OF GOVERNORS AND OVER-SIGHT FUNCTIONS12 views
If a political party has given its governorship ticket to a certain aspirant and that person goes on to win the governorship election, the duty that political party owes to the people ought not to stop there.
The party ought to make sure that the governor implements the party's manifesto. Indeed the party ought to make sure that there are performance benchmarks set for the governor in line with the party’s manifesto. Simply put, there ought to be a framework for periodic evaluation of the governor's performance within the party hierarchy. This ought to be an integral part of the party’s internal control.
Ditto state House of Assembly. The 1999 Nigerian Constitution empowers it to exercise over-sight functions over the State Executive arm of government headed by the Governor. Aside making laws for the good governance of the state, a State House of Assembly is also supposed to make sure that the governor executes programs in line with his budget.
But what do we have today? Of all the 36 State Houses of Assembly in Nigeria today, there is no single one that can effectively check the governor. The governor decides everything in the state. He operates like an emperor. In most cases he tells the state House of Assembly what to do. Neither the governor’s party nor the state House of Assembly can call the governor to order if he goes wrong.
This unfortunate situation is happening because the focus of the ordinary people is on Abuja, or more specifically, on Aso Rock. The State and Local governments are closer to the people, yet not much attention is paid to them. That is why a state governor can owe workers several months’ arrears of salaries, even after collecting bail-out funds plus monthly allocation.
I posit that the job of political parties in Nigeria does not stop at capturing power. They also owe it a duty to continuously educate and enlighten the people on the tenets of democratic governance and what their roles as electorates are in it. Above all, a political party owes it a duty to the people to demand performance from its elected public office holders in line with the party's manifesto and campaign promises of its flag bearers.