Nigeria may ground to a halt if citizens and stakeholders in the Nigerian project do not make sacrificial and concerted efforts aimed at rescuing the country from bad governance.
This was the submission of politicians, statesmen and academic at the Leadership Newspaper’s 2012 anniversary lecture and award ceremony.
They included former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, former Governor of Lagos State and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma, Prof. Pat Utomi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal and among others saw the need for all and sundry to swing into action and rescue the nation from the malaise of governance posed by the current structure of the nation’s political system.
Speaking at the occasion, Governor Fayemi said that the nation needs a movement beyond parties and platforms so as to rescue the country from bad governance; stressing that all Nigerians have a “generational responsibility to make this country a better place” than it currently is.
Dr. Fayemi who bagged the Governor of the Year award at the event urged Nigerians to stop “agonizing and start organizing more desperately than we are doing now”; adding that the opposition as well as those who want a change cannot afford to stand aloof and expect a change from the bad governance that the country experiences.
While saying that many Nigerians attribute the problems in Nigeria to leadership challenge, Governor Fayemi said the loss of faith in leadership is not unconnected to a loss of values and ethics; adding that no country can make headway without ethics and values because they are critical to societal transformation.
Fayemi who commended the management of Leadership newspaper for the honour given him and the 18 other recipients, asserted that the award is a recognition of the contributions of the recipients to the development of the nation and its citizens.
In his speech the former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who chaired the occasion stressed that the need to review the current federalism which the country operates and tread the path of federalism that decentralises more power to states than the federal authority.
The former Vice President who stated that the “current federal structure is not worth it” because of its insensitivity to the conditions of the federating unit said the federal government should not be in the business of deciding for a uniform minimum wage for state governments given the unequal resources that accrue to each state.
While throwing his weight behind the establishment of State Police, the Turakin Adamawa said the law should allow state governments who see a need for state police to go ahead with the establishment; saying that the argument that they would abuse it is not tenable.
He however called on all Nigerians to demand good governance from the governments at all levels.
Former Lagos State Governor and leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu also called for the restructuring of the political system especially as he said there was no reason for the country to have two national assemblies when government is complaining about high cost of governance.
On giving the opposition equity and fairness in elections, Tinubu said the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be given its freedom and not to be at the beck and call of the President who appoints Resident Electoral Commissioners for the INEC chair; saying that since the President belongs to a political party, his appointments of RECs will not be devoid of partisan politics.
In his lecture titled “Is the Opposition a Serious Alternative in Nigeria?”, Professor Pat Utomi opined that the country is beset by weak institutions and political parties who have nothing to offer citizens but only looks for an opportunity to get their own share of the “national cake”.
Utomi who is also a politician stated that one of the roles of political parties is the identification of leadership talents rather than serving as electoral machines.
While urging political parties to use culture to change the Nigerian politics for the better, Professor Utomi said Nigeria is faced with cultural challenges culminating in corruption, gender issues, economic problems, and decay in the education sector; advising that politicians should focus on addressing these malaise instead of “attacking those in power”.
The various awards at the event included Leadership Governor of the Year which was conferred on the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Fayemi, Person of the Year award went to General Theophilus Danjuma, Speaker of the House of Reps got the award of the Politician of the Year while Alhaji Dangote is the Business Person of the Year.
Other individuals and corporate organizations and their awards include the Managing Director of Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Gimba Yau Kumo who bagged the CEO of the year, the Northern Cable Processing and Manufacturing Company is the Company of the Year, Guaranty Trust Bank is the Bank of the Year, ETISALAT is the Telecom Company of the year while the Managing Director of First Bank, Olabisi Onasanya is the Banker of the Year.
The rest are Nigeria Customs Service which is the Government Agency of the Year, former United States’ Secretary of States,Condoleeza Rice is the Author of the year, Chris Aire is the Product of the Year, Aso savings and loans is the mortgage bank of the Year, Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah is the Public Officer of the Year, INTERSWITCH is the Brand of the year, Stanbic Pension Managers is the PFA of the year, Chinedu Ikedieze and Osita Iheme also known as Aki and Pawpaw are the entertainers of the year, Anne Marie Imafidon is the Young Person of the Year while Bulus Jimkan is the Sports Person of the Year.
Last modified: September 19, 2012