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Government should be accountable to the masses, says Oloyede

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Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, JAMB Registrar

The Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, has stressed the need for all tiers of government to be accountable to the populace in the quest for growth and development.

Oloyede, who made this call yesterday at the First Ramadan Lecture organised by Right Development Limited, Publishers of The Point Newspaper in Lagos, said the decision-makers should be accountable for their actions and report to the public periodically.

He urged public officers to be strategic vision leaders who have long-term perspective of good governance and human development along with what is needed for such development.

The JAMB registrar, who, however, cited overlapping and dynamic identities as the roots of recurrent problems in Nigeria, said an identity assumed by a person or group of persons in Nigeria is not static but dynamic depending on what is at stake and for how long.

He said: “A person who is a religious champion can within a twinkle of an eye become a social class champion or an ethnic champion. Current or momentary interest dictates the identity and its tenure.

“Over 250 ethnic groups with over 500 languages have been identified in Nigeria. While it will be wrong to regard ethnic group as a unit of the Nigerian federation, it is also true that ethnic loyalties are very strong in Nigeria. Looking at the statistical account of ethnic/linguistic groups in Nigeria, Hausa-Fulani are 29 per cent (Hausa 21 per cent and Fulani eight per cent), Yoruba 21 per cent, Igbo 18 per cent, Ibibio 5.6 per cent, Kanuri four per cent, Edo three per cent, Tiv two per cent, Ijaw two per cent, Bura two per cent, Nupe one per cent and others 10 per cent.

He stated that whenever a person or group of persons finds it expedient to invoke the ethnic identity in a struggle for public space, it is speedily employed as if it is the only permanent identity of the person or group, adding: “The truth of the matter is that the ethnic identity is a latent intra-state feature generally employed in a non-official platform because the constitution gives little or no recognition to ethnic identities.”

Besides, he noted that attainment of peace, stability and good governance cannot be taken for granted in a nation distracted by double or multiple divergences. It requires extra-ordinary efforts to maintain absolute focus on national development for which peace and good governance are a sine qua non.


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Ishaq OloyedeJAMB
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