Former envoy, Prof. Ibrahimn Gambari, former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku and former Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof. Wale Omole have raised the alarm over the desperate manner in which youths are fleeing the country for overseas.
The three elder statesmen, who spoke during the second annual lecture of Chief Akintola Williams, on: ‘Re-establishing Nigeria’s Leadership Position in the World’ in Lagos yesterday, also expressed worry over the demeaning manner in which foreign nations, including African countries are currently deporting Nigerians.
They agreed that the unfortunate development was not far from the persistent downturn of the Nigerian socio-economic and political situation as well as the lackadaisical attitude of the political leadership to issues of growth and development.
Anyaoku, who was the guest speaker, said the system of governance has over the years stifled the progress of the citizens, who in contrast excel in other countries. According to him, there is the need to tackle the challenge of poor welfare of the citizens, ensure greater political stability, and restructure the country to solve the current wave of agitations.
“Government must diversify the economy by embarking on policies that support local manufacturing of domestic needs, forcing more vigorously on development of the agricultural and the solid mineral sector.’’
The former Foreign Affairs minister, added that Nigeria urgently needs to, from time to time review the strategic objective and operation of its foreign policy. Prof. Omole, Editorial Board Chairman of The Guardian Newspapers noted that the problem that sets Nigeria back began with the January1966 military coup.
The former vice chancellor said it was unfortunate too that many people do not understand the meaning of restructuring, thinking that it is a call for splitting Nigeria into pieces. “This is not what we meant when we are calling for restructuring. What we are only saying is that Nigeria should be returned to the true federalism it practiced during its golden era before the military intervention.’’
He warned the political leadership to urgently take measures that would save the country from persistent and rapid drifting, saying, “anything other than this would pose grave consequences. Our leaders must not discard the agitations of the youth and also that of the various ethnic nationalities.”
In his remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Prof. Gambari said Nigerians need to re-examine the process of recruitment of its political leaders and policy administrators to bring the nation back to its leadership role in Africa and the world.
Similarly, former Nigeria High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Christopher Kolade , yesterday tasked members of the Society of Corporate Corporate Governance Nigeria (SCGN) to help bring high standards and values that the nation urgently needs.
Kolade, who was the founding president of the society, at the opening of the society’s office in Lagos, noted that the charge became necessary going by the recent noise that the nation is embarking on a journey to collective inertia.According to him, just as the noise is negative, there is a lot that is going on that is positive but is very quiet.