By Funmilayo Adeyemi
Abuja – The Justice Oputa Foundation says positive change can take place, only when the leadership is accountable, transparent and has respect for the rule of law.
Speaking during a conference on Tuesday in honour of the late Supreme Court Judge, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, George Oputa, Chief Executive Officer of the foundation, said, for positive change to take place, accountability demands leadership and must begin from everyone.
The conference has its theme, “Governance, Law and Development”.
George said that the theme was borne out of concerned about the level of governance across board in the country as well as the wobbling nature of the economy.
Oputa said that there was need for the leaders to and the citizenry to insist on good governance for the promotion of accountability, transparency, efficiency and rule of law at all levels.
“This will allow for efficient management of human, natural, economic and financial resources for equitable and sustainable development and guaranteeing civil society participation in the decision-making processes.
“The foundation was established in 2010 and registered as a non-profit and non-governmental association.
“It is in honour of one of Nigeria’s most distinguished legal minds, the late Supreme Court Judge, Justice Chukwudifu Akunne Oputa.
“The Justice Oputa Foundation was established to advance and apply knowledge germane to the legal profession, commerce and industry.
“The public sector through the development, conduct and dissemination of both fundamental and applied research in the areas of governance, law and development.
” It is aimed at outlining how to achieve sustainable development goals by ensuring Nigerian public services and industry apply sustainable development principles to function more efficiently in regard to service delivery to achieve the desired growth in the match to 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”
George called on Nigerian leaders to “ignite the nation to create change and work together to accomplish the great task ahead”.
He noted that as the 2019 election approaches, leadership should be defined by character, competence and capacity.
He added that good governance should also be reflected in appointments and employments into, or reorientation of the public service, to a great extent, in sync with global best practice.
Also, speaking, Charles, popularly known as Charlie boy, the late Justice’s son, said his father laid a strong emotional and moral foundation for the family and the society at large.
Charlie boy said his father had reinforced the value of commitment and humility which pointed out a way of life that led to the true happiness of the family.
“In his teaching (The late Justice Oputa), wealth does not guarantee happiness; that in every country people suffer whether rich or poor but only those who seek to understand the true meaning of life can find true happiness.
“He kept pointing out the reality of the way that leads to true value which can reciprocates to the larger society.”
He, therefore, called on Nigerians to nurture their children with the right value saying the values could be translated to a society free of all forms of atrocities, corruption and inefficiency.
NAN reports that Oputa, a renowned legal colossus, Economist, Historian Public servant and administrator died on the May 11, 2014, after a protracted illness at the age of 96.
He was born on Sept. 22, 1918 in Oguta, Imo State to the late Chief Izukwu Oputa and Madam Nwanetu.