By Emeh Henry Izuchukwu
This is a concept that enjoys universal applicability. It is also the ideal to which most government in the world aspires. The irony here is that even the worst governments in the world still make some pretention to the virtue of good governance as the real essence of its existence. And this is irrespective of whatever might be their orientation to action and or the real objective conditions on the ground.
Indeed at the height of its obsession with extravagance, the erstwhile despotic and brutal government of the evil one (Abacha) was still pontificating on good governance. This in itself is an irony of history. Nevertheless, the idea of the good government is essentially normative and debates on it nearly always tend to be emotive.
Again definitions and explanation on the term of good governance are influenced by the theoretical and analytical tools in the hands of the person undertaking the study.
For instance while the man who deploys liberal democracy as his point of departure would easily showcase periodic elections,
universal suffrage and so called institutional differentiation, the man who analysis from the left tends to lay emphasis on the liberation and socialization of the instruments of production, distribution and exchange.
This also explains why it is very difficult to draw a generally acceptable definition of the term good
governance. On the contrary we would rather identify and recognize empirically defining objective conditions which to all intents and purposes approximates what should exist in a government that is said to be good.
In short for our purposes we could state at once that a good government exists where conditions have been created by those entrusted with leadership position (the philosopher kings) for the realization of the greatest potential for the greater majority of the members of such political entity. In other words, the creation of the enabling conditions for the maximization of the greatest potential of the members of an extent political entity, the liberation and socialization of the endowment of
such a people and the actualization of life much more abundant for the general mass of the people are the empirical determinants of the term good governance.
From the foregoing analysis, it is instructive to note that the philosopher king is not an end itself. It was
postulated to be a means to an end. Plato’s idea was that once the plenipotentiary was a philosopher king; he was more enabled by the dynamics of his existence to administer so well that the emergence of a good government would become an automatic process. In other words the emergence of the philosopher king and good government are two sides of the same coin and the emergence of the former would nearly always lead to the emergence of the later.
Therefore the two phenomena are congruent to each other and are the ideas for which the modern day nation state is assessed. This is where we must take a detour into Imo and by extension Nigeria as a case study. In other words does Nigeria exhibit the trappings of good governance or is it on the inevitable display towards establishing one? Sadly enough the demands of acting at least a modicum of immodesty would not permit us to attempt an answer to the above stated question
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The moral drawbacks are enormous and must be tackled for the sake of noble citizens and also the posterity. It is important to state that all the actions and inactions of incumbent political actors are the raw materials of history on the morrow of human existence. We would therefore plead that the noble citizens should be allowed to have peace of mind, enjoy the social amenities which God made free but have been frustrated by the universal human existence.
Hence the vast population of the citizens are uninterested in primitive acquisition of wealth by the people leadership positions are entrusted, but the noble citizens only want the government to create good roads, constant electricity, security and most
importantly, affordable education. If these demands are just, what could be the problem in showing humanity? This is to state that there is no problem with humanity, where there is problem and problem is in human nature.
The writer postulates this piece of work to beckon on all and sundry, especially people in the political line to join in the onerous task in the approach to the management of human affairs. We do believe that there is an art and also a science on the processes through which political communities are governed. This art is also amenable to the step by step scientific process and so could be learnt and perfected. Governance is therefore no longer the rule of the thumb and animosity occasioned by the unnecessary bravado of pretenders to the government.