To attain Nigeria’s full potential and greatness, there is a need for leaders and followers in the country to agree to work together, some Nigerians have said.
They spoke on Thursday in Abuja at the launch of a book written by the Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemiwho is also the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).
The book is titled, “Unfinished Greatness: Envisioning A New Nigeria.”
At the event graced by persons in academia, political, civil groups, religion and socio-economic spaces, questions around the entity, Nigeria, were largely in focus.
A former Military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, who chaired the occasion, described the notion of greatness as “evolutionary” and admitted that the country has not been fast in attaining such a height.
“The notion of our greatness is evolutionary though the pace can be made to go faster.
“The second notion of envisioning a new Nigeria addresses the leadership question. Our country may not have gotten this in 62 years as an independent nation but we’ve all done our best. This should not undermine our search for quality leadership,” Mr Gowon said.
Mr Olukoshi concluded that the country has a lot to give the world rather than rushing to get external assistance from other countries.
“It seems to me that in the context of all of the difficulties that we are experiencing as a people and as a nation today – problems of insecurity of all kinds, problems of poverty, in which the United Nations warns us that we are likely to take over from India and become the poverty capital of the world, problems of unemployment of our youth, problems of drug abuse, and all of the ills combined together, our response must not be to say that Nigerians ‘to thy tent O Israel! – separate, let’s go our separate ways’.
gov. Ganduje of Kano and Deputy Governor p. Shuaibu of Edo state at the event
“I salute the courage of Governor Fayemi for insisting that our answer must be to strive for greater perfection, no to surrender or defeat, in the face of challenges and problems, but to rise to those problems, and to face the challenges head on in a manner that will enable us to break the jinx that has prevented our greatness from emerging and do so on the basis of securing our dignity.
“And the day that we are able to do that is the day that I believe that Nigeria’s struggle towards even further goodness can be told,” he said.
Book reviews, panel discussions
Reviewing the 10-chapter book, Joe Abah, summarizing the individual concerns of each chapter in relation to the broad umbrella, Nigeria.
While the first chapter “tackles the question as to whether we need strategic demolition to remake a nation,” Mr Fayemi dedicates the remaining chapters to other concerns around governance, people and hope of a better tomorrow.
“Chapter 6 emphasizes the need for the media in Nigeria to continue to draw on its long tradition of promoting the imperatives of unity in diversity and democratic rule; and Chapter 7 tackles the thorny issue of the role of religion in elections,” Mr Abah noted before the panelists session.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwoolu at the event
The panelists, made up of a former Executive Secretary of Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Waziri Adio; the founder of Connected Development (CODE), Hamzat Lawal; the Executive Director of Enough-is-Enough, Yemi Adamolekun; and Ndi Kato of Danidari Africa, in their contributions identified other loopholes blocking Nigeria’s progress.
While Mr Adio spoke of the need to interrogate some of the assumptions made about Nigeria and elite consensus, Ms Ndi Kato said the country cannot be great if gender equality is not also considered.
She made the comment with reference to the roles of the female gender and youth in every election outcome.
Ms Adamolekun, on her part, questioned the level of Nigeria’s readiness to attained the much desired greatness.
No fewer than seven state governors from both the ruling APC and the PDP, four serving ministers, state and federal lawmakers, traditional rulers and host of other dignitaries graced the event.
They include the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun; Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwoolu; Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu; Kano State Governor, Abudullahi Ganduje; the Deputy Governor Edo State, Phillip Shuaibu and the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari.
Among the ministers in attendance were Ministers of State for labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, Women Affairs Minister, Pauline Tallen, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.
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