SEPARATING POLITICS FROM PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION: WHAT NIGERIA NEEDS

Government has come to be construed as an agent of societal progress due to its statutory duty of seeing to the well-being of all under it. Optimizing the governmental structure in any political environment is a function of having an expedient perspective that give rise to expedient actions that favourably impinge inhabitants therein. It is typical to inquire further when a workable solution to a problem is proposed. The "how" is as crucial as the "what," so discerning and doing the the former make all the difference. Scholar Woodrow Wilson provided a succinct answer to the "how" in his seminal
work "Study of Administration " which forms the crux of this piece. However, maximizing the potentials of Nigeria's democratic system of government include delineating the role of her key constituents, and putting square pegs in square holes. Given the political misfortunes that have trailed the country in the recent past significantly due to component parts' roles ill-definition, addressing this misconception becomes needful.

Analogous to a system, government comprise diverse parts that work in tandem to achieve a common particular purpose. A system's success and accompanying progress is dependent on the efficacy of the components in their different duty posts. In this way, distinguishing the knitty-gritties as well as procedures of getting into a political office from the main business of day-to-day governmental administration is pivotal. Better put, drawing and emboldening a line between politics and public administration is instrumental to the emergence of the Nigeria of Nigerians' dreams. Politics encompass activities that pertain to aspiring and running for a political office, identifying with a political party, and participation in taking decisions that affect the political climate of a place. At the other end, public administration entails overseeing governmental affairs in consonance with public interests. It is the domicile of technocrats that are well-versed in diverse areas of human endeavour. Among other things, it involves recruiting and deploying persons of proven professional proficiency to various governmental agencies snd ministries in the country, from the state governments to federal government, to work and preside as the case may be. Contrary to the man-know-man syndrome and often redundant political calculations pervading the choice of such persons, selection criteria should be merit-based. Almost every political analyst underscores this frequently, but current reality says that the admonition falls on deaf ears.

Truly, when meritocracy is enthroned, other things being equal, the positive effects would trickle down in form of policies customized to benefit the masses and resulting thorough implementation. This state of affairs would be sheer fantasy if adjustments are not made in the country's governmental circle forthwith. Without doubt, tribalism and religious inclination are co-workers that encumber objectivity in allocating sensitive positions in government. Former Governor Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of Lagos State deserves commendation for seeking the services of individuals, irrespective of their religious and ethnic locus standi, to serve in his administration. The likes of Alhaji Lai Mohammed (from Kwara State) and Professor Yemi Osinbajo (a Christian and pastor) come to mind. And this gesture is indeed part of the economic success story of the state that has made it the cynosure of all eyes in the country.

Much is achievable when Nigerian politicians learn to mind their own race track without obstructively getting into that of public administrators and vice-versa. Nevertheless, collaboratively working together for overall national democratic advancement isn't optional as governmental success greatly depends on it. They are two sides of the same coin. Subtly injecting politics into administrative matters or hiring politicians to do the job of experts in varied administrative departments is comparable to sitting on a keg of gun powder. Seperating politics from public administration, this is a stride to freedom from our socio-economic woes and boosting Nigeria's rating on all fronts.

Kaycee Naze

(Rational Pen)


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