Good Governance As Panacea For Insecurity, Instability In Nigeria, Africa

“Good governance is the process of measuring how public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources and guarantee the realization of human rights in a manner essentially free of abuse and corruption and with due regard for the rule of law.

“The concept of “good governance” thus emerges as a model to compare ineffective economies or political bodies with viable economies and political bodies.

“The concept centers on the responsibility of governments and governing bodies to meet the needs of the masses as opposed to select groups in society” (Wikipedia)

There is no gainsaying the fact that the African continent is currently grappling with challenges of insecurity, occasioned by terrorism, insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, thuggery, armed robbery, separatist agitation, and the like.

Apart from insecurity, the region is being confronted with the rising incident of coups d’etat, which culminate in instability, and turmoil, thereby leaving the entity worse than it was before.

If anything, the development has continued to impact negatively on the socio-economic and political well-being of the continent. Suffice to say that it is deeming the light on the potential of the “bloc” to deliver optimally on her social contract with the people.

INSECURITY: NIGERIA AS A CASE STUDY:

This albatross can be better appreciated when viewed against the backdrop of the fourteen-year insurgency in the North East, which has crippled the economy of the general area (literally speaking), leaving in the trail humanitarian crisis of mammoth dimension. Many have described the situation in the North East as an “existential threat”.

Across the country, insecurity has continued to manifest in different forms, the consequence of which has denied the ordinary Nigerians the much-expected dividend of democracy; good roads, cottage industries, affordable healthcare, and investment opportunities among others.

Only recently, the Nigeria Security Tracker (NST), a Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)-powered project of the United States (US) made a startling revelation to the effect that activities of violent non-state actors had resulted in the deaths of at least 5,222 people across the country. It said the killings happened between January and June 2022.

The tracker, however, disclosed that there was a decline of 655 violent killing cases from 5,877 recorded within the same timeframe in 2021.

It explained that The figures were obtained from the official website of the council, a Washington-based think-tank, showing ambivalent movement in the trajectories of armed violence and its consequences across all the states of the federation.

Specifically, NST tracks violence symptomatic of Nigeria’s political instability and citizen alienation. The data are based on weekly surveys of local and international media.
The tracker captured death casualties resulting from the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-east, banditry in the North-west, Fulani herdsmen violence in the North-central, and secessionist uprisings in the South-east, among others.

A statement on the NST page of CFR’s website read in part: “Relying on press reports of violence presents methodological limitations. There is a dearth of accurate reporting across certain regions, death tolls are imprecise, and accounts of incidents vary. There is the potential for political manipulation of the media.

“Given these limitations, the NST makes every effort to collect information from multiple sources. Nevertheless, NST statistics should be viewed as indicative rather than definitive,” the statement pointed out.

RISING INCIDENT OF COUPS

In the last three years, no fewer than three coups d’etat have taken place in three African countries, all of which are in the Sahel.

MALI

The 2021 Malian coup d’état began on the night of 24 May 2021 when the Malian Army led by Vice President Assimi Goïta captured President Bah Ndaw. The West African nation remained under that weight till date.

BURKINA FASO

The Putsch in Burkina Faso occurred on 30 September 2022, culminating in the removal of Interim President Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba over his alleged inability to deal with the country’s Islamist insurgency.

NIGER

Like a bolt from the blue, the country’s presidential guard, on 26 July 2023, detained President Mohamed Bazoum, and Presidential Guard commander General Abdourahamane Tchiani proclaimed himself the leader of a new military junta.

Notwithstanding, there is a consensus of opinion, which is to the effect that the failure on the part of concerned authorities in the past to deliver good governance to the people, may have exacerbated the spate of insecurity, and political instability in the continent.

The dialectical conclusion drew strength from the biting case of poverty, the lack of access to education in many communities, absence of skill acquisition centres in others, youth unemployment, incendiary rhetorics by opportunistic leaders, existence of ungoverned spaces, etc.

The development had compelled former President Goodluck Jonathan to warn that, if left unchecked, citizens’ trust in democracy may be eroded, ultimately.

Speaking at the second edition of the dialogue series of his Foundation, Jonathan had said: “The challenges of poverty and unemployment and non-attainment of basic economic rights has created a crisis of trust in the hearts of citizens on the role and impact of democracy in our society.

“These issues have begun to question the fate of democracy as well as the impact on the peace, security, and development of the continent”.

The following quotes by famous philosophers and thinkers, inspire hope:

“The great thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving.” Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius.

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