For sake of sanity, orderliness, growth, preservation of lives etcetera, Government and governance became desirable in place of the cruelness and brutishness that life, before civilisation was. Therefore, man continued to develop and modernise the concept and institution of governance and government to improve the quality of life. It is the drive for a better life – delivered through a viable, sustainable and participatory government that the concept of democracy evolved.
Democratic ethos and norms have since become universal, with the exception of a few states. However, most society’s have pillared their development on the beautiful foundations layed down by democracy; from freedom of speech, expression, religion, association, life, and all those rights captured and protected under internationally accepted protocols. No wonder their governments are built with the bricks of nationhood, mortared by bonds of brotherhood and plastered with patriotism.
Nigeria has since embraced democracy and it’s attendant benefits. From the year 1999, successive elections have been conducted to replace different governments brandishing attractive manifestos, all tailored towards providing the better life for the generality of Nigerians. Wether this has been achieved or not, it’s for all Nigerians to tell. However, one cannot juxtapose the fact that, strides have been made in some spheres of human endeavour, in the different sector of the economy Etc by successive governments. It is also true, that governments have successively continued to fail in providing the basics necessary to make life meaningful for the electorates.
It will suffice to mention here that, there are obligations which must be met, if both the government and the governed are to benefit from this age-long symbiotic relationship. A give-and-take-based relationship, which ensures that while the government on the one hand, provides basic amenities for the smooth conduct of the business of life, critical infrastructure for development, law, order and security for the preservation of lives, enabling environment for Economic growth and opportunities for prosperity. The citizenry, on the other hand are saddled with responsibilities amongst others, to; be law abiding, remit taxes, pay fines and levies, cooperate with the government in ensuring that the dividends of democracy trickles all the way down to those at the bottom of the totem pole. And not forgetting, the all-important duty to change the government at anytime it’s deemed to be under performing or none performing altogether.
However, where the basics of democratic dividends, such as good schools, roads, hospitals, security, portable water etc are not provided as promised. Citizens often resort to self help, as seen in the private schools, in lieu of dilapidated public schools; Boreholes, in lieu of unavailable or unclean public water mains; I-pass-my-neighbour generators, in lieu of erratic or non-existent public power supply and vigilante groups in lieu of inefficient security system, etc. And where the citizenry, fails to meet up with its obligations, it becomes extremely difficult for the government to deliver some of its revenue- based objectives due to paucity of funds.
Therefore, a vacuum is created where these obligations by both the government and the governed are not met. Therefore, too much emphasis must not be placed on the need to fill up the vacuum, as it is obvious. Because, this is the meeting point – the point where the government meets the governed. The very connection between the two – the substance of the social contract between the elected and the electorates. The onus therefore, is on the government to be first to service this chasm. Hence, concerted efforts must be made by the government to bridge the gap. How? One may ask. And I tell you how!
Because, the government is saddled with leadership roles, leaders must be able to show capacity to lead without sentiments and emotions, but by providing direction, purpose and sense of responsibility. In a bit to fill up the vacuum therefore, government must not coerce the citizenry, but most first inspire a patriotic sense of responsibility amongst it’s people, to propel them to help ‘finance’ governance, and not withhold dues; To help secure, feel secured in a bit to eschew lawlessness and crime; support and participate in governance and not fight it’s structures etc. Having said the above, the ability to inspire the citizenry comes with nothing more than the ability to first ‘feel’ the vacuum existent, then proceed to ‘fill’ it.
It is these simple things that will ensure the circle of give-and-take is sustained and runs smoothly. And I must quickly add, and emphatically too, that any idiot can do this, except of course one has no intention of doing so. Where this is the case, it will become quite understandable, than a non-existent posturing of commitment and concerns.
It is in the light of the above that the Kaduna State Government must begin to ‘feel’ the security gap between it and the masses, particularly those in Southern Kaduna. The government must inspire a sense of belonging and concern, and not only be seen to do so, but it must do so in its statements, pronouncements, actions and in all ramifications. It is only when these things are done, then the process of ‘filling’ the security along with so many other vacuums can commence or said to be in progress. Untill then, in the absence of security, the people must secure and protect their lives and property within the ambit of law, just as they would acquire an I-pass-my-neighbour generator to augment an epileptic power supply.