One very potent mechanism to mobilize the masses in any country; and anywhere in the world is through effective communication. Information is power, so says the cliché. This is probably why we observe a proliferation of communication devices in the world today. We invented the radio, the television, the telephone, the internet and other means of communication. So, good governance demands the use of this boon and engages the population by constantly communicating with them.
A government communicating with its citizens informs them (the citizens) of its plans and intentions. This enables the citizens have a sense of belonging, a sense of owning the plan and vision of the government. Thus, each and every individual in the country will take ownership of government plans, projects, visions and work towards achieving them. In this manner, all citizens will be offered the opportunity to contribute their quota to national development.
Another importance of communication between the government and its people is to give them a sense of security and hope. Many a time, after a change of government, a country is polarized and reels from the adrenaline of the political campaign. Change is one of the most painful experiences citizens undergo because it is a transition from what is known and what is not. Thus, there is a sense of insecurity among the people. Effective communication between the people and the government will reassure all that everything is under control.
Like water, information cannot be blocked. When water is obstructed, it inevitably finds another way to flow, many a time causing destruction in its wake. When therefore a government does not communicate with its people, they fill their minds with rumours and speculations. This can be harmful to them and the society as a whole. It is therefore part of good governance to periodically engage the general public; communicate with the general public to let them know what you plan to do and seek their ideas, suggestions and opinions. When a disaster occurs – be it natural or manmade – the president is expected to engage the people and address them.
It is perhaps for the above reasons that many in the country have called on President Adama Barrow to address the nation. This is quite essential at the moment; for, the people need reassurance particularly considering the unfortunate happenings of the past one week or two. We call on the president to rise to the occasion and address the nation.