By Comrd. Venantius-Mary Chidozie Okeke
Effective democracy that crystallizes societal development in every sector requires full and uninhibited participation of technopolitical pundits, resource managers and leaders with proven records. Disparity in political participation in different forms, especially at the gladiatorial level where political moneybags and accidental philanthropists take the centre stage is a well-known fact of our present-day political equation which invariably undermines the spate of progress and development in our society.
If sustainable societal development means the insurance of the future generations on progress and evolution, then the relationship between leadership and sustainable development is very important and should be evaluated, because there is no development without leadership especially in the social, human, infrastructural, economic and cultural dimension.
But how can leaderships play this role in the modern society?
The bane of societal problem in Nigeria has been attributed to the failure of political leadership. There are of course failures in other areas, but these are traceable to political leadership deficiencies. Most challenging is the fact that some of the political elites in the country are not in the productive class, but rely on the control of state structures to access economic rewards. The over politicization of the Nigerian state is also understood in the context of the unmediated struggle for power, influence and patronage. The nature of political contest ensures the emergence of a local governing class without ideological commitment. Rather than pursue political contests within ideological frameworks, politics became a contested terrain for shallow, self-centered political gains and as such, the holistic progress and development of the society takes the back stage.
In some of the Nigerian states today, leadership deficiency in public spending has resulted in massive looting of the treasury. Lack of accountability and gross mismanagement of public enterprises and institutions by the ruling class, have become a major drain on the people’s communal resources. There is a growing global consensus on the devastating effect of corruption on development and good governance. There is an organic interconnection between quality of governance and capacity to drive a sustainable human and capital development.
Techno-democratic governance is fundamental to contemporary public service and societal development. This is because the roles of the democrats and technocrats become more relevant in policy formulation and implementation when the government had to (re)invent its institutions to move from routine administration to that of people-centric development planning and management. Techno-domocratic ideology values technical and manegerial expertise itself and its technical experts, efficiency, economic development and the resultant mass consumption. Technodemocratic ideology places its belief in planning and rational management, with respect to fundamental human rights and healthy living. More than anything else, it is the fruit of utilitarian economic rationalism. No nation of the world has progressed and developed when insipid, stale and visionless minds inundate the entire system of governance.
As the Chief Willie-Obiano’s administration in Anambra state tends towards its constitutional conclusion, it is pertinent that Anambrarians look beyond different forms of personal interests and affiliations and ensure the enthronement of a people-oriented government that will leverage and consolidate on the achievements of the present government for the greater good of the citizenry.
As Anambra state moves towards another era of gubernatorial election, and as the world is turning around due to the ugly prevalence of the Covid 19 Pandemic in our society, there is a challenging need to enthrone a truly people-centric techno-democratic government which will utilize its technical expertise to turn our dwindling allocation from the federation account and poor revenue generated internally into productive investments, and reinvent the government institutions to suite the prevalent situation as against committing the people’s communal wealth to bogus projects that will be detrimental to productive investments.
Technodemocrats, resource managers, political leaders with proven records of proficiency and effective leadership, as well as knowledge-based state actors with the “interest of the state at heart” should be given the opportunity to take over the affairs of the state. These group of people which can be found in every gender, discipline and age group, seek to inform, assess and integrate the state structure in a merit-based management system.The have the capacity to initiate, orchestrate and engage in the co-creation of public value outcomes.This is the future for developing societies.
As a people, we must jettison the politics of personal interest and primitive accumulation of wealth which do not guarantee good governance. Let us not sacrifice proficiency on the alter of personal aggrandizement and interests that do not add to public value. Any government enthroned through such process, neither believe in social justice nor in equal opportunity for every citizen.
This should be our guiding principle come 2021!
Comrd Venantius-Mary Chidozie Okeke is a teacher, writer, guest columnist, social media personality and public affairs analyst!