Posted by Mayowa Okekale, Abuja | 30 November 2018 | 1,442 times
The need to institute good governance in Nigeria was again brought to fore at the 2nd Edition of School of Governance and Politics held recently at Nehemiah Apostolic Resource Centre (NARC), Wuse 2, Abuja.
Founder of NARC and initiator of School of Governance and Politics, Pastor Obii Pax-Harry, in her remarks at the event, explained that the programme is a training platform that seeks to develop Nigerians in the youth category, from age 18-35, who will take major responsibilities and resources of the country serious.
Speaking further, she said: “We need lessons that will guide us even as we are in the valley of taking a critical decision between now and February. We need our sense of responsibilities to be awakened. We don’t want to stay aside and blame government again but stand as a people that will know they have done their part in the electoral decisions.”
Pastor Pax-Harry maintained that “change will not happen until will get out to make it possible. It is not far-fetched as it looks. As Nigerians, we are to make our leaders accountable to us but not the other way round.”
Speaking at the event, presidential candidate of Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP), Tope Fasua, delved into how the major political parties have failed the nation because of selfish interest and lack of ideological set up. “The time to save Nigeria is now and we are not going to wait again. We should begin to get involved in the developmental process,” he said.
Fasua vowed that “ANRP will embarrass Buhari and Atiku with power of ideas”.
In his contribution, Professor Felix Okokhere observed that “the concept of good governance should start from self-governance, the base, the home unit and general attitude of an individual.” He argued that “without this, we cannot have good governance. It requires hard work, dedication and loyalty.”
Emphasising on what can help Nigeria to achieve good governance, Prof. Okokhere said that there should be a degree of commitment, upholding what is right and strict adherence to laid-down regulations and there should not be deviation from just cause.
“There must be strong institutions and people who know what to do have to occupy positions. Also, there should be courage and discipline. We should begin to ask questions on who represents us in our political institutions. We should be bold enough to ask politicians about their programmes for citizens,” he said.
One of the panelists, Sani Abdallah, Head of Human Capital Development in Central Bank of Nigeria, bemoaned that government in Nigeria is not being viewed from the aspect of leaders who have set objectives and to what extent they have achieved them, adding that “this is the greatest tragedy the nation is still battling.”
A journalist and human rights activist, Chido Onumah, also a panelist, emphasised on the core fundamental problems facing Nigeria as a nation, saying that the country will not move forward until the challenges are addressed
According to Onumah, “Nigeria is not working because our federalism is not working, and this will not equally make governance work. The bottom line is the crisis of nationhood. Truth is, Nigeria is not a nation no matter how you try to define it.
“We don’t have the ownership of the organic construct of Nigeria and that is why corruption is on the increase and politicians are stealing money anyhow.
“There is a need to address the existential problem of the country. Our leaders have not made efforts to build a nation from what was handled to them by the colonialists. We need a nation that will be in unity and equitable. We need to reinvent our Nigerianness.”
Onumah also called for local government autonomy for the development and growth of the economy.
Another panelist, Ms. Adaora Onyechere, a House of Reps aspirant in Imo State, spoke on the issue of nation building and participatory approach of the citizenry towards enhancing good governance. “Elections are the engine rooms for the development of a nation but if people don’t trust in the electoral system, there is a trouble. Nigerians keep saying leadership has failed but we put them there,” she said.
Ms. Onyechere tasked participants to build up courage and participate optimally in the forthcoming elections, saying: “For Nigeria to work, we must look at platforms and processes, social revaluation of our minds, who we follow, our mentors and ideologies.”
She also stressed that politics is local and it has to be given a bottom-top approach, calling for local government autonomy. “If the local government does not work, the Federal cannot hold. We need a mental shift and ideological reset,” she said.
While lamenting that elections are not free, fair and credible in Nigeria, Ms. Onyechere said: “Government will not work until we work it out. It is regrettable that the followers are the biggest missing links. We need to follow people with ideas. Nigeria is really hanging on the edge.”
Speaking on the importance of youth participation in Nigerian politics, lawmaker representing Bekwara/Obudu Constituency in Rivers State, Hon Ochiglegor Idagbo, urged political parties in the country to give slots to youthful candidates as is obtainable in African countries like Uganda and Tanzania, among others.
He also called on Nigerian youths to ensure exemplary governance when they eventually get elected into political offices so as to set a good mark for upcoming generations of youths in the country.
•Photo shows, from right: Lawmaker representing Bekwara/Obudu Constituency in Rivers State, Hon Ochiglegor Idagbo; Ms. Adaora Onyechere, House of Reps aspirant in Imo State; Dr Sani Abdallah, Head of Human Capital Development Sector in Central Bank of Nigeria and Chido Onumah, journalist and right activist
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