Our Government Has Failed Us. By Izunna Okafor

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It is high time we faced the reality and do away with theoretical

Where do we start from? Where do we go? And to whom do we count on?

Right from my childhood age, I have always here this word – ‘GOVERNMENT’ which at a point i curiously began to imagine and wonder if that was actually a name of a person, a particular group of people, the public, an institution or a place of its own.

This was because its non-exaggerative commonness and usage by the people in their daily dictums and parlance. I would always hear people say things
like: ‘this government is clueless'(as a person); ‘they (the government) have forgotten us’ (as a particular group of people); ‘the system is corrupt’ or ‘he is working in government’ (as an institution); ‘if I go there, I will give free education’ (as a place), and other expressions alike.

These varied usage of the word ‘government’ perplexed my clear and vivid understanding of what it actually means. ‘Who knows? It might be a name of a god’, I sometimes wondered aloud as I also heard people say things like: ‘we are waiting for our government to rescue us’, ‘our government has failed to provide for us’ ‘we are dead in the hand of this wicked government’ and ‘only government has the power to do that’.

All these things diametrically bewilder me and no one ever volunteered to clarify; despite my eager inquisitiveness and curiosity. Even my thenteacher could not elucidate. But, be it as it may, at a particular point, I intellectually began to understand that government is actually all those things – a person, a
particular group of people, the public, an institution, a place, and of
course a god. Yes; government is all those things to and for people. I
conceived it.

Another thing that now began to puzzle me became ‘How does this government play her roles in each of these capacities in rendering her services to humanity?’

‘This is a very critical question; you are thinking above your age’ my
teacher responded when I tabled that before her, (without giving any direct

‘Anyway, it can never be exhausted’ she finally broke the silence, dropping
in my mind another curious quest for the search and understanding of the
literary meaning of the word ‘exhausted’.

‘May be this woman is part of the government’ i silently wondered as i made away, still bearing the already-internalize word – ‘exhausted’ in mind, so as to rummage for the meaning.

Finally, I got to understand that governments’ practical performance in some key areas of their primary onus is tantamount to a non-theoretical zero.

What do i mean by that? All those rueful thoughts and dictums that I have always heard people daily expressed about government in various ways are nothing far from the truth; Our governments
have always failed us.

The commonest to start with is the issue of provision of social amenities. Personally rating, our governments are still below the minimum benchmark on this side of the leaf as in others; they have failed us. Many major roads in our various rural and urban areas, are still wearing their ugliest outfit even at this period of highly acclaimed development. It is true that a government must not tar all the roads in its areas of jurisdiction, but it is also obvious that there are some roads that when one sees, he would mercifully begin to imagine if that area is actually part of a government jurisdiction or a spelled hinterland. Why would it be so while we have people in government?

They have failed us.

During campaign period, they would always come and entertain us with their bogus mendacious campaign promises; each one romancing his sweet tongue and
pledging what he cannot fulfill, just to win the support of the masses. And
once they get into the office, they immediately forget all those empty
promises they made and would never breathe of them again until another
election draws near.

You can’t even have access to them any more once they get into the office
let alone tabling your problems before them. They would be always busy and would never have your time again until another election draws near, then they would now start perambulating again with another brand of spurious manifestoes.

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Funny enough, during this period, they would try to come with some cheap gift items or materials to share or automatically embark upon some cheap projects and programmes just to silence and bribe you and secure your mandate for the second time.
Who are they fooling??

Even when any of the projects or programmes is finally commenced, it would hardly see a completion time, and even if it miraculously sees a
completion, it would hardly be of quality standard; the people in charge
will always try to elicit some selfish gain from the resources mapped for
that it.

They would always want to practice what they are known for – corruption.
That is why there are so many overlooked, abandoned and sub-standard projects littering everywhere.

Our governments have failed us.

No social amenities; no good road network and yet we pay exorbitant taxes; no good water; no job for our youths and graduates; we pay electricity bill without seeing or using any light and yet additional tariff is being augmented; fuel pump price is being hiked to the iroko tree, causing
incessant increase in the price of things, and thereby aggravating the
suffering of the masses; no security and yet one government official is
moving with seven policemen, three soldiers and two civil defense (fully
armed); no food and no money for the poor and yet the people who are ruling and representing them in the government are going home with millions and billions of naira on periodic/timely basis with over fifteen allowances being paid to them, including the ones they nominally receive on their behalf; no house for the poor; people want to go to school no money; youths have innovative ideas to develop but no money and no sponsor; youths finish vocational training and want to start up their own, no money and no one to
help out; the poor are oppressed and there is no one to speak for them or
defend them in the court; the disabled are discriminated and excluded from
the governance and yet no one would defend or provide for them; sick people and pregnant women are dying in the rural areas due to absence of standard hospital and yet we keep announcing and advertising the arrival of a new diseases; they claim we have good hospitals and yet they always fly abroad to take treatment, even when they have headache; they claim we have good
and equipped schools and yet their own children are all studying abroad;
Students are taking lectures under an open roof and on a bare floor; civil
servants are not paid their salaries and yet their children are denied
exams in the school because of school fees; they claim they fight
corruption, yet they are the main source of corruption; corruption starts from them but the fight starts from the masses; even the newest and the lowest person in the office is corrupt; looting, embezzlement,
misappropriation, money laundering and bribery are the order of the day,
just as the entire system is totally corrupt; there is a very bad economic
situation and yet their salaries are not affected; the value of naira is currently dwindling and unstable, even than before; they siphon our fund and suck-dry our purse; they use our common wealth to enrich themselves; those who are rich are getting richer day by day while those who are poor are getting poorer day by day


‘The best time to rate a politician’s performance in office is not when
election draws near but when even selection is not near’.
We are the cause of our problem to start with; we are the people who put
them there with our vote and mandate.

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Let’s be practically frank about this; what makes you vote for a particular
candidate out of many other ones seeking your vote and mandate? Is it
because of the peanut (bribe) you receive that makes you sell your vote? Is it because of cheap materials that they do dash out whenever election is around the corner, in the name of empowerment? Or is it because of the cheap sub-standard projects they usually embark upon whenever election draws near, in the name of constituency project ? Is it because of affiliation, influence or sentiment? Do you vote for a
particular person because he is contesting under one political party that you like? Or do you vote for a person because you perceive he can do the job?


Why would you sell your vote, your right and your voice because of these
cheap cheap things that do not even cover a reasonable percentage of the
billions they make there when they enter? Fellow Nigerians, why do they use these things to silence you and bribe away your right? Have you ever asked yourself why these things are always coming at the crucial time of another election? Why is it always at the time of campaign and tenure expiration? Why not bring them in their first, second or third year in office? Why do they always share that bag of rice on their fourth year in office? Is that the only year that hunger wires people? The simple answer to these is that they use those things to deceive you, bribe you, silence you, incarcerate your conscience, secure your vote and buy your mandate for the second time,
just to show you the level of your political blindness.

What a wickedness ! This evil must stop!

Our people say that he who does not know where rain starts beating him will not know where it will stop beating him. These are the root causes of our problem and the bad government. You collect rice and eat or collect the money or other gift items and you vote the person in for the second time; and before nine months, your pregnancy (problems) will mature again or resuscitate and you start complaining in vain.

Sometimes, when election is at the door step, some of them will start
perambulating and flagging off some shallow and often bogus projects and
programmes in the name of ‘youths empowerment’ – an imbizzo where naïve youths would be gathered and overloaded with theoretical therapies and promises, after which they would be shared gala and drinks and dismissed with Transport Token (TT). And that is the end.

Who is deceiving who?

Enough is enough! We can say NO to this and the time is NOW. Start to
access their performances now that they are in offices. What development
have they brought to your area; what is the economic situation like and
what programmes and projects have they embarked upon? Now is the right time to rate your leaders and their performances and not when another election draws near.

Access them, appraise them and rate them now and write out the
names of people you are going to vote out in the next election in order to
make the right selection and entrench the desired erection (growth). A
clear and complete attention must be give to this latent issue of choosing
a leader, if our problems must stop, because we are the people who have the right to choose, reject or decide on anybody. So, Let’s ratiocinate and
choose wisely.

Secondly, let’s always present, press and pressure our leaders with our
societal and developmental needs and problems. It has been ratified that
most of our leaders are ignorant and unaware of our problems, needs and
complaints, especially that of those in the rural areas and hinterlands.
Very few of the leaders are willing, eager and ready to help or deliver;
but because we do not make our problems and needs known to them, they claim never to know that they exist; after all there is no way they can perambulate round all the hinterlands within their areas of jurisdiction to know what the people are facing or the problems they are encountering. So, we should always make our problems known to them through the appropriate channels and mediums.

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And not only that, we should consistently and persistently confront them, disturb them, remind them and pressurize them on and with those problems until they are given full and complete attention because the leader might forget or abandon them as time goes on.

Thirdly, we should try as much as possible to monitor, keep surveillance
and constant watch over any on-going or completed project in our areas. We
should do away with any act vandalism, treason, stealing,
carelessness, laissez-faire attitude and other acts that hamper and
jeopardize development, contravene the law or demoralize the leader. These are the things that impinge on our societal development.

Fourthly on the side of our leaders, you people change your bad attitudes
and remember the people you are leading or representing. Always give ears to their cries and always give attentions to their problems, alleviate their sufferings, forget not them once you get into the office, source their challenges, aggregate their needs and articulate their interests to formulate them into a meaningful policy that would better their lives and in turn help to bring about developments.

Always remember to fulfill your campaign promises for the Bible says that it is better for you never to make promise than to make one and fail to
fulfill it.

Always try to be truthful for once. And most importantly, do away with all
forms of corruption for it kills the nation; it is the most poisonous
anti-development. Always remember that there is a God who is seeing you and all your deeds.

Finally, we should all go on our knees and pray to God upon our leaders and
our country.
Let’s not always complain too much but table it before God. Always pray for them because it is not always easy to lead; and it takes grace to lead
well. Let’s always commit the leaders into the able hand of God so that he
would touch their mind, direct their ways and pilots their affairs.

Any country that doesn’t pray for her leaders or any leader that doesn’t
pray for his country is likely to achieve nothing but a failure. And we are surely meant to understand that we all are leaders; just the that the scope differs.

So my fellow Nigerians, let’s always present our country and our leaders
before the Lord as we hope for a real change we expect.
Let us start with these few panaceas and solutions to our problems afore
mentioned above; we shall surely achieve the desired condition we always dream about. It starts with you and me. Let’s put these into practice and see what the future holds for our dear nation.

My Prayer is that Nigeria, some day some time, will surely experience the
emancipation we long for, the positive change we deserve and the outright growth we dream about.
Be a good and patriotic citizen and say ‘NO’ to any form of corruption.
Always do the best you can and leave the rest for God, he can; we shall get
there one day.


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