Restructuring remains the surest part to Nigeria’s return to greatness, National Coordinator, Southern and Middle Belt Leadership Forum, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, has submitted.
Deploring the wrong deployment of young people in partisan politics, the immediate past President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo noted that the nation’s waning cultural values had traumatised “our society and led to yahoo yahoo, cybercrime, illiteracy, insecurity, electoral dishonesty, lack of accountability, retardation in educational standards and insecurity.”
Nwodo, who was delivering a paper entitled, “Re-evaluation of African Values and Cultures In the Face of Crises of the 21st Century” during the fourth Chinua Achebe International Conference at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) on Tuesday, pointed out that the ills could be remedied by restructuring the country.
The former two-time federal minister said the only way to see a better Nigeria was to “allow states to determine their educational, social welfare policies and security exclusively.”
He contended that ceding to states the ownership of their natural resources while paying royalties to the Federal Government for common services were part of the great bargain to make Nigeria’s federal system effective and efficient.
The national coordinator chronicled the ‘destruction’ of the nation’s socio-political and cultural values, remarking that the best way out lies in the restoration of merit and abandonment of quota system
Nwodo stated: “All the major industrialised countries of the world thrive on merit. Merit promotes competition, rewards hard work and drives development. The idea that you can get admission to a federal secondary school, a polytechnic, a university or the civil service without excelling in a competitive examination destroys incentive for hard work and discovery of talents.
“This is the only country in the world where videos of polling booths are shown by television stations yet courts hold that the test of proving without reasonable doubt has not been met.
“This is the only country in the world where the defeated will find it difficult to concede because there is usually no compelling reason to do so. This is the only country in the world where it can take up to six months or more to conclude an election petition through the judicial process.”
Regretting the inadequate engagement of Nigerian youth and women in political activities, the ex-minister observed: “As long as our young people take the back seat in politics and prefer to receive handouts from politicians to do their bidding, so long shall our politics be bereft of renascent ideas of the youth.”
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