BY AMOS DUNIA, ABUJA – The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr Kayode John Fayemi has said that until our democratization process becomes an everyday culture, it would continue to be met with a dissonant disposition among the people generally.
Fayemi, who is the governor of Ekiti state therefore called on the Nigerian political elite to cultivate a habit of imbibing and internalizing democracy as a culture or continue to incur the wrath of the people.
He noted that the political elite democratized poverty instead of democratizing hope, stressing that moving forward, a lot more needed to be done because it is still an unfished job.
Fayemi, who stated these as a Guest Speaker at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos Plateau State on Tuesday on the occasion of the 2019 Lecture of Executive Course 41 on the topic; “Twenty Years of Democracy: Looking backward, moving forward,” said that there is course to assess our democracy with some trepidation and anxiety, because the journey has exerted sweat and blood from all Nigerians.
On what he intends to leave behind as his legacy after his term as the Chairman of the NGF, Fayemi bared his mind on two most passionate subjects that include the rebranding of Governors’ image before the Nigerian population on the one hand and decried the low enrollment in schools nationwide both of which he promised to work hard to mitigate.
He also touched on security saying that, it is not just the elite that should carry the can for insecurity in the country, but all Nigerians stressing that “culpability comes from both sides.”
The NGF chairman challenged the nation’s political elite to entrench rules along the sides of long-term development planning even as he regretted that this is not likely to happen because the interests of the elite are consistently being mistaken for national interest.
In his words; “The system itself is rigged against institutionalization which is a misnomer as many now see politics as their professions. If you are in politics and you have an alternative address, politics becomes easier.”
Speaking on the state of things at the subnational level, Fayemi said that the prevailing situation in states where personal interests are being mistaken for national interests cannot continue to endure, adding that we need an elite consensus that defines national interest as some interests are masquerading as national interests, leaving the national question unsettled.
In his efforts to restore the people’s confidence in their state governors, Fayemi explained that the people’s fears regarding Local Government funds were unfounded, saying that the quality of people in the leadership of the country, especially governors has improved significantly.
According to him; “Governors are not out to pilfer public funds. In Ekiti State for example, all transactions are carefully documented.”
Governor Fayemi described the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies as “a home away from home”, because some decades ago he had been there to work on his dissertation at the Institutes Library.
Earlier, the Director General of the Institute, Professor Abu S. Galadima said the Institute is working at expanding the content of its courses and the number of participants to 78 from the current 66. Prof Galadima requested the governor to be kind enough to establish the presence of his state government at the Think-tank; “let the world know of Ekiti State at the NIPSS.”