By CALEB AYANSINA
The quest about how Nigeria’s indigenous culture and traditional governance systems could be employed in furthering good governance in contemporary Nigeria was the central concern at the just concluded 3rd National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) annual lecture held in Abuja last week. The lecture was themed; Culture, Good Governance and Nigeria’s Democracy held in Abuja.
At the lecture, the Executive Secretary of NICO, Dr Barclays Ayakoroma noted that “if Nigeria must stand tall among the comity of nations, we must as a matter of urgency explore the cultural dimension, not only in our quest for good governance and democratic ideal, but in every sphere of our national development”.
According to him, with what is happening presently in the country, “there is need to embrace our culture, cherish its inherent values and accord it a place of pride in all aspects of our development agenda”.
Also, the Guest Lecturer and Vice Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Prof. Shamsudeen Amali did not hesitate in calling on the nation’s leadership to select some cultural aspects of traditional system of governance and infuse them into the country’s democratic practice, for the people to richly enjoy good governance.
The university don explained that for the fact that there are some cultures that need to be abrogated because they are injurious to societal growth does not mean that the people’s way of life, which is their culture should not be taken into consideration, noting that some cultural elements and their institutions could be used to achieve peace, progress and unity in the country.
“In order for contemporary Nigerian democracy to richly enjoy good governance, we would have to know and select good cultural aspects from the traditional system of governance, such as family systems and values, honesty, peace and integrity and infuse them into the contemporary Nigerian democratic practices through the National Assembly.
“The contemporary Nigerian democratic practice is being presently heavily criticized for not doing enough for the majority of the people. But in order to achieve considerable degree of good governance for the majority of the people in the nation, it is very important the nation should know that some cultural elements and their institutions or organs such as religion, accountability, leadership, discipline, patriotism etc could be consciously used.
“To increase the success of the current Nigerians democratic dispensation, we need to use effectively and systematically the cultural elements mentioned above for good democratic governance through education, transportation, communication and various other fields of human activities” He said.
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Emeka Nwabueze of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka noted that “these lectures do not only give us a panoramic view of culture. They lay bare how cultural colonization has adversely affected our body politic as a people, especially with regard to the imposition of beliefs and social practices of a dominant group against a subjugated one”.