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Buhari not North’s President – Bakare

Posted: Apr 21, 2015 at 1:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•Says incompetent people have been running country 

•Failure of govts cause of our problems –- Ezekwesili

By Bamidele Ogunwusi – Correspondent, Lagos


Nigerians were on Monday in Lagos told to see the election of the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, not as an opportunity to get back at those who did not support his aspiration or of any particular section of the country.

Speaking on Monday, Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly, Pastor Tunde Bakare said the general elections held nationwide on March 28 and April 11, put Nigeria in positive light, different from the image the nation conjured before now internationally.



Bakare who was a panelist at the 70th commemorative lecture organised by Wema Bank Plc, said the elections, among others, earned the country global acclaim, advising that Buhari should not be seen as President of the North or South, but all of Nigeria.

Discussing the title of the anniversary lecture, “How Nations Succeed,” delivered by Prof James A Robinson, of Harvard University, Bakare added that under the current situation the nation finds itself, the idea of that this is our time will only go against the need for inclusion of all Nigerians.

He however called on people of North not to see Buhari’s election as a time for the North to get back at people who they see as not favourably disposed to their cause, but to use this time to build a great and enduring nation together.

“I pray that the North that has been out of power for sometime do not say ‘now is our turn’. We all need to run inclusive government and make Nigeria great as a nation. Over the years, the best, the most competent people with capacity are not the ones running our country. We have campaigned for change and Nigerians have voted for change, but who are those that will make the change happen? The choices we have made now will lead the path to our future”.

Also contributing to the discussion, Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili, former Minister of Solid Minerals and a key figure in the #BringBackOurGirls campaign, frowned at situation where over the years, where governments in the country have always blamed their inability to deliver or perform on the fact that Nigeria is big country with different ethnic groups.

She however, stated that size and ethnic diversity should be to the advantage of the country.

Her words: “The failure of Nigeria is not because of our ethnic diversity but that of the failure of governments over the years. Multi-ethnicity should be to our advantage as a nation. The key point is how to move from extractive to inclusive institutions”.

She added that sound micro and macro economic policies as well as effective and efficient investment is a major enhancer of inclusive economic growth and development

In his keynote speaker earlier at the lecture, Prof Robinson, called for inclusive political and economic institutions to drive the economic development of the country and that of the continent of Africa.

Robinson, a political scientist and economist, said inclusive economic institutions create incentives and opportunity for the broad masses of the population, a level playing field and rule of law based on universal principles.

Robinson, a Professor of Government, added that inclusive political institutions allowed broad participation, pluralism, planning constraints and checks on politicians, but extractive economic institutions create opportunity for a few and non for most.

He noted that Africa is poor because she had suffered from a long history of extractive institutions, lamenting that Nigeria’s legacy after 1960 was shrouded by extractive political institutions, dictatorship and military regimes.

However, he added that the democratisation of 1999 was not forced by a broad coalition in society but by the collapse of the kleptocratic military regime of Gen Sanni Abacha.

For him, the inability of the present government to contain the Boko Haram insurgency since 2009, the suspension of former Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Sanusi Lamido (now Emir of Kano), for announcing that $20 billion of oil revenue were missing, are part of the problems impeding development in Nigeria.