News The African Way

Politics Is About Power, While Governance Is About Development, By Yusuf Ishaku Goje

As the political parties and politicians are busy aligning and realigning as 2023 draws near; sadly, governance will end up being the biggest victim. Very few questions are being asked on the level and quality of implementation of the 2022 budget, rather it is all about speculations on likely candidates or party convention or cross-carpeting.

Why are we not asking the tough questions? We cannot continue to do the same thing and expect a different result. Indeed, our underdevelopment is self-inflicted. If we give half of the passion we apply to politics to governance, for sure we would have joined the league of developed societies.

We should have learnt from history that many go into politics simply because of ambition (trappings of position, power, privileges, relevance and money); without a selfless vision that every transformational leader should have.

The more reason why we must focus more on how to hold them accountable based on their promises than just getting them into power.

Politics is only a means to an end, the end being security and improved living standard for the people. This can only be achieved if we have good governance, which is largely dependent on the quality of citizen’s engagement in holding the government accountable.

How is it that we go quiet on governance for about three and the half years, and only become vocal when it is time for political permutations in preparation for elections.

My people shine your eyes. Don’t only ask about the number of hospitals, schools, roads, boreholes being built – also ask about the quality of public services being delivered and value for money.

Ask how have these public services or projects:

* Reduced child and maternal mortality rate

* Reduced out of school children and illiteracy

* Reduced unemployed

* Reduced poverty

* Reduced hunger

* Increased wealth creation

* Increased economic growth

* Reduced inequality

* Reduced insecurity

Politics is good, but it is meaningless without good governance. It is not enough that a politician is generous or share the same religion or ethnicity as you. Does he have what it takes base on merit?

Does he have what it takes to provide the quality of transformational leadership that will ensure security, economic growth and improved welfare for the majority? Do not be carried away, your focus should be about governance, which has a sustained impact on you and your society at large.

Let’s engage, ask the right questions and hold the government accountable.

Goje writes from Kaduna and is an advocate of Good Governance. He can be reached via

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