From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
A former Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Osita Chidoka, has stressed the need for a new charter for Nigeria that would inculcate the spirit of nationalism among Nigerian youths.
Chidoka, also a former Aviation Minister, made the remark while delivering a lecture at the ‘Youth Governance Dialogue’, an annual one day conference organized by the Youth Development Center, an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, at the weekend.
Chidoka, who was the lead speaker at the event, spoke on the topic “Towards a Guiding Political Philosophy for a Democratic Nigeria”.
He decried what he described as the absence of national philosophy within the polity and emphasized the need for leaders to pass on the right values to successive generations.
He said: “Our national aspirations should inspire the next generation and provide them with the existential meaning of Nigeria; a meaning that transcends geography, natural resources and ethnicity. To grow Nigeria, we must build a society that harnesses human resources, provides equal opportunities and develops capacity for innovation”.
According to him, the leadership question remains key in the search for answers to Nigeria’s political problems pointing out “Many have argued that the trouble with Nigeria is leadership and others have asked ‘When is a Nation?’ Some insist that the absence of ideology is at the root of our political crisis. In all the views, the constant is the agreement that there is trouble with Nigeria. The leadership question is key”.
He, therefore, encouraged the youths to take a stand on critical national issues such as fiscal federalism, revenue derivation and sharing, size of government and its role in the economy.
“Do not let any political party or aspirant deceive you with promises of building bridges where there is no river. Insist that the existential questions confronting our nation must be answered by those who seek to lead us”, he admonished.
Earlier in his opening remark, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, Governor of Sokoto State who chaired the event said Nigeria was blessed with a highly talented and skilled youth population. He called on the political class to properly mentor and support the youths with policies that would encourage them to aspire to leadership positions.
In his remarks, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said the Youth Governance Dialogue platform was designed as a learning platform for young people to learn from the experience of older and past political office holders on how to effectively get involved in the governance process. He equally highlighted the need for unity among the diverse ethnic groups in the country in order to guarantee a peaceful and prosperous nation.
The event was attended by dignitaries such as the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha and the Speaker of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Onofiok Luke, among others.