Gilbert Ekezie, Bianca Iboma-Emefu
A former minister of education and Senior Economic Advisor, Africa Economic Development Policy Initiative, Obiageli Ezekwesili, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to gather Nigerians for a national conversation on the rising spate of violence in the country.
She made this suggestion in a lecture paper entitled: “Rethinking Credible Elections, Accountable Democracy and Good Governance in Nigeria” delivered at the 11th Wole Soyinka Centre for Media lecture series held at Muson Centre, Lagos, as part of the activities marking the 85th birthday of the Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka.
While lamenting the insensitivity of the government to the wanton killing of innocent Nigerians, Ezekwesili noted: “There have been massive killings without consequence. The sanctity of life of the citizens is under threat due to the failure of government to tackle the rising security challenge.”
According to her, the primary essence of government is security of lives of the citizenry, adding that, “good governance is demonstrated only when the lives of the citizens are save and secured. The needless killings without consequence should be addressed.”
She also blamed the daunting challenge of poverty, human capital development and infrastructure deficiency, among others, on bad governance, pointing out that, “it saddening that Nigeria is having poverty more than India, a country whose population is sixth time larger. Why are we building huge colony of poverty.”
She, therefore, stressed the need for a reform of the electoral system in order to engender good governance and public accountability. Her words: “There is a need to reconsider Nigeria’s election process in view of its complexities to sure that governance becomes accountable and propounds ways to make the people emerge as the greatest beneficiaries of democracy in the nation.”
Ezekwesili noted that that many Nigerians doubted the credibility of 2019 polls results announced by the INEC, saying “the elections were marked with grossed operational and transparency shortcomings as well as voters apathy.
This is even as the Prelate of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) , Most Rev Nicholas Okoh, also decried the spate of insecurity in the country, urging the authorities to be more proactive in dealing with the challenge.
Okoh, who spoke on Friday at the 10th year consecration anniversary and 50th birthday of the Diocese Bishop of Lagos, Rt Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye at the Cathedral Church of Christ Marina, Lagos, noted that insecurity on the roads, in the farms, public places and in various Nigerian communities have become more worrisome in the recent time.