Governace By Trial And Error


By Edith Ohaja

I composed this poem in early August 2015 but I find that the observations made in the first and second stanzas are still spot on. The prescriptions in the third and final stanzas are still imperative, therefore.

– Governance by trial and error –

When a government is run without a road map When the rulers seem to be learning the ropes When issues are more complex than they deemed And they can’t say how they’ll meet our hopes What you have is governance by trial and error

When policy pronouncements are made on a whim And constant reversals follow to clear the air When campaign promises are qualified or disowned And ad hoc arrangements become the order of the day Then it’s a bad case of governance by trial and error

But we should not fold our hands in despair Or gloat and hoot that the government will fail Nor should we offer blind allegiance Pretending that all is groovy and swell Or we’ll be hurt by governance by trial and error

We should rather supplicate for the people in power To assemble the best team and a great plan devise We should offer our ideas; keep them on their toes And as needed, commend, criticize or chastise So we may be saved from governance by trial and error


Edith Ohaja is a Senior Lecturer in Mass Communication at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.



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