Buhari advocates partnership to address challenges, as Jonathan declares Nigeria’s LGs dead

By Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Dirisu Yakubu

President Muhammadu Buhari has called for global collaboration and partnership to curb the catastrophic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

President Buhari made the call on Friday at the Nigeria Day during the ongoing EXPO DUBAI 2020, holding in the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai.

This just as former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, decried what he called “the collapse of local government system in Nigeria.”

According to Jonathan, the weakness of the third tier of government had not helped the security situation confronting the Nigerian State, given its closeness to the people at the grassroots.

Jonathan stated this in Abuja at a graduation lecture he delivered at the National Institute for Security Studies, NISS.

The lecture was entitled “Repositioning The Nigerian Economy for Sustainable Development: Challenges and Prospects”.

It signaled the completion of a 10-month programme for 66 Executive Intelligence Management Course (EIMC 14) participants, drawn from Nigeria, the Gambia, Ghana and Liberia.

While establishing a nexus between security and economic growth, the former President  urged the Federal Government to boost investors’ confidence by emplacing a business-like day environment.

In the words of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS’ envoy, “because of the weakness of the lower tiers of government, the local government system that is supposed to interface with communities directly, and prevent this, is dead in this country.

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“In terms of governance, nothing is happening at that level. The community engagement is so weak. Governance at the local level has collapsed completely.

“It is not the Federal Government that will have the structures to engage the local governments, since they are mainly managed by the states now, because we are told some states take their money.

“The states must have strong departments that can coordinate the affairs of this local government.”

President Buhari

Meanwhile, in Dubai, Buhari, speaking against the background of the recent surge of COVID-19 cases globally, noted that understanding and partnership among leaders of the global community, aimed at fighting common adversaries like the pandemic, would make the world a better place.

The President, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adsesina, noted that the theme of EXPO DUBAI 2020, “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future” had placed a moral burden on all relevant stakeholders, across national boundaries, to urgently work together for a better and brighter future.

The President was quoted as saying, “The concerted efforts by world leaders, working together, enabled us to limit the catastrophic consequences of this pandemic.

“Such level of continuing understanding and pragmatic partnerships is needed and must be reinforced to ensure that our world is a better place that addresses humanity’s common challenges to guarantee sustainable development and progress for the global community.”

He told the EXPO that Nigeria, like other countries in the world, was impacted negatively by the COVID-19 pandemic, compounding national efforts in addressing insecurity, fighting corruption and diversifying the nation’s economy.

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