By Emma Amaize
A governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State, Olorogun David Edevbie, has said the nation’s development lied not in a shift from democracy in the conventional sense to technocracy, but in the manner that democracy and technocracy were synchronized into a symbiotic relationship.
He, therefore, challenged Nigerians, particularly Deltans, to be sensible about their choice of leaders ahead of the 2023 elections.
Edevibe, former Chief of Staff, Government House, Asaba, gave the charge in his lecture at the 2021 Annual Public Service Lecture of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, UIAA, Asaba Chapter.
The state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, represented by the Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Mrs. Kate Onianwa, stressed the importance of technocrats in the realization of democratic dividends.
The governorship aspirant, who spoke on “2023: The Role of Technocrats in Government,” said:
“In the last two decades of civilian governance in Nigeria, I have seen this dynamic in the perspectives that some of us with private sector corporate orientation brought to policy debates with our ‘core politician’ colleagues with eyes constantly on whether a policy would lead to the next electoral victory.
“ In the circumstances, some policy options with long-term benefits to society are sacrificed for those with short-term credits, even if less beneficial in the long run. I also have the first-hand experience of some of the hindrances experienced by technocrats, which include, insincerity or lack of political will, poor perception as enforcers of bitter economic pills, rough political terrain, mutual distrust between politicians and technocrats, illogical political considerations, political party intrigues, and the most debilitating of all, tribalism,” he said.
Posing a question, have technocrats impacted Nigeria positively? He asserted: “I would argue that they have, but not to the extent they should or could have for the simple reason that they have not taken the driver’s seat as president or governors in appreciable numbers.
In general, what technocrats have done from 1999 to date is helping to design or formulate policies that are poorly implemented or even abandoned. Hence expectations are ruptured by disappointments.”
“As a fledgling democracy, our system can benefit greatly by a weighted consideration in favour of technical capacity in the election of leaders like president and governors to enable them to integrate the dictates of political aspirations of the people with the realism of technical requirements for optimal realization of the aspirations of the people,” he said.
Earlier, UIAA Asaba Chapter Chairperson, Dr. Felicia Adun, said the annual lecture series which has spanned over two decades was an initiative aimed at building an association committed to best practices and robust articulation of ideas to move the state and the country to enviable heights.
The lecture attracted personalities such as former Head of Service and Secretary to defunct Bendel state government, Chief Patrick Onyeobi, former Commissioner for Economic Planning, Chief Clement Ofuani; former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, Prof Emmanuel Nwanze; Bishop of Asaba Anglican Diocese, Rev Justus Mogekwu, among other dignitaries.