ByÂ AbdulwahabÂ Abdulah
For a credible 2011 election, Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, has suggested a walk across the country to sensitize Nigerians on the importance of resolving the political logjam once and for all.
According to him, the walk to beÂ tagged â€œNational Democratic walkâ€ to be led by theÂ civil societies and pro_democracy groups at a date to be determined, in Abuja.
In his words, â€œ As we approach 2011, the Nigeria Bar Association,Â Labour represented by NLC and TUC,Â non- reactionary NGOs should agree on a democratic march and I will like to be there.Â Let us send the right signal out.â€
Apart from the lecture, there was a departure from the previous annual â€˜Gani Fawehinmiismâ€™ programme as three distinguished Nigerians were awarded with honoursÂ for their efforts and courage to promote the countryâ€™s political, judicial and social development.
They were Mr Babatunde Fashola, governor of Lagos State, (Good Governance award),Â Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, (Courageous Defence of Popular Mandate), and Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of Lagos High Court, (Outstanding Judicial Officer Award).Â Oyewole was the judgeÂ that convicted former NPA boss, Chief Olabode George.
The Governor who delivered this yearâ€™s Gani Fawehinmi annual lecture tagged â€œFawehinmiismâ€ with the theme â€œNigeria_ A Nation in Search of Credible and People_Oriented Leadership, said we cannot afford to get it wrong again, hence all Nigerians must be prepared to participate in all activities that could lead to genuine and uninterrupted democracy.
â€œOur democracy is not nascent again. It is either we make it or we do not make it,â€ Oshiomhole said, while delivering the first posthumous annual lecture.
Speaking on late lawyer and activist, Fawehinmi, Oshiomole said he was â€œone of the most courageous, principled and selfless patriots and fighters against injustice ever produced in Nigeria.â€
In his remarks, Lagos state Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola represented by Mr Baba Alokolaro, said that the search for leadership must first come from within individuals and must be supported by basic virtues. He said we need virtues like â€œhumility, selflessness, sense of justice, respect for rule of law, honesty, integrity and patienceâ€ which must be present â€œwithin youâ€ to be called a leader.
Also, the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja branch, Mr. Dave Ajetomobi said that leadership failure has brought back the clock of progress in the country, so it is time for Nigerians to pick themselves together and put their destiny in their hands.
Governor Oshiomhole said,Â the sole agenda of the walk would be â€œone man, one vote,â€œ and should be sustained â€œuntil we all agree that the country is ours to choose credible leaders across the country.
He noted that â€œeven with the best of systems, good governance thrives better when the people are alive to the responsibility of troubling their leaders.â€
The governor said that Nigeria has no alternative to conducting credible elections, if â€œsome small African countries could get it right,â€ in that regard. He said what make our case pitiable was that some countries that Nigeria laboured very hard to bring out civil strife and military rule have since got it right democratically.
He mentioned Liberia, Sierra_Leone, andÂ South_Africa as countries that are now ahead of us in organizing free and fair election.