2019: Help deepen democracy, don tells Nigerians

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By Ibukun Emiola

Ibadan –  Ahead of the 2019 general elections, Prof. Nkechi Christopher, a lecturer at the University of Ibadan, says Nigerians must participate actively in deepening the country’s democracy.

Christopher spoke on Thursday in Ibadan at a book reading event on Bayo Oluponda’s “ Are You Not A Nigerian?’’ organised by the Ibadan School of Governance and Public Policy (ISGPP).

According to the don, efforts at promoting democratic values should not be left to politicians.

He said: “All of us know what the government should do but do we do what we are to do?

“We should be concerned about what we can do to ensure this country progresses through participation and learning from our history.

“It is sad that the civil society groups that fought for the democracy are not the ones enjoying but the politicians.

“ What will it take for democracy to work in Nigeria?”

Also speaking, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, the Executive Vice Chairman of ISGPP, said creating an ideal Nigeria “ takes much more than wishful thinking but collective efforts geared toward a common goal.’’

Olaopa, who was represented by Prof. Bode Lucas, enjoined all Nigerians to be more committed to making the Nigerian project work.

Oluponda, the author of the book, urged all Nigerians to contribute their quota in driving growth and development in the country

“A whole lot of us are just sitting back doing nothing; it is really bad; so I wrote to challenge us all to rise to the occasion and salvage this nation from corruption.

“Today, the problem is worse because the local government system is dead and so at the grass root level there is chaos.

“We need active participation in the electoral system to begin the change that this nation deserves,” Oluponda said.

Dr Remi Aiyede, the lead reviewer of the book, said concerted efforts by intellectuals and the citizenry were needed to actualise the Nigerian project.

“What is your responsibility first as a citizen and as an intellectual? It is not about the system but about individuals.

“ What role do you play either by entrenching, constructing or undermining an unjust system?

“At every given time we have choices to make which form the reality that exists in the country.

“ There is so much we complain about but we take little responsibility,” Aiyede said. (NAN)

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