University of Lagos, Akoka.
As Nigerians yesterday celebrated 13 years of uninterrupted civilian government, the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has called for a restructuring of the Nigerian state so that government may be brought closer to the people.
Speaking at the monthly media chat in Ado Ekiti, the Governor said though the Nigerian democratic experience is progressing, it would be meaningless and unproductive if the process does not address the growing poverty level which is becoming worrisome by the day.
Dr. Fayemi said if the Nigerian democratic experience were to be measured in terms of reduction in poverty, then the country has failed; stressing that since democracy is a process, one expects a movement that would take the country to the destination which would effect the change that people desired.
“Democracy is a process, it is not an event and when you have a process, you re always bound to have progress and reversals and as I often say, we still have aspirations towards democracy. It is democratisation process and there are indications that are worrisom; there are those who believe that this is motion without movement but I want to believe that we are making progress. It is slow but then progress in a democracy is not an instrumentalist thing; freedom is intangible. We may not appreciate it now but for someone like me who was less than 15 years ago a persona non grata but now a Governor in this country, we have made some progress”.
But there is still a lot of poverty in our land, there is still a lot of underdevelopment and if you measure our democracy in terms of poverty, we are obviously a failure but if you measure it in terms of the ability to move from where we were to where we want to be and see the tangible steps we have taken, then we are making progress; it is snail’s speed but if we continue at that snail’s speed, the little income of democracy will grow into tall oats, provided we are prepared to focus on the key gridlocks in this democratisation process”, he said.
He added that not until government is brought closer to the people by reducing the power that the centre government has, the entaglement that beset the development of democracy in the country would still remain unresolved.
Speaking on the level of development in Ekiti State, the Governor said though development may seem slow, his administration is still delivering in line with the 8-point agenda of the administration; adding that infrastructural development is being enhanced as the state has turned to a huge construction site with so many road projects going on across the 16 local government areas of the State.
On the renaming of University of Lagos after the late politician and winner of June 12,1993 election, Chief Moshood Abiola by President Goodluck Jonathan, Fayemi said there should be a distinction between genuine recognition of a national icon and an opportunistic recognition;adding that the action was not a genuine recognition for the man who sacrificed himself for Nigeria to enjoy the democracy.
Last modified: May 31, 2012