Former special adviser on media and publicity to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Reuben Abati, has recommended Rotarian mode of succession to avoid bloodletting and other vices that have characterised change of power in African countries.
Speaking during the installation ceremony of Jide Akeredolu as the 39th Rotary District 9110 District Governor, 2019-2020 last Saturday in Lagos, Abati said Rotary has created a succession system that is rancour free and relatively politics free.
Abati, who was the guest speaker at the event said somehow, every member know when it would be his or her turn to sit at the table and not to eat but to serve and make contribution to humanity.
He said Rotary succession politics does not involve the use of money or co-optation to buy positions, adding that is the reason the public is yet to hear of an outbreak of fisticuffs in their succession arrangements.
“If African nations could adopt the Rotarian mode of succession, perhaps there would be greater peace and stability in the continent. Succession politics in Africa, whether in Nigeria or the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Gabon or Ghana tend to be do-or-die affairs, with grave consequences for post-succession reality. Succession in African countries are non-Rotarian. The process and the outcome are never about service. An election and succession politics as well are both a gamble. It is like a casino game, a lottery, where the winner expects to cash out at the expense of others,” Abati said.
He said this is why leadership positions in Africa have become an opportunity to gain access to the table and eat the people’s resources.
Rotary project, he said is a different model, which is the idea of service above all, the idea of giving back to the community, the belief that individuals can make a significant difference in the transformation of the community.
The new District Governor, Akeredolu, renowned plastic surgeon, said his service year would focus on fighting cervical cancer, congenital heart diseases, extreme poverty alleviation and digitalisation of the district operations and records.
Rotary members and lovers of the humanitarian organisation made voluntary donations to the project which if taken to a logical conclusion would change the narrative about Nigeria as the haven for poverty, hunger and diseases.
Some of dignitaries at the event included past district governors, representative of the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu and Senator Ganiyu Olarewaju Solomon.