Whose government is government anyway? That’s trite, if not pedestrian, you would say dear reader? But as they say in a corner of this great country, something often causes the cocoyam to meow like a cat. Some things around us which most of us have taken for granted often push Hardball to sometimes make silly seemingly enquiries.
Of course any smart basic school pupil would tell you government is of the people, by the people and for the (benefit) of the people. Conversely, governance ought to be service to the people by servants of the people for the good of all.
But most of us have forgotten the meaning of government, atleast it seems so. Government for us is now about the man or woman who signs the cheque and who holds the instrument of coercion which in turn ensures a monopoly of State force. So just as the president is often equated to the over-lordship of the country, a governor is invested with the toga of Alpha and Omega of a state by even the people you expect to know better and who should know better.
A full page colour advert in a national paper published last Monday will illustrate our point. Full color page advert even in the most obscure daily At the top of the page is the official seal of the Ebonyi State Government; it emanates from the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and the message is indeed signed by him. For the avoidance of doubt, at the bottom of the page is a long signature rendered in green ink and under it is the name: Professor Benard Ifeanyi Odoh (SSG).
So what is the full-page newspaper message about? Here is the title: GRAND NEW YEAR FELICITATIONS TO HIS EXCELLENCY, ENGR (CHIEF) DAVE NWEZE UMAHI, FNSE, FNATE, JP. Please note that all emphasis is as supplied in the publication. And lest we forget, the full page bears the picture of ‘His Excellency’ smiling broadly, not missing his now famous fedora hat.
As you have found out, and as stated in the first paragraph, the full page newspaper advert is a grand new year wishes and felicitations from the Government and the good people of Ebonyi State to his Excellency and the First Family.
And as you can already guess, the rest of the missive is a litany of the great achievements of the governor in only 18 months. As it is the practice in our much perverse clime, every bit of petty activity in the entire state is attributed to one person as if he is the next thing since superman comic jugged our imagination.
Let’s take another sample from paragraph three: “Your self-driven strategic transformation programme has restored hope for a better future in favor of our teeming youths and women population.”
What more can we say? This incestuous eye-service of an SSG toasting his governor surely reduces governance. And signed by a professor; unknowing younger administrators would take it as the norm. Most diminishing, to put it nicely.