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We are democratizing poverty instead of democratizing hope, Fayemi to Political Elites

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….Urges them to Make democracy your everyday Culture

….Calls for Urgent Improvement in Nigeria’s body Politics

By Henry Umoru

CHAIRMAN, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has taken a swipe at the entire political class and elite in the country, saying  that the political elite has so far  democratized poverty instead of democratizing hope.

Fayemi, AfDB
Dr Kayode Fayemi

According to him,  if Nigeria’s Democracy must be fully sustained, there was the urgent need for a holistic and radical improvement in the nation’s body politics.

Fayemi has also called on the Nigerian political elite to as a matter of urgency, cultivate a habit of imbibing and internalizing democracy as a culture or continue to incur the wrath of the people.

The  NGF Chairman spoke as a Guest Speaker at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS, Kuru, Jos Plateau State on Tuesday and the  occasion was the 2019 Lecture of Executive Course 41.

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Fayemi said, “until our democratization process becomes an everyday culture, it would continue to be met with a dissonant disposition among the people generally.”

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum who spoke on  the topic, “Twenty Years of Democracy: Looking backward, moving forward,  said that although there was course to assess the nation’s democracy with some trepidation and anxiety, because the journey has exerted sweat and blood from all Nigerians, a lot more needed to be done, moving forward, he insisted, “because it is still an unfished job”.

On what he intends to leave behind as his legacy after his term as the Chairman of the NGF, the Governor of Ekiti State bared out his mind on two most passionate subjects of his. Fayemi mentioned 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 underscored the important role that education plays in the future of the country. Governor Fayemi just handed back Christ’s School to its original owner, the Anglican Church, in Ekiti State.

In a statement on Wednesday by NGF Head of Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazaque Bello- Barkindo, Fayemi  also also  touched on security, explained that, it is  not just the elite that should carry the can for insecurity in the country, but all Nigerians, because “culpability comes from both sides.”

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The statement read, “The participants had put Dr Kayode’s foot to fire with their engaging questions, delving into how governors see themselves, why successive governments (read: Governors) jettison or totally discard their predecessors’ programs and why policies are not institutionalized.

“When it was time to respond, the NGF Chairman fired from all cylinders. “Institutionalization”, he hinted, “is an elephant in the room” because before now our governments do not have long term development plans. Fayemi goes ahead to challenge the nations political elite to entrench rules along the sides of long-term development planning.

“He however regretted that this is not likely to happen because the interests of the elite are consistently being mistaken for national interest.

“The system itself is rigged against institutionalization,” Dr Fayemi further attributed this misnomer to the fact that many now see politics as their professions. “If you’re in politics and you have an alternative address, politics becomes easier.”

Governor Fayemi who spoke frankly on the state of things at the subnational level, explained that the prevailing situation in states where personal interests are being mistaken for national interests cannot continue to endure. Stressing that we need an elite consensus that defines national interest, he maintained that some interests are masquerading as national interests, leaving the national question unsettled.”

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Although sub-judicia, the NGF Chairman shed some light on the NFIU order which seeks to compel disbursements of Local Government Funds directly to the LGs. He said is still in court as Governors are asking the courts to clearly define what the powers of the NFIU were.

In his efforts to restore the people’s confidence in their state governors, the governor of Ekiti state explained that the people’s fears regarding Local Government funds were unfounded. He said the quality of people in the leadership of the country.


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