This is Nigeria

This is Nigeria

The Nigerian society, like many others, conflates the political sphere, and its revolving casts and incredulous plots, with actual governance. This column contrasts the vast stories of politics with the hard truths of governance to give a sense of how Nigeria can be great again.

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Governance is not Politics

A F Adekaiyaoja

A F Adekaiyaoja

Interested in the intersection between politicking and governance in Nigeria.

I have a theory about Nigerian elections: each time, we move a step closer to the democracy that we crave and deserve. In 2007, we learnt that despite the attempts of a powerful and active two-time Head of State, nobody owned Nigeria. In 2011, we saw that anyone could become president, whether you were a former Head of State or an ethnic minority son of a fisherman from the creeks.

For 2015, we may disagree.

I think it showed that despite electing a man with seemingly unquestionable integrity, one who had relentlessly tried to become president, and who made Nigeria believe in change once again, one man alone cannot save Nigeria. We see this in the many issues that have trailed Buhari’s presidency; from economic missteps to PR gaffes, party mismanagement and tone-deaf responses to crises—or critics, and that three-month absence. Governance cannot be trivialised, and the ability to govern remains the hottest commodity in Nigerian leadership.

This brings me to the current crop of presidential aspirants. I want to listen to a leader lay down policy points and persuade me on the best course of action for Nigeria. But charisma and intellect pale in comparison to the primary trait I desire in anyone trying to lead: they must be able to govern effectively with political acumen and institutional support.

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