NewsReel 1/5/15 - Out-going Governors & Democratic Accountability In Nigeria: Time For Stock Taking

 [ Masterweb Reports: Intersociety reports ] - (Democracy & Good Governance, Onitsha Nigeria, 25th April 2015)-The 2015 General Elections with their supplementary segments; involving one Presidential, 29 Gubernatorial, 109 Senatorial, 360 House of Reps and 1,152 State Legislative polls, have come and gone. What lies on the table of the out-going governors and the Presidency is democratic accountability and stock taking. On 19th April 2015, we (International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law) issued a public statement titled: “Revisiting & Institutionalizing Obinomics Governance Approach As A Standard Benchmark For New Governors In Nigeria”. The Obinomics remains an indisputable standard of measurement for public governance accountability in Nigeria. It involves the beginning and end of a democratic governance process.


How Obinomics Statement Unsettled Corrupt & Failed Governors: The referenced statement not only received wide readership within and outside Nigeria, but it also received gloomy ovations from the loyalists of some, if not many gubernatorial office holders in the country who saw it as an attempt to ridicule their bosses and incite the public against them. The jittery disposition of the referenced gubernatorial aides and their bosses’ camps is not unexpected. This is more so when public governance in Nigeria is largely dominated by psychology of politics (use of public sentiments and social anomalies to gain power for the purpose of running deceitful, deficit and mercantilist governance).


Governance Disasters In The Fourth Democratic Republic: The 1999 return to civilian rule in Nigeria saw military apologists, military retirees and white collar criminals including drug barons and couriers moving in droves, hijacking most of the country’s 13,483 elective public offices comprising 11, 788 LGA chairmen, deputies and councilors (8,692 councilors and 3,096 executive chairmen, deputy chairmen, etc) of the country’s constitutionally recognized 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs); 72 State governors and their deputies, 360 Federal Reps, 109 Senators, 1, 152 State lawmakers and the President and the Vice President.


The elected public office holders under reference also ensured that their likes dominated the country’s 4,070 top public appointive offices. For records, there are a total of 17, 500 top elective and appointive public offices in Nigeria recognized in the Salaries & Allowances for Top Public Office Holders’ Act of Nigeria 2002 as amended. The top public offices comprise 472 federal executives, 172 federal top judicial officers, 109 senators, 360 federal House members, the President and the Vice President, 36 State Governors, 36 State Deputy Governors, 1, 152 State lawmakers, 2, 664 State executives and 762 State top judicial officers.


The inglorious entrance of the referenced military apologists, military retirees and white collar criminals as well as their appointed puppets into Nigeria’s hallowed public governance offices brought to bear the era of disastrous governance in Nigeria’s Fourth Democratic Republic. A disastrous legacy of electoral banditry and rigging, judicial corruption, State sponsored violence, governance thievery and civil unrest was put in place leading to public governance being left in the hands of criminals and renegades. While the criminal class took the center stage in governance, the noble class stayed away for fear of contamination and violence against their persons.


As a result, public governance in the country became shapeless and directionless. Service to humanity became replaced by consumption and profligacy. Attempts by few members of the noble class to make an inroad into democratic governance were crudely resisted by the criminal class who also visited the former with death and threats of unimaginable proportions.


Obinomics As Standard Of Governance Accountability Measurement: One of the few exceptions to the democratic governance disasters in Nigeria’s Fourth Republic was the Obinomics governance concept in Anambra State. For records, Obinomics is a totality of democratic governance style used in Anambra State under former Governor Peter Obi between March 17, 2006 and March 17, 2014. It has electoral, judicial, social and economic elements and founded on input and output legitimacies. In other words, it is a democratic government that has beginning and an end. It fought enemies of democracy not through the Yorean eye for eye, but through political civility, tolerance, accountability, creativity and decency. It met the State in a state of barrenness, parasitism, mal-administration and fiscal deficit and left it in a state of self-sustenance and buoyancy as well as governance integrity and credit. It ended with a world class scorecard and stewardship contained in a 500-page book.


Governance or democratic accountability or stewardship is a leadership stock taking containing the true state of governance in the executive arm of government usually laid before the public documentarily towards the end of tenure. It involves quantum of services to humanity or fulfillment of social contract obligations delivered to the public by those elected to serve. There are credit and deficit democratic accountabilities or stewardships. Governors who run status quo or establishment governance are usually credited with deficit governance accountability whereas governors that run extra establishment or creative/innovative governance always produce credit or positive governance or democratic accountability.


The governance stewardship under reference is such that contains exploits or otherwise made in education, physical and key infrastructures, environment, health, transport, tangible and intangible security, entertainment, human rights, rule of law, job creation, private sector, investments, economy, etc. It also involves governance costs, financial receipts, loans borrowed or credits received, cleared or un-cleared workers welfare arrears, total unpaid or paid domestic and foreign loans, reasons behind the borrowings, contractors’ arrears on completed jobs as well as cash or otherwise left in government coffers.


What Out-going Governors & Ors Must Do: In the light of the foregoing, therefore, we challenge all the out-going governors in Nigeria to be excellent enough to prepare and present their accounts of stewardship to their States and the generality of Nigerians before their official handover on 29th May 2015. The affected governors are those completing their eight years in office and those who lost their second tenures. Failure of the affected governors in whole or in part to heed to this democratic clarion call simply means that they are bequeathing a disastrous legacy of governmental banditry and kleptomania to their various States and the citizens of Nigeria. Because anything that has a beginning must have an end, the affected governors are inexcusably tasked to give their governance a direction and a destination by articulating for public reading, consumption and judgment as well as for eternal records how they governed their States.


By Social Contract principles, the governors under reference are obligated to govern and render public account of their leaderships. By Section 13 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, under Fundamental Objectives & Directive Principles of State Policy, it commands all authorities in Nigeria including the in-coming and out-going governors as follows: it shall be the duty and responsibility of all organs of government, and of all authorities and persons, exercising legislative, executive and judicial po

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