Abuja – Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Founder, Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD), an NGO, has advised the Federal Government to urgently open and strengthen strategic communications between it and the citizens.
Gambari gave the advice on Friday in Abuja in his address at the opening of a two-day workshop with the theme “Nigeria’s 4th Republic: 17 years of democratic governance in Africa’s largest democracy“.
He said that trust and confidence building between the government and the citizens, based on strategic communications were vital ingredients in the business of good governance.
“Furthermore, since the 4th republic, some of our leaders have constantly shown their inability to understand the dynamics of translating human and natural resources, such as raw materials, into finished products.
“ The dynamics include human and natural resources such as raw materials into finished products that will be measured as real values added to the ingredients for the socio-economy development of our country.
“The lip service paid to diversify the economy must change and concentrate, measurable steps to realise this must be articulated, planned for and implemented.
“Moreover, the weakness in our public institutions, civil service, judiciary and legislature must be corrected as a matter of urgency.
‘’This is because this situation creates the opportunities for corrupt enrichment by public officials,’’ Gambari said.
On Boko Haram insurgency, Gambari commended the recent success recorded by the military in the fight against Boko Haram.
He, however, called on government to address, head on other threats, especially the recent resurgence of the militancy especially from Niger Delta Avengers and new clamour for Biafra.
“Similarly, while the ugly chapter on Boko Haram is beginning to close, we must do whatever we can in terms of peace-building in the North-East and other parts of Nigeria where we need peace consolidation.’’
Prof. Bolaji Akinyemmi, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, in his remarks stressed the need for government to address degradation of public offices.
This, he said, would be achieved through the character of people who have occupied or aspire to occupy them.
Akinyemi condemned the desire for high offices of states by “the undesirable’’ and described the development as most disturbing.
Akinyemi, who is also a former Director-General, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, called for reform of the legal and judicial system of the country.
“A system where criminal case lasts for 10 years without progress is a system that has run amok,’’ he said.
Akinyemi also called for the celebration of Nigerians who had recorded success in their various endeavours.
“We must stop regarding Nigeria as a zero-sum experiment where what happened in one party of the country is regarded as lost to the other parts.
“The point is that, celebrating success by one Nigeria is celebrating success by all Nigerians. Celebrating success under any administration is celebrating success by Nigeria,’’ he said. (NAN)