Fayemi Cautions Nigerians Against Replicating Egyptian Crisis

July 12, 2013

L-R: Registrar, Institute of Strategic Management, Nigeria, ISMN, Mr. Adeyemi Mapaderun; Founding President, ISMN, Dr. Austin Uwadulu; Conference Keynote Lecturer/Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; and President/Chairman-in-Council, ISMN, Dr. Otive Igbuzor, during the 10th Anniversary and 2013 annual conference of the Institute, in Lagos.

Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has cautioned Nigerians against working towards the uproar that led to the current crisis in Egypt, saying that the various crises in the country are express invitations to the military to interfere in civil affairs.

The Governor who gave the warning while speaking on “Strategy and Leadership: Panacea to our National Malaise” at the 10th anniversary of the Institute of Strategic Management in Lagos on Thursday, said the direction which the nation’s leadership is headed is drawing Nigerians in the direction of the recent events in Egypt.

Dr Fayemi said the presence of the Military in Port Harcourt and other parts of Nigeria is not just an invitation for help but a return to what the country had long fought against.

He said there is apparent pressure within both the military and civilian ranks; as the presence of the Military is glaring in 32 States of the federation.

“I see our leadership drawing us in the direction of Egypt. As we speak, the military is too involved in civil affairs. We see the military in PortHarcourt dangling between two political powers. If we find our way, we must return them to their barracks.

“I hope strategic minders like you can sound this kind of warning. There is pressure within the military and there is pressure within the civilians too. We must caution ourselves and help military return to their barrack in order to sustain this democracy”, the Governor stated.

While calling for participatory governance at all levels of government, the Governor said that this is the only way to bring about the successful implementation of people-oriented, development policies of government.

Governor Fayemi said many policies have failed to achieve their aims because they have no buy-in at the grassroots level and stressed that for development plans to work, the people have to take ownership of them and drive their execution.

Dr Fayemi, who added that the development goals have to be generated by citizens and tally with their own needs and aspirations stated that successful implementation of policies is assured when development strategies move from being government policies to being “owned” by the people.

He added that policies are changed so frequently because they often lack public support and as such, there are not enough people who feel passionately enough about the policies to defend them.

“Policy-making has to emanate from the people’s perception of their own needs. In this sense, our democracy has been limited to the conduct of elections and a few other quadrennial rituals. We have not yet come to see that democracy means participatory governance which in effect means that policies are generated from the bottom-up not imposed from the top-down”, Fayemi stated.

Governor Fayemi opined that the indifference with which many Nigerians regard their governments is not so much the result of a fundamental apathy but their own response to governments that they perceive to be too remote from their own lives and struggles.

While lamenting the inability of many Nigerians to take ownership of beneficial policies because they are alienated from the policy making process, the Governor said participatory governance and a citizen-generated policy-making process are the keys to closing the rift between the state and society.

The Governor while highlighting challenges facing policy making and implementation in the country identified the tendency to unhinge policy-making from empirical data as a major factor; saying that the need for knowledge-based governance, development planning and policy formulation based on empirical data have never been greater.

He cited the Universal Primary Education programme of the 1970s as a well-intentioned scheme with laudable objectives, which failed to take cognizance of the number of teachers needed to cater for the explosion in demand for primary education that the programme itself unleashed. Thus, the UPE was seriously hamstrung by a lack of teaching staff.

Last modified: July 12, 2013

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