Prof Pat Utomi
…Say lives meaningless, System Unfair, Killing Younger Generation, Talents
…All Indices show
…Nigeria is a failing state
…We either end Nigeria ourselves because if it ends herself, it’ll be disastrous
Some eminent Nigerians, including foremost Economist, Professor Pat Utomi; former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN and 2019 Presidential Candidate of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, Dr. Malaifia Obadiah; Senator Henshaw Bassey, Executive Director of Enough Is Enough Nigeria (EiE), Yemi Adamolekun and Tokunbo Sholu-Ekukinahave expressed worry over the state of the nation, saying nothing is presently working in the country.
They also noted that life in Nigeria has become meaningless.They stated that the current system of the country is unfair; killing the younger generation and their talents, stressing that all indices show that Nigeria is now a failing state.
They spoke at the 2nd Goke Omisore Annual Lecture organized by a Yoruba Intelligentsia Group, Voice of Reason (VOR) in honour of its late Convener, Prince Goke Omisore, themed: “Creating an Inter-generational Dialogue for the Nigeria we Want”.
Others at the webinar included Dele Farotimi and Inibehe Effiong, Social Crusader and Nigerian Representative to the All African Students Union (AASU), Icon Olawale and Niger/Delta Activist, Annkio Briggs, among others.
We’re being strangulated by leadership misrule—Obadiah
In his remarks, former Deputy CBN governor, Dr. Obadiah said the statement credited to some Northern Governors that not all Boko Haram are criminals is an oxymoron of the century.
He said: “The Nigerian constitution guarantees self defence to anyone who faces treat to his or her life, therefore, it is your right as a Nigerian to defend yourself and your community whenever you are faced by a treat to live.
“Let me say very expressly that Amotekun and Eastern Security Network (ESN) are legal; they are doing what they are supposed to do in line with Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
“Nigeria is a country of greatness but we are being strangulated by leadership misrule. Nigerian music trends in all over the Western Europe, Nigerians are talented, Nigerian leaders are the one bringing shame on our youths. A Nigerian won the second best price in computer science in the world some months ago but armed robbers killed him last week in Lagos. Nigeria is a danger killing talents.”
Younger generation must challenge the status quo–Utomi
In his submission, Prof. Utomi , however, suggested that the younger generation needs to be mentored by radical elders to challenge the status quo.
Utomi said: “I agree with all the speakers. I just want to add that the younger ones need to be mentored to be able to challenge the status quo. The rich class are united against the common people, therefore, the younger generation should be united to wage war against the status quo.”
Challenging the younger generation to take over the country themselves from the older generation whom they accused of failing to show direction, honour, meritorious service and sincerity of purpose to the younger generation in their modus of operations and actions regarding governance, the speakers, including the Secretary-General of the Lower Nigeria Congress (LNC), Mr. Tony Nnadi, argued that what is currently going on in Nigeria is worse than a Banana Republic as the country has failed to have an identity.
No one is safe in Nigeria–Sholu-Ekukinam
In her submission, a 2nd Republic Presidential Assistant on Legal Matters, Mrs Tokunbo Sholu-Ekukinam said no one is safe in Nigeria at the moment because insecurity now booms like wave of ocean.
She said: “The situation is so sad that Nigerians do not know their right anymore because they are used to impunity, lawlessness, intimidation and subjugation of their rights. The younger generation should take up the challenge, fight for their rights as they are currently enslaved, pauperised, oppressed and cheated by the tiny-ruling oligarchy. The younger generation should come up with the type of countries they want. They have the figure and numbers to achieve this. My generation cannot help them”, she submitted.”
A former Students Union President of Lagos State University (LASU), Mr. Dele Farotimi, said Nigerian leaders have turned the younger generation to chattered slaves who police can shoot at any time; who’s live can be taken away anytime by the agents of the state and who have no access to amenities, dignity and liberty.
Farotimi said: “The younger generation converged at Lekki Toll Gate on October 20th 2020, thinking Nigerian flag means something meaningful. If you missed what happened on October 20 2020, what happened last Saturday 13th February 2021 at Lekki Toll Gate was an aberration – battalion of soldiers and ammunitions were posted to Lekki toll gate to quench a peaceful protest guaranteed by the constitution. An end must come to this assault.”
Corroborating other panelists, Adamolekun, said “the clampdown against the youth last Saturday was massive. It is an indication that the youth means nothing to the older generation.
“I see what is happening as a class struggle. The older generation kept quiet last weekend when the younger generation were being attacked by those being paid to protect them.”
Adamolekun challenged the Director General of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN), Mr. Seye Olaleye, who was present at the event, to ensure that the South West Regional Security outfit, Operation Amotekun, is deployed to all the local govt areas in the Yoruba land to secure and protect lives.
She advised South West Governors that though the Nigerian constitution guarantees all citizens to move from one place to another, no law stops them from enacting a law to mandate all visitors in their states to register.
Also, Senator Bassey Henshaw said impunity, corruption, lack of free hearing, etc currently characterizes the face of Nigerian polity.
Dr. Obadiah Mailafia
He appealed to his generation to train the youth for the future to take over, stating that it is the proper thing to do if not, the country will soon explode and the explosion may consume everyone.
We need a new Nigeria–Briggs
On her part, Niger-Delta activist, Annkio Briggs said her generation has failed to give what the youth of Nigeria want, therefore, it is unfair to be calling on them to fix and salvage the country.
She said: “We didn’t give the youth what they want, now we want them to fix the mess we created. I have children aged 27 to 44 but Nigeria has been unkind to them. My position is that we need a new Nigeria. Nigeria as at today cannot give you a citizenship because Nigeria does not exist.
“Lord Lugard gave us the name Nigeria. I am who i am because i am an Ijaw woman. We should even decide whether we want to retain the name. What is going on in Nigeria is insane. Nothing is working and the country is hemorrhaging. We should either restructure or be allowed to leave the almagamation of 1914 peacefully,” the activist submitted.
In his opening remarks, the Chairman of VOR, Dr. Olufemi Adegoke said 19th February of every year has been reserved to celebrate the Convener of the group, late Goke Omisore being his posthumous birthday.
Adegoke said:”Today is the 19th of February, it is a day specially reserved in the VOR calendar. Our late Convener, Prince Goke Omisore would have been 72 years old today. Unfortunately he left us in October 2018, a few months short of his 70th birthday. We prefer to remember and celebrate him on his birthday, rather than the sad day he left us.
“In his lifetime, Arole, as he was fondly called, enjoyed gathering his friends together to celebrate his birthday. In his honour, we schedule one major event for this day when we invite members of the public to exchange ideas. God sparing our lives and hoping Nigeria is still in one piece; please note it in your diary to expect our invitation next year.
“Arole was a patriot and a nationalist. He was disturbed by the palpable decline in all indices of human and societal development in the present day Nigeria, more so when juxtaposed with the trajectory of our early post-independence years. Although a successful entrepreneur and business man, he loved writing. He shared his thoughts on a blog he created called “Whispering Cannon”. This circulated among his friends and associates who similarly shared his concerns. That was what evolved to become the Voice of Reason, VOR which we translated to Ohùn Àgbà.
“As we remember our Convener today, we also remember some of our members who have departed this physical world, the most recent being Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos. Oye was an active and valuable member of VOR. We shall continue to keep their dreams of the attainment of good governance in our society alive by working assiduously with others. May their memories be a blessing to us all.”
Vanguard News Nigeria