Mr. Dare Adeoye is a Management and Development Consultant. He recenlty spoke on the reported dwindling trust level between citizens and government. He examined this issue from a global perspective amidst other issues. Here are the excerpts
Tell us about yourself
I am Dare Adeoye, a Management and Development Consultant based in Osogbo, Osun State.
Globally, there seems to be an increasing level of distrust in governments by citizens. What do you think could have caused this?
Yes of course. There has been sort of distrust between citizens and their political representatives. Generally, I believe government should be an all inclusive thing. But the leaders, especially of the contemporary time are seeing it in a different perspective. They are seeing leadership as a discreet business that should not be revealed to the governed. This, to citizens, means that the government has something to hide. Even when eventually the government decides to address the citizens on any burning issue, it may be belated. Added to this is the mindset of the citizens that nothing reasonable is expected from the government since they are particularly detached from the governed.
Many people have said liberal democracy is a scam especially in Sub Saharan Africa including Nigeria. Do you agree with this?
Yes of course. Democracy is not an African thing. We practice a monarchical system of government in Africa, which tends toward totalitarianism and autocracy. This suits an average African. In the African society, rulers rule without limit, opposition or dissenting voice. Rulers don’t willingly surrender their titles after ruling for a while or a stipulated time. They die on the throne. Democracy here is a fusion of the two and it has not been too helpful. That is why some schools of thought believe democracy is a scam.
Recently, especially at the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic, people tend to pitch tents with fake reports concerning the government. What are the underlying factors giving life to this?
The underlying factors for the thriving of fake news are nothing unconnected with the silence from the government. If there is uninterrupted and timely information flow from the government, I believe any other news from any source won’t thrive. Absence of information flow from the government and the zeal to be constantly fed with goings on will always give rise to fake news. It is in lieu of what people want to hear.
Experts have said there would be a lot of changes in the post COVID 19 era, what are the lessons you think Nigeria should learn from this disaster?
Some of the lessons Nigerians should learn from the pandemic include preparedness for epidemic outbreak and for the citizens. There is also a need for effective and timely information management. Putting round pegs in round holes, that is, making use of our experienced professional medical practitioners to head the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 rather than a lawyer heading the team. Probably, we also an improved health care service delivery. I’m not too convinced this will be completely affected being what we are. Maybe a more efficient record keeping and data management on Nigerians.Voting for a younger, well equipped, knowledgeable and more proactive president in the next election will save us from the retinue of embarrassments the present leader has caused us. Reduction in over reliance on health excursion whereby a person who tested positive and has no case file in Nigeria, had his case file transferred from a medical facility abroad.
Do you foresee Nigerian leaders reflecting these changes after the pandemic?
I am not a prophet of doom but I doubt if they will change just like the proverbial leopard who hardly changes its spots.
Thank you for your time
It is my pleasure