- Governor Ifeanyi Okowa says the governance system at all levels in Nigeria must be fair and equitable for Nigeria to thrive
- According to the Delta state governor, good governance, particularly at the federal level, must be seen to be inclusive
- The governor added that Nigeria could only grow if ethnic, religious, and tribal divides dissolve and a pan-Nigeria goal truly pursued by all
Lagos - Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Wednesday, August 25 said bad governance, ethnoreligious conflicts, and lack of faith in the electoral process were major causes of disunity in Nigeria.
Okowa stated this in his keynote address at the 2021 Annual Lecture and Symposium organised by Ripples Centre for Data and Investigative Journalism (RCDIJ) in Lagos.
Nigeria paying the price for bad governance
The governor stated that bad governance at different levels of government was a major contributory factor to disunity in the country, adding that the absence of a shared national vision or aspiration, primordial loyalties, and sentiments largely held sway among the citizenry.
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He listed indices of bad governance to include tribalism and nepotism, lopsidedness in power-sharing, corruption and lack of transparency and accountability, religious bigotry, insecurity, unemployment, and poverty.
Okowa called on the National Assembly to take steps in bequeathing to Nigerians a true Constitution that would provide for the overall interests of Nigerians.
A statement sent to Legit.ng by the Delta state government quoted him as saying:
“Another factor responsible for our current disunity is the lack of political will to devise a constitution that supports true federalism.”
Governor Okowa hammers on electoral integrity
According to the governor, another cause of disunity in Nigeria is the current lack of faith in the electoral process by the electorate, resulting in the massive apathy and self-disenfranchisement prevalent during elections.
He averred that the governance system at all levels, particularly at the federal level, must be just, fair, equitable, and seen to be inclusive, adding that Nigeria could only grow if ethnic, religious, and tribal divides dissolve and a pan-Nigeria goal truly desired and pursued by all.
Earlier, Executive Director of RCDIJ, Mr. Samuel Ibemere, while welcoming guests to the event, said that the theme of the Dialogue was apt in view of the current crisis bedeviling the country and threatening the nation's unity.
He said that poor leadership was central to the malaise facing the country, adding that Ripples Nigeria had in the last six years contributed immensely to advancing the course of unity and stability of the nation.
Other speakers at the event were Afenifere Leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo; Northern Elders Forum spokesman, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed; former House of Representatives member, Hon. Uche Onyeagocha; and former Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf.
Governor Okowa recently called on Nigerians to dedicate themselves to serving God and humanity in order to impact positively on society.
He gave the charge at the funeral mass for a late member of the Delta state House of Assembly, Kenneth Ogba.
Okowa, who was in company with top government functionaries, said the late Ogba lived a life of great testimonies and impact.
Meanwhile, ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) has declared that political corruption is punishable under the electoral act.
This was stated by the ICPC chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasonye, SAN who was represented by Mohammed Ashiru Baba; director, public enlightenment and education, ICPC at a town hall meeting hosted by Say No Campaign with support from MacArthur Foundation in Abuja.
The theme of the event attended by a Legit.ng reporter, was Building Community Resilience Against Electoral Corruption to Promote Good Governance.