• Thursday, May 30, 2024
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Amalgamation of Nigeria not a mistake, says Fayemi

It’s time to do away with national grid to address power challenges -Fayemi

Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, on Saturday said describing the amalgamation of Nigeria as a mistake would be wrong, both historically and conceptually.

The governor, however, said it was possible to argue that the toxic legacy of the colonial ‘divide and rule’ strategy may be the reason that the country remained divided even 60 years after the amalgamation.

Speaking during the 50th anniversary of Arewa House in Kaduna on Saturday, Fayemi explained that 60 years may be a long time in the life of an individual, but a 60-year-old nation is a nation yet in its infancy.

Over the years, he said, Nigerians have agonised over the lamentably slow pace of development.

He, however, said successive governments and policy makers have responded with various approaches and strategies for achieving the much-desired national development.

“Yet, even the most charitable analyst of our political economy would be forced to agree that we have not performed to our optimum capacity. In trying to explain our development conundrum, several factors have been put forward,” Fayemi admitted.

“However, it appears to me that the fundamental challenge is that we have all along positioned the cart before the horse. Before we can think of development, the first task that we have is that of nation-building. You cannot develop what you do not have,” he said.

Fayemi said the development of a nation necessarily derives from “elite consensus”. This consensus, he said, can only be forged after some fundamental questions, called the national questions, have been settled.

“Where the very existence of the nation itself is easily brought to question at the slightest provocation, then it becomes clear that our primary task is to build a nation first, as a fundamental basis for achieving development. In other words, the very notion of national greatness is directly consequential to nation-building,” he said.

Fayemi said rather than despair over the failures of the past, Nigerians should rather look ahead with great hopes at the infinite future that lies ahead, armed with that immortal admonition from the French West Indian psychiatrist and political philosopher, Frantz Fanon, that “every generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, betray it or fulfil it”.

“Indeed, not many would disagree with the premise that there is a significant gap between our potentials for greatness as a country, and where we are now, and it is the duty of all well-meaning Nigerians to leverage progressive avenues and platforms such as this, to interrogate the issues to determine where we are on our journey to greatness, our historical missteps, our achievements, and most importantly, the imperatives towards a ‘more perfect union’,” he said.

He cited the youth-led demonstrations against police brutality #EndSARS which metamorphosed into agitations beyond the main subject “to encompass demands for more holistic reforms that would ensure our country becomes more just, fair, and inclusive to our youth demography which forms the majority of our population”.