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GOVERNMENT & THE GOVERNED

By NBF News

It's always being one side of the coin, either the government in power is responsive to the yearnings and aspirations of the governed or it's not. One issue that has always suffered neglect is the degree of responsiveness of the people to the policies and programmes of government.

The best any responsible government could do is to put in place genuine and proper policies and programmes that would guarantee an enabling environment for the citizens to conduct their daily endeavors without molestations. But of greater importance is the people's orientation and attitude towards government policies, whether genuine or otherwise.

No matter how well articulated and credible government policies and programmes might be, the success/successes of such policies and programmes would depend on the response from the governed. As we match towards 2011 electoral year, government is doing everything possible to put in place a well reconstituted and responsible INEC, by putting men of proven integrity in the helm of affairs to ensure credible and acceptable elections. Good intention.

The peoples vote must count. Another good intention. No matter how well inclined government intention/s might be, basic to achieving this is the peoples attitude. The choice of Prof. Atahiru Jega (a distinguished gentleman of proven integrity) is a demonstration of government sincere desire to conduct credible and acceptable elections. My worry still remains. Prof. Atahiru Jega, with his state INEC commissioners may find it easier to crack rocks with bare teeth than to deliver free, fair, credible and acceptable elections as envisaged by government, except there is a turn-around in the attitude of the electorate.

The time to begin grass root orientation and mobilization is now. The people must change their approach to elections. The electorate must know that the only right he has to decide who represents him in any office, from counsellorship to presidency, is his legitimate voter's card and a duly exercised voter's right. If the peoples vote must count, then the people must vote. One man, one vote must be institutionalized.

I'm not given by nature to viewing things from their superficial or peripheral level. The people must work hand in hand with government to ensure peace and security. Only genuine and peaceful election can produce credible and acceptable results, permissible only with the provision of adequate security to forestall attempts by criminally prone politicians from perpetuating their evil mechanisms. Government must continue to do everything possible to ensure youth empowerment to reduce the number of idle youths these unrepentant politicians would have at their disposal to perpetuate their nefarious activities.

One of those good qualities worthy of emulation from our humble president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, is his patience and peaceful approach to all issues. He has always believed that genuine development would elude the people except a peaceful atmosphere is sustained. I am not unaware of politics and its attendant attractions, as well as its apologists.

We need not delude or force the electorate to enjoy their trust, but gradual persuasion through people oriented programmes remains a necessary joker. The government is up and doing in its attempt to ensure credible elections. Let's all join hands with this administration to ensure peaceful co-existence, healthy politicking and to usher in a government of the people, by the people and for the people - 'TRUE DEMOCRACY'.

Alh. Umoru Oshioke A.
Edo State Co-ordinator,
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan Forum for global peace.