Opinion: SETTING AGENDA FOR THE NEXT GOVERNOR OF KWARA – By: Dr. Seyi Adigun

Agenda No 1

Open Government

‘’It is incumbent on us to make clear promises, therefore, and to deliver on them. If the people do not feel that they are governing themselves, it is not good governance no matter the goods we deliver.’’ – Dr. Bukola Saraki.


>>> Governance Agenda #TEAMKwara 2019.

THE OPEN GOVERNMENT

Participatory democracy is the most acceptable way by which decent, humane, peaceful and purposeful governance can be achieved. Apart from the rights to choose and be chosen which are accorded to citizens, one common feature of democratic systems is openness. 

Open Government is a broad concept which seeks to ensure that the public and elected representatives are at par as much as feasible with respect to activities relating to government running. This will include the processes leading up to major decisions, dimensions and directions of governmental interventions, management of resources and direct involvement in the business of government. 

Open Government will require freedom of information and access to data but certainly goes beyond these two pivots. Transparency, accountability and inclusiveness are in fact the bedrock of a truly Open Government. In Nigeria, the idea of openness in government is not a new trend. Even during the military autocracy, the language ‘open door’ policy has always been in use. Democratic practice however has brought this concept more to the fore. 

Kwara State, since the epochal years of the Saraki governorship, has been in the lead for widening of the frontiers of openness in government. That tradition has been upheld by the incumbent, H/E Dr. Abdulfatah Ahmed and several other elected representatives in Kwara. Town Hall meetings and other fora have afforded the people opportunities to, first hand, scrutinise the activities of government. Can this be culture be deepened even more by TEAMKwara 2019?

‘’The people are demanding more openness, more accountability and more convictions. Those of us in government are also responding, joining the conversation and accepting that the basis of our legitimacy as government is our manifest accountability to the people. We acknowledge that if we want Nigerians to trust their government again, then government at all levels must demonstrate that we are not in office for the pursuit of private gains, but to make our people happier by helping them to meet their legitimate aspirations and achieve a higher quality of life.’’ – DR. BUKOLA SARAKI

BENEFITS OF OPEN GOVERNMENT TO KWARA

Expanding and deepening the culture of openness in government will bring the following benefits to Kwara:

Strengthen the democratic ideal in our dear State

Promote efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of service 

Help to build trust and accountability

Help in gaining more confidence from all stakeholders within and outside

–     Contribute to the expansion and strengthening of the Kwara economy

Open Government in Kwara is not just about accountability; in fact, it is not a guarantee of it. It offers more prospect in the long run. 

It changes the way things are done; giving room for more practical innovation in resolving existing challenges in Kwara and improving on past achievements.

It reinforces a necessary relationship of mutual trust and cooperation between the people of Kwara and the elected government.

It increases the space and enthusiasm for more people to participate in government.

The Open House philosophy which is clearly visible in the consensus building outlay of the GreatHall political formation is one of the most important steadying strategies that have buoyed the Saraki political movement over the decades with its influence unwavering and people-connectivity daily on the rise.

For the next Governor of Kwara [GOKw] & TEAMKwara’19, the OpenHouse philosophy must underpin every aspect of governance planning and running. This is critical for the realisation of set objectives, smooth governance and galvanisation of ideas-input from all willing Kwarans.

THE TASKS

i. A CLEAR BLUEPRINT; the next GOKw should come in guided by a concise, pro-active blueprint with massive inputs from the Kwara citizenry. A key part of this blueprint should be, specifically, how openness is intended to be achieved from Day 1. This will create a direct basis for robust engagement between the elected and the people; building trust regarding visions and intentions. 

ii. INCLUSIVENESS: Politics is about interests and interests are about the people. The people of Kwara must be familiar with the blueprint being executed but also, they should be in the know and in the ‘show’ of how this is accomplished. No matter how good the blueprint is, therefore, if there is no appreciable inclusiveness, thumbs down will be the verdict from the people.

iii. TRANSPARENCY

Transparency is what keeps trust within the rank and file of the government team.

Transparency is what earns our interventions the title of ‘achievements’.

And transparency here is not referring to what is written in the books alone but more so about what is written in the hearts! 

iv. COMMUNICATION

Effective communication is the most essential part of the Open Government Agenda. 

To exercise and strengthen governance sinews, COMMUNICATION is key!

OPEN GOVERNMENT AGENDA: COMPETENCIES FOR THE NEXT KWARA GOVERNOR

Must understand and subscribe to the core essence of Open Government

Must have demonstrable positive ‘people working with’ track record 

People possess a high people connectivity index 

Must be able to showcase commitment to the open Government tenets in his (or ‘her’?..) blueprint.

Must be a communicator

The countdown continues. Let’s talk, setting agenda for the next Governor of Kwara. Next Discourse is on Human Capital Development (part 1).

It is good here.

Dr. Seyi Adigun.

We Follow The Leader, We Serve!

seyiadigun@yahoo.com  08030794827. Twitter: @seyiadigun

Related Posts

About The Author

Add Comment

%d bloggers like this: