- Says Nigeria now more divided than ever
- Urges dialogue
- Ikem Okuhu calls for more citizens engagement in democratic governance
- Presents book on ‘Debunking Marketing’s Strongest Myths’
Ahead of the 2023 elections, former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on Wednesday stated that no ethnic group will be unilaterally imposed on Nigerians and the clamour for Igbo presidency can only be realised through dialogue.
The senator who represents Enugu West Senatorial District, said dialogue and conversations should be employed to enable Nigerians accept the initiative.
The lawmaker stated this at the 2020 edition of the Brandish h Meeting of Minds Colloquium and Book presentation in Abuja, with the theme “Beyond Rebranding: Engineering a Citizen led proposition for Nigeria’s National Cohesion and Global positioning “
“There is clamour for Igbo presidency today and I believe it can only be realised if we engage ourselves in conversation and other Nigerians buy into this initiative.
“There can never be a unilateral imposition of any ethnic group on the rest of us in this country. Its only dialogue and conversation that can bring equity to all parts of the country”, Ekweremadu said.
The senator however, regretted that Nigeria is now divided more divided than ever and the chasms are increasing by the day.
He noted that elder statesmen and women, writers, and other well meaning Nigerians have continued to raise the alarm that the nation is drifting apart, and have equally continued to proffer suggestions on how we can engender national cohesion, justice, and equity, but government has fell on deaf ears.
“We will continue to pray that the government heeds their patriotic calls and suggestions”, he said.
The lawmaker further regretted that Nigeria’s democracy has not been participatory, as politicians often disconnect from the masses once elected into offices.
“In Nigeria, while one may say that we have relatively moved away from the military era when the military hierarchy dumped whatever they liked on the people, we cannot say that the people are truly in the driver’s seat of policy direction, building national cohesion, and development. While we are no longer where we used to be, we are certainly far from where we ought to be.
“In many instances, not only are the people not given the opportunity to shape policy directions or even consulted on policies such as electricity tariff increase, fuel pump price increase, tax increase, that have direct and severe multiplier effect on their lives, even policies roundly rejected by them or by their elected representatives in parliaments are shoved down their throats”, he said.
Ekweremadu noted that most government policies and programmes are still inspired by the top-bottom model rather than the bottom-top approach in which the people wield greater influence.
On his part, the Convener of the Colloquium, Mr. Ikem Okuhu, emphasised the need for more citizen engagement in democratic governance as he equally announced a quarterly initiative, “Conversations on a New Nigeria”, to oil the wheels of building a united and prosperous Nigeria.
The event also featured the presentation of the book, “Pitch: Debunking Marketing’s Strongest Myths”, authored by Mr. Ikem Okuhu.