Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has cautioned young people against agitation for a Nigerian version of the Arab Spring as a cure for bad governance in the country. Instead, he urged them to organize themselves and become drivers of required change in the polity.
The Governor gave the warning on Tuesday while delivery the first Interdisciplinary public lecture of the Postgraduate School, Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, titled “Reflections on Values and the Building of a Successor Generation in Nigeria”.
The lecture which drew audience from the public and private sectors as well as the academia, had in attendance renowned professor of Public Administration, Prof Ladipo Adamolekun (as chairman), Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin, the Chief Judge of the state, Hon Justice Ayo Daramola among others.
Dr. Fayemi stated that many of the countries that witnessed Arab Spring have only experienced instability as the removal of state institutions have resulted in anomie.
He condemned the popular call to arms for radical change or revolution against political misrule and state decay; saying that this will not serve the interest of the broader citizenry.
While stating that the nation needs campaigns against bad governance, the Governor stressed that there is still a limit to the impact of street activism like the “Occupy Nigeria” protest staged early last year against removal of subsidy.
Fayemi said advocacy like such activist campaign was good but there is need for the active participation of the youths in decision making; adding that “the only antidote to bad policy is good policy” made by good people who clamour for good Policies.
He opined that it was high time young people stopped agonising about the problems of the Nigerian state which are not likely to “disappear in a hurry” but begin to organise in a way that makes citizens the drivers of change.
Governor Fayemi stated that the “creative tension” between the public and the state does not suggest antipathy between. Citizens and politics; stressing that activists who are promoting antagonism of politics are only doing activism and society. A disservice and risk translating activism into nihilism.
On nurturing of leaders, the Governor argued that people must see leadership and citizenship as being contingent because without direct citizens participation, the legitimacy of the political institutions will continue to decline.
Fayemi said the desertion of the average citizens has undermined the effectiveness of leadership of many political leaders and has deepened the crisis of legitimacy that now plagues the Nigerian State.
He expressed disbelief that the current discrepancies being experienced in the nation’s democracy can be resolved through a binary opposition that pits the. Young against the elders in politics but by locating the social construction of youths as part of adulthood and recognising the salience of planned succession in that Context.
The Governor explained that youths must not be seen to refrain from the political process in the attempt to build a successor generation; adding that they must shun the belief that politics is a dirty game.
He said it is inaccurate to see politics as an indulgence of the old people rather than a task for the young who carries the future of the nation.
Fayemi concluded the lecture by stating that members of the successor generation must embrace democratic principles, development-oriented leadership as well as the capacity to engage the older generation in a way that encourages transfer of essential leadership skills.
Last modified: February 27, 2013