Good governance is a major issue for any state, any people, and any government. Where good governance lacks, any development endeavours are bound to fail, to stumble. Any democratic practices wane and confidence in public institutions risk to fade. Peace becomes wishful thinking and the state can be exposed to forces whose only aim is only to destabilize the government and seek public disorder and chaos so that they can fulfil their destructive aims, so that they can fish in troubled waters.
The Ethiopian Constitution is the supreme law of the land and everyone is bound by its dictates. It underlines the issues of democracy, human rights and good governance in several of its sections and provisions. We are all dictated by these golden provisions because they are vital for our existence and survival as one nation. Once the Prime Minister has said ‘good governance cannot be an option for Ethiopia, but a basic means of survival, an issue of to be or not to be.’ We cannot agree more.
The issue of good governance is inherently linked with the issue of democracy, the issue of equal participation in what the state does and decides to do along with the representatives of the people. Justice is inherently linked with good governance and peace.
There cannot be peace if there is not justice, if there is not fairness, if the reign of chauvinism and rent-seeking prevails. All these are attitudes that must be extricated from the mentality of our people, from the mind set of our society.
The government has been engaged in trying to find out what are the root causes of lack of good governance and rent-seeking attitude at every level of its hierarchies. It has been staging at federal and state levels various discussions and asking the people about what should be done to discourage and then eradicate rent-seeking mentality from the society at large, once and for all. It understands that lack of good governance could be the source of chaos and it can erode the credibility of the government among the society; and that is what certain destructive elements were trying to do in the recent disturbances in some areas. The active participation of the people along with security forces quelled the unrest and prevented what could have resulted in a major crisis.
In any democracy it is accepted and even encouraged that people speak their mind whenever there are issues that are basic in their day to day life. They ask their government and have the legitimate rights to do so, but this should be done in a peaceful and legal manner following the legitimate channels of democracy where there are institutions that are meant to address these issues. That is why the government has been trying to find out what was behind the lack of good governance and where is the weak link in government circles; who are those who are actively engaged in promoting and taking advantage of corrupt and rent-seeking practices.
They tarnish the image of the government and contribute to destabilize it and hence the active and vigilant participation of the rank and file of the society is key, so that we can find the culprits and eradicate them. The cooperation between the government and the public is in this respect indispensable. Their duties are complementary and supplementary.
All those forces whose only aim is to create problems for the state and people of Ethiopia and are not willing to see that it proceeds with its fast and sustained development ventures should be averted that they cannot succeed to do that as long as the people and government of Ethiopia work hand in glove every day throughout the year. There will be no space for their evil deeds and thoughts and there will be no space for their destructive messages and mission.
Good governance issues are bread and butter issues for any society and need to be addressed right away.
There are no hesitations on this count by the government and there are no hesitations on this count on the part of the people as well. The tandem is decisive to destroy once and for all any element that aims to create havoc in our society and we should keep our eyes wide open and let no stone unturned to keep at bay these negative influences from our society, from our nation, from the ranks and files of the government institutions, because these people could dwell camouflaged in our midst, slowly sowing seeds of rent seeking mentality and corrupt practices.
Any obstacles in this path must be duly taken care of without hesitation and mercy. We have no time to waste on issues that hamper our development, our peace, our stability, our diversity in equality and fairness cannot be compromised. Many countries in the world, particularly in Africa, look at us as models of diversity with all the multiplicity of cultures, languages and religions that abound here and cohabit peacefully.
At the same time we are being viewed as a model of stability and peace in a highly tough and volatile sub-region and our influence is way beyond our region. That is why we must maintain this momentum; that is why we must discourage and uproot any causes of disturbance such as concerns of lack of good governance and democracy, issues of avoiding any rent-seeking and chauvinistic attitude from our midst. We can do it and we must do it. And the sooner the better, because there is little time to waste, little resources to squander.
Let us all together dry the waters of chaos and turmoil to all those who are fond of destabilizing our society both from forces that are dwelling here in our bosom, and those who try to infiltrate from abroad through their Trojan horses.
Let us deny them all the space they try to conquer in our society and along with the relevant government forces renew our commitment for a fair, transparent and accountable government and for public institutions that are faithful to their mission, to their pledges.
The central role of the people in this regard is never exaggerated. The discussions that are under way and those that have been taking place since recent times are in this regard pivotal. Measures have been adopted to curb these moves. It is a crucial step and we can do it all together to succeed together.