There are many things that determine and shape how we live as a people, and who and what we eventually become in life. For example, our culture, our race or ethnicity, our religion as well as the environment we have found ourselves in; all play vital roles in shaping our lives. But another important thing that can have so much impact on our lives positively or negatively is the way we are governed as a people. Bad governance can cripple people’s potential for greatness and keep them confined. Conversely, good governance can create an enabling environment, open doors of opportunities, and make a great difference in people’s lives.

It is imperative therefore that everyone occupying leadership position should discharge their responsibilities with a sense of sincere service to the people they have been elected or appointed to serve. When our leaders are sensitive to the needs of citizens and respond accordingly, there will be little or no room for civil unrest or chaos in our society.

According to John Kerry, former Secretary of State, United States of America, “Missiles kill terrorists but good governance kills terrorism”.
Good governance that translates into better living conditions for the people can lead to sustainable peace, stability, and societal development. Official power therefore should not be used for embezzlement or disrepute gain but for genuine service to the people. We strongly believe that when those at the helm of affairs carry out their responsibilities with a sense of service to the nation and not a desire to amass wealth, this nation cannot but become greater and better.

According to the Greek Philosopher, Aristotle, the state exists not only for the sake of life but for the sake of good life. He also noted that the political society exists to serve man’s needs, to provide the individual with the means and circumstances that would enable him to develop himself and attain the goal of life. He further said that “The citizens of a country will always criticize the state unless their conditions of living with it are such that they can achieve happiness in the form of what they consider the good life”. I never forget the words of one of my lecturers at the University of Benin, Mr. Odigwe Nwaokocha, he said “When a system fails in its responsibility, it ceases to command the loyalty of the people.”

When the commonwealth of the Nigerian people keeps getting diverted into private pockets of political actors and their cronies, unconsciously we lay the foundation for crisis and revolt. Someday, the people will ask questions and demand for answers. In the words of the late sage and one of Nigeria’s founding fathers Chief Obafemi Awolowo “A truly public-spirited person should accept public office not for what he can get for himself – such as the profit and glamour of office – but for the opportunity which it offers him of serving his people to the best of his ability, by promoting their welfare and happiness”. Good governance will always lead to peace and harmony in a society.

Osere Daniels – YES Project Research Officer

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Youth Empowerment Solutions Project Initiative, aka YES Project is a non profit civil society organization working to build the capacity of young people, advocate for/and promote their inclusion in Democratic governance and ensure delivery of public services.


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