Instituting good, purposeful governance

There is no gainsaying the fact that successive governments come into being on the platform of political parties. However, the pertinent question is what role does a political play in ensuring good and purposeful governance thereafter. Many historical antecedents tend to lead credence to the view that instead of the political party that births a government, it is the leadership of the government that substantially determines the type of governance. One can cite some instances to buttress this view. It was the ruling political parties in existence that gave birth to the respective administrations of Stalin, Gorbachev, and Putin, just to mention a few, in Russia, but the performances of their respective administrations were determined by the personalities of the chief executives. Likewise in USA, different political parties installed Roosevelt, Regan, Kennedy and Trump, also to mention just a few, in office at various times. But their respective personalities and traits dictated their performances while in office. A good case in point is the administration of Trump as President of the USA.

He nearly truncated or destroyed the avowed doctrine of “separation of power” and the sanctity/independence of the various arms of government in the USA. The above stated is also true of successive governments in other countries like the U.K, France, Germany and others. Coming back to Africa, the notion is even more buttressed by succeeding government administrations in the various countries. On this, we can cite the example of Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa, and Egypt. In Nigeria, this notion is also borne out. We are all witnesses of chief executives like Balewa, Shagari, Obasanjo, Jonathan and the incumbent, Buhari. The performances and perceptions of their various administrations were largely determined by their individual personalities. Even this trend is glaringly noticeable in succeeding state government administrations.

During the time of Sardauna, Azikwe and Awolowo when Nigeria can claim to have enjoyed relative “good” governance, the performances of their different administrations were equally influenced by their respective individual personalities. Then, if this postulation is true, the question is what should determine the choice of voters in elections? Is it the contesting political parties or the individuals they nominated or put forward to head their administrations in government? No doubt, this is food for thought on which our political scientists may wish to postulate theories or hypotheses. To me, judging by my perception of succeeding government administrations all over the world, I want to conclude that  the performances/antecedents of a contestant should be more considered as determinant in choosing the right candidate by voters.


However, I pity the voters in situations where they know little or nothing about the personalities/antecedents and general disposition of the contestants thrown up by the various political parties to contest for elective positions particularly as chief executives!

Ademola Adetunji, Ile-Ife, Osun State.

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