Good governance is an illusion in a state where corruption and injustice are endemic and persistent……………..
The Dean, Faculty of Management Sciences, all other protocols are duly observed. Greatest of the Greatest Lasuites !
Permit me to begin this speech by thanking the students’ parliamentary council of this faculty for organizing this pertinent annual event.
I am humbled and indebted by the decision of the organizer of this topical and august programme for considering me worthy to give a speech on this topical and contemporary subject of discussion.
As a former parliamentarian and SUG president of this noble institution, I accepted the invitation with utmost pleasure because of my interest and love for the Union and the progress of the University, My Alma Mata.
My readiness to accept the invitation is also borne out of my desire to contribute my little quota, despite the challenging and daunting state responsibility.
Without much compliments, I would like to do justice to the theme of this event titled, Democracy and Good Governance; The Nigeria Dilemma.
Democracy, adequately understood, is a theory that sets some basic principles according to which a good government, whatever its form, must be run with principles that include justice, equity, liberty, accountability, openness and transparency in government.
Indeed, effective democratic forms of governance rely on public participation, accountability and transparency. In most countries today, it is these principles that are used as criteria for distinguishing between good and bad government.
In essence, bad governance is the absence of good governance .It is evident in the inability of a state to achieve or realize the essence of the state at a particular time.
Therefore, resources of the state must be managed in such a manner as to achieve the desired level of socio -economic progress for all members of the political community. In short, good governance is about the performance capacity of a government.
Nigeria’s democracy has been violent ridden, characterized with wanton destruction of lives and properties. More importantly, the peoples’ vote seems not to count in determining who governs as elections are rigged or its outcome determined before the poll.
Therefore, procedurally, democracy in Nigeria is lamed and in terms of its conceptual outcome has failed to meet the expectations of the people.
Furthermore, Nigeria’s democracy has tended to promote inequality rather than equality.
There can be no genuine democracy in a country where citizens are grossly unequal in wealth and the poor who are in the majority, are dependent on the wealthy.
In most part of Nigeria today, what we have is democracy without social, economic and political development.
Some Legislative Arm of Government that would have provided adequate checks on abuses of power by the executive and recklessness of some opportunistic politicians are also inefficient.
Effective legislature contributes to good governance. This is done by the performance of legislative oversight over the finances of government, which serves as a catalyst for the sustainability of a democratic governance.
It is also important to note that the responsibilities of the legislature in a democratic society have gone beyond mere rule making and representation.
They are now involved in administrative and financial matters.
Legislatures are now saddle with the role of keeping close watch and control over the executive arm of government and the control of public expenditures and taxation.
The failure of the legislature to perform this important function in Nigeria has denied the people the gains of democratic governance.
Furthermore, the judicial arm, an indispensable complement to good governance is also lame.
In the Nigerian context, it is no exaggeration that the notion of the judiciary as primus inter pares is one that is yet to be fully imbibed by the political elite, irrespective of the recent popular judgment over some contested gubernatorial seats in Osun, Edo and Imo .
The judiciary in Nigeria is to a large extent subject to the whims and caprices of the Executive Arm.
This is so because the judiciary is not only financially dependent on the executive but has also been controversial in some of its judgment.
The idea that civil society is sacrosanct to good governance is incontestable.
In Nigeria, the civil society has been central to the democratic struggles, more especially the human right groups.
Surprisingly, the civil society on the whole has become passive and less aggressive after the country re-democratized in 1999.
This seriously portends ills for good and responsible governance in the country.
Consolidation of democracy via good governance rests primarily on a virile and agile civil society which is currently challenged.
The symptoms and consequences of bad governance are corruption, injustices, ethno religious feuds et al.
Among these, however, in the matter of governance, the most critical issue of morality is the issues of corruption.
Corruption has generated unimaginable level of poverty. This has further destroyed good governance.
In conclusion, to promote good governance sound anti-corruption policies devoid of rhetoric must be put in place.
In addition, the legislature and the judicial arm must be functional and alive to their responsibilities, since a healthy and sound judiciary and legislature are sine qua non for good and democratic governance.
Fellow Comrades, as parliamentarians of this noble and esteemed institution, it is pertinent for you all to adhere strictly to provisions of the constitution and to work amicably with the Executive to move the Union and the university forward.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, it is the responsibility of all and sundry to work towards the development of our commonwealth, our heritage.
It is a collective task that must be done!
Comrades, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, once again I thank you all for given me this unique opportunity to address this august and noble gathering on this historical occasion.
Aluta Continua, Victoria Ascerta
Comrade Ayodele Adewale
Executive Chairman Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area