A call has gone to leaders at all levels in the country to entrench strong institutions, leader-citizen consultations, a credible judiciary and electoral systems to save Nigeria from socio-economic and political collapse.
The call was made Thursday in Abuja during the award of honorary doctorate degree on eminent Nigerians among whom was Rev. Sam Oye, the Lead Pastor of Transforming Church and Opeyemi Bamidele, Leader of the Senate.
They spoke in Abuja at the 3rd edition and 2023 Annual Public Lecture Series and Induction and Conferment of Honorary Doctorate Degrees on 10 Nigerians and Honorary Fellowship of the African School of Diplomacy and International Relations in collaboration with Queen’s University, Belfast, United Kingdom (UK).
Pastor Oye, said it was time for Nigerian leaders to listen to the people and stop playing god.
The eminent cleric, who specialises in citizens’ mentoring and leadership training, stated that the solutions to Nigeria’s numerous problems lie with the people and not with leaders.
In an interaction with journalists at the event, Oye said, “The problems of Nigeria can only be solved by Nigerians. The problem of the Niger Delta can only be solved in Niger Delta and not Abuja. The problem of Okrika can only be solved in Okrika and not Abuja.”
The guest lecturer, Prof. Agu Mkpa, a former vice chancellor of Abia state University on his part urged the National Assembly (NASS) to initiate the process for the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference.
Mkpa, who spoke on ‘The Political Economy of Nation-building and The World’s Unfinished Business’, said the process of nation-building has no end because of socio-political dynamics and emerging challenges.
To move Nigeria forward and address its recurring challenges, Mkpa called for the implementation of the report of the confab, which he described as all-encompassing as it proposed the restructuring of Nigeria into six geo-political zones, devolution of power to the constituent states, state police and building of strong institutions.
He lamented that unlike advanced democracies which have strong institutions and weak individuals, Nigeria has “strong individuals and weak institutions.”
The university don insisted that the way forward for the country is the evolution of “strong institutions and not weak individuals”, who will respect institutions and the institutions will earn the respect of the people.
The former university administrator therefore, called for a strong judiciary and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to strengthen the country’s democracy.
Senator Bamidele, who was conferred with Honorary Fellowship of ASDIR, said the leadership of the 10th National Assembly, of which he is one, has the capacity to change the country’s unsavoury narratives.
Bamidele, who was represented by Dr. Shade Joseph Adepeju, said the National Assembly will work for Nigerians and work with Nigerians to end the prevailing hardship caused by the removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government.