Dr Mustapha Bello, an Islamic Cleric and educationist, says Nigerians should stop congratulating the President-elect, Sen. Bola Tinubu, but rather set agenda for him.
Bello, a Lecturer, Department of Religions and Peace Studies, Lagos State University (LASU), made the remarks at the 9th Ramadan Lecture of Anwar-Ul Islam College, Agege, Old Students’ Association (ACAOSA), on Saturday in Lagos.
The Guest Speaker delivered a lecture titled: “Islamic Perspective of a Good Governance: Any Lesson for Nigeria?”
Bello described the topic as apt and imperative because of the concern every discerning Nigerian now had about the state of affairs in the nation.
According to him, the nation will by May 29, experience 24 years of uninterrupted democratic rule being led by the PDP and APC, but the question is whether Nigerians have enjoyed good governance or not.
He said Nigerians could not be said to have enjoyed good governance in the light of prevailing socio-economic challenges they were faced with.
“Good governance is the responsibility of all Nigerians. Those who have been elected, we congratulate them but Nigerians should put them on their toes.
“We must set agenda for them, we must tell them what we want in terms of education, infrastructure, environment, health and others. We should not leave them, we should advise them.
“It is not enough for us to be congratulating them. Sen Bola Tinubu has emerged President-elect, and he will be inaugurated, we must set agenda for him.
“Stop doing congratulatory messages now, let us set agenda on education, environment, public morality.
“Look around, there is so much indiscipline in the society. We must also pray for them,” he said.
The cleric said that the President-elect, his deputy and all elected public office holders should be commended if they do well and criticised if they misbehave, for the nation to get good governance.
Bello said that when there is good governance, there would be peace, prosperity, plenty for everybody and less insecurity.
“The President-elect and Vice President -elect have enormous responsibility to unite our minds together. We are so divided as a people by religion, ethnicity and social classes.
“The first task before them is to find a way of assuaging our feelings and unite us; It is when we have a common objective with our mind united that we can move forward,” Bello said.
He said that good governance according to United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), relates to the political, institutional processes and outcomes that are necessary to achieve the goals of development.
Bello said the UNHRC identified transparency, responsibility, accountability, participation, and responsiveness as key attributes of good governance.
“Good governance in a layman language is the provisions of abundance of goodness by a government to its citizens which is the fundamental objective of the state as entrenched in the Nigerian constitution.
“Good governance is the major determinants of how stable, prosperous and peace a society or a country is.
“In essence, wherever you find poverty, crisis and they are on the rise, the only reason for the absence of prosperity is the absence of good governance.
“Virtually, all parametres used in measuring good governance as it relates to Nigeria is negative,” he said.
The educationist noted some policies of government have impoverished the citizens beyond imagination.
Bello said that principles of good governance in Islam include trusteeship, mutual consultation, accountability, fair dealing and justice.
He also noted that Muslims as well as adherent of other faiths were guilty in the preponderance of evil in the society.
“One of the basic requirements for good governance is justice; Every citizen should be treated on the same level. A country cannot grow where their is lopsidedness in justice system.
“We should internalise the principle in our governance; Nigeria has got into a stage that everyone must be involved in politics and governance.
“We must all change a bad situation at our own level
Also delivering a lecture on Health Benefits of Ramadan, Alhaja Sukurat Olaniyan, a Nutrition Dietitian, noted that fasting helped in weight loss, sugar level reduction, inflammation decrease and heart cleansing.
Olaniyan urged Muslims to take enough water and relax.
She, however, counselled Muslims to pay attention to their body and obey it so as not to jeopardise their health while trying to observe the fast.
Earlier, Alhaji Lawal Pedro (SAN), the President General, ACAOSA,noted that the 9th Ramadan lecture of the college was an improvement on the previous ones.
Pedro, who described Ramadan as time for sober reflection and to get closer to God, said that the theme of the lecture had become necessary to provide a way forward in the nation’s governance system.
According to him, the country has been following the Western style of government, trying all types of governance without making sustainable progress.
He stated that the nation’s form of democracy had not delivered good governance to the people adding that there was need to take a lead from other developed countries.
“The United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other countries are not running democracy but making progress because of Islamic perspective to governance.
“Democracy does not guarantee good governance, it is a matter of number. Leaders who emerge because they have majority votes, can only give what they have.
“In democracy, the majority will have their way, the minority which may be the most ideal will only have their say.
“That is why we are saying, is it high time we looked at Islamic perspective of good governance. We are not saying we are running the country with shari’a law or using Islamic jurisprudence,” he said.
Pedro urged government to embrace Islamic banking which frowned at interest, bribery, and corruption.
He added that ACAOSA has contributed a lot to the college in terms of provision of e-Library, infrastructure, Clinic and Solar system among others.
Alhaji Abubakr Adenle, the Chairman, ACAOSA 2023, Ramadan Planning Committee, commended the zeal of the people and their commitment to serve their alma mater.
Adenle, a retired Deputy Director, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, said that Ramadan was a month of forgiveness, goodness and mercies and these should continue even after the period.
He urged government across levels to implement 25 per cent UNESCO prescribed budget for education to create a pathway for sustainable development.
“We will be deceiving ourselves if the government fails to play according to the rule. We need focus on education;we need road map.
“Things do not work because we cut corners a lot in this country,” he said.
The annual lecture had in attendance various alumni of the college including Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister, Alhaji Tunde Balogun, former Lagos APC Chairman.
Others included civil servants, technocrats, entrepreneurs, legal practitioners among others.
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