Buhari’s 2yrs In Office: A Celebration Of First Of The Firsts In Failed Governance Records In Nigeria Since 1960
The leadership of Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law has always maintained that the best way to measure or assess the records or performances of public governance in Nigeria carried out by successive and present Federal and State Governments, whether military, civilian or diarchy, since the country’s independence in 1960, is to embark on factual, realistic and comparative assessment of Nigeria with its peers in South America, Asia, Middle East and some African countries.
Such comparative governance assessors must also be grounded with what modern public governance is all about or its core essence.
By Nigeria’s peers in South America, Asia and its Southeast, Middle East and its gulf region, and some African countries; they are those countries that got their independences in the same era or decade with Nigeria or those that shared same or lower Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or Gross National Product (GNP) as well as parity or lower income per capita with Nigeria in the 60s and 70s.
Some of those countries include Singapore, Malaysia, China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Omar, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Iran, Israel, Botswana, Ghana, Angola, South Africa, etc.
Most importantly, the assessors must fully be grasped and grounded with the core pillars or foundations of modern governance which are rested on facilitation at all times of greatest happiness to the greatest number of citizens through provision, delivery and maintenance of:
1. key public infrastructures and tangible and intangible social developments and services (i.e. security, safety, welfare, health, education, jobs, leisure and recreation, protection of citizens’ core values such as ethnic identities, religion and right of existence);
2. human rights and rule of law (i.e. equality and nondiscrimination before the law, supremacy of the constitution or mother law and respect and protection of citizens’ constitutional rights/liberties);
3. equitable and non-dominant allocation of the public or collective resources, public institutions and appointments or public offices;
4. total absence of three hydra headed monsters, namely: physical or direct, structural and cultural violence; and above all,
5. promotion and institutionalization of public and individual moral decency in public governance and among the elected and appointed public office holders in the country or any part thereof.
Totality of these is called international best practices in modern public governance.
It must be remembered and pointed out clearly too that modern public governance was parented by Social Contract, designed by modern thinkers for the purpose of earthly and humanly tame or control the wickedness of human beings against fellow human beings and the environment so as not to make life and the living short, nasty, brutish, dominant and dictatorial.
These explain why the Social Contract or public governance and its dos and don’ts were put in place by modern thinkers.
The Social Contract, it must be emphasized, was inspired by the Holy Book’s instruction- do to others what you will want them do to you and refrain from doing to them what you will not do to them.
The historical Social Contract is dated back to several centuries and became globally popular and recognized in 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th century ADs.
It was particularly popularized by the great philosophical works of the trio of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), John Locke (1632-1704) and Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778); resulting to 1689 enactment of British Bill of Rights, 1776 American Independence declaration and 1789 French Declaration of the Right of Man and the Citizens, etc.
To Jean Jacques Rousseau, man was indeed born free, but everywhere in chains. For Thomas Hobbes, the happiness of man in a society has been gripped by fear of violent death in the hands of another.
The two great philosophers favored a society in which the society and its people were sovereign and free leading to a community where a group of free individuals agree for the sake of their common (social contract) good and protection to form institutions to govern themselves. John Locke added more popularity to the greatness of Social Contract.
In his 1690 famous book called the Second Treatise of Civil Government, John Locke saw and called for a situation where a free, equal and independent people agreed to be governed in return for certain secure enjoyment for their individual rights, which the courts and police powers of a government can enforce leading to every free individual having a moral right to be protected from arbitrary interference by government or other individuals, of his or her sacred rights.
These reinforce the legal philosophy of man’s equality in dignity and rights and inevitable justifications for their protection by a limited government.
It is therefore important to inform that it is from the great philosophical work of John Locke that a leading American independence campaigner, Thomas Jefferson, who later became the third President of the United States (1743-1826), took his country’s independence declaration’s speech of July 6, 1776.
The most popular part of the speech says and we quote:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men (and women) are created equal and endowed with certain natural and inalienable rights, and most important being of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.