your respective states? How many hospitals have you built? How many housing units have you constructed for low-income people?
How many small businesses have been directly financed through government-guaranteed loans? What are your plans to end transportation gridlock in your towns and cities?
Governors, what is the need for a bloated cabinet of 20-30 commissioners? What innovations have you brought to the modern government? How many of the schools in your states are internet wired?
The NGF is supposed to be a sort of pressure group to articulate problems common to their constituencies and present a joint front to the federal government for assistance to finance projects and programs.
After all, hunger, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, disease, and insecurity are equally social and economic destroyers in ACN, Labor, PDP, and GNPP controlled states.
The NGF should be a forum where the governors use their bully pulpit to advocate for moral justice, shared vision of the promise of a better Nigeria, and pursue a remarkable and dramatic shift from a government of fools by fools and for fools.
Because the NGF is a redundant association, Mr. Jonathan, who is busy doing nothing, found an avenue to employ his indolence. Mr. Jonathan’s incursion into the NGF turned the election of a new chair into another debacle of two-thirds of 35 or 36 states! Hello, Chief Richard Akinjide!
Mr. Jonathan’s candidate, Governor Jang of Plateau State; out of 35 voting governors (one governor was absent) garnered 16 votes while Amaechi pulled through with 19 votes. The winner is obvious. But then, Mr. Jonathan and his PDP declared Jang winner.
The Jonathan-Jang-PDP rewrite of election returns is only possible in Nigeria where voodoo mathematics has always been used as a formula to calculate, rig, and decide electoral victory.
Who cares who chairs the NGF? What difference does it make to poor Nigerians fighting to stay alive because of the cruel and exploitative economic policies of the governors? What does it matter which looter takes over from another looter as chair of the NGF?
The NGF should be a forum to discuss an economic blueprint of how to eliminate waste in government. For example, get rid of the so-called “security vote and trim the cabinet size.
How about putting people back to work? How about the fight for state and local government Police for effective community policing? How about turn the forum to a peer review forum?
It is not the human condition that afflicts Nigerians today. It is rather the very specific Nigerian social arrangements and government policies. It is within the capacity of the governors through political power to change such arrangements and policies.
There is no moral excuse for the impoverishment of large numbers of Nigerians. They have been stranded in poverty because of our political leader’s most enduring motive for negative political commitment – participation in the agony of one’s brethren.
It is not all that difficult, in the end, to know the governor or governors of the people!
*** “People’s characters reflect the amount of weeding that was done during the growing season.”
This article was first published on SaharaReporters June 03, 2013