Governance is about Care-taking?

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

Properly understood, the government is for the people. And governance is about taking care of the people in their various needs. It is therefore not surprising when a set of men and women are constituted into care-taking committees for the good of the people.

Governance, after all is service of the common good. It is about the good of one and all the members of the society. It is with a view to caring for the people that governments are constituted anywhere. In the absence of genuine services and loving- care to the people, government would loose its reason of being. Given this understanding, it is not difficult to ask whether Nigerian government at all levels and tiers of government are caring for the Nigerian citizens.

Are they really caring for the people? Opinions can be varied. But the irrefutable truth is that government is about care and services to the people. Yes, in most developed nations of the world, the governments care for its citizens. For instance, in United States of America, it is evident that the government has value for its citizens. The same is true among most other developed countries of Europe.

It is always exciting to see and hear about the reaction of the American government over the loss of one single American citizen. It would appear as if the world is collapsing. They would do all within their powers to save and protect the life of their citizens. They will spend time and energy including costly resources to ensure the safety of its citizens.

In fact, evidences abound how American government and some European countries have displayed amazing care and love towards their citizens within and outside their countries, especially among holiday makers in some parts of the world who have landed in one difficulty or the other. Their national policies, foreign and local are for the welfare of the citizens Is it therefore surprising in such a scenario when a corresponding sense of patriotism among such citizens of such countries emerge and prosper? A genuine sense of patriotism will always emerge from such encounter.

One good turn deserves another. But what is the situation like in Nigeria? Can we say that such volume of care and love for the citizens exist among the various governments of Nigeria? Do the governments of Nigeria know her citizens? Does the death of any of her citizens mean anything to her? And how do the governments react in the face of such a tragedy? The truth is that the death of citizens here does not seem to bother the government too much especially if none of their own was involved.

It seems unbelievable but true that most Nigerian citizens are on their own. We are like orphans. And that is the feeling of any citizen who does not receive the care and love of its government. And our government is popular for not caring for its citizens. They would rather hurt and maim. Otherwise, how would one explain the rampant loss of life of citizens within and outside of Nigeria? And the government is dishing out volumes of lies in the pages of Newspapers.

Is it anything surprising that patriotism is a scare commodity among most Nigerians? And so the first sign of care and love of the citizens by its government is in the appreciation and protection of the life of its citizens especially the most vulnerable. The life of one citizen is significant for the life of the rest of the citizens. A government that pays only lip services to the duty of protecting and enhancing the life of its citizens cannot be said to be a good one.

And good governments have always eluded Nigeria and most of other African countries. A good government respects and defends the rights of its citizens. In fact, it is the bounden duty of the state to ensure that the rule of law is in operation. And the judicious implementation of the just laws of the state are sure ways of ensuring the well-being of the citizens in the context of the common good. Let the Nigerian government rise to its duty of care and service to the people!

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