At book launch, Sagay, others deplore Nigeria’s instability
RENOWNED academics at the presentation of three books, which held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), have described President Goodluck Jonathan’s failure to lay a proper foundation for his administration as the cause of his dismal performance and Nigeria’s worsening instability.
They said the President’s vacillation over issues in the public court set the tone for his uninspiring administration.
The books, edited by Emeritus Professor John Ayoade, Prof. Adeoye Akinsanya and Prof. Olatunde Ojo are: The Jonathan Presidency: The First Year, The Jonathan Presidency: The Sophomore Year and Nigeria: Descent into Anarchy and Collapse?
At the book presentation, a constitutional lawyer, Prof. Itsey Sagay, lamented diverse challenges, which he said, had undermined Nigeria’s growth and development since her amalgamation in 1914.
He said since the Second Republic, Nigeria “has been having a set of political leaders who are not better than locust. From generation to generation, we have been producing degenerating set of political actors.”
Sagay said Nigeria’s problem “is not only bad governance, but also a defective structure.”
Also, one of the authors, Prof. Adeoye Akinsanya, said the anti-intellectual posture of Nigerian governments at different levels “will not deter the academics from speaking against bad governance and anti-people policies in the country. A lot of things are wrong with this country. We need to look inward and solve our problems.”
The book reviewer, Dr. Ademola Omo Orangun, said a lot of Nigerians welcomed him “to the Presidency with high hopes over a lot of issues that were inherited by him – the restructuring of the Nigerian federation with a view to strengthening the states to generate economic prosperity in the country” but cited “the horrendous monster of corruption, disruptive inadequacy of electrical power supply, culture of disrespect for the rule of law, the growing intensity of inter-ethnic hostilities and conflicts, the troubling challenge of terrorism and the growing depth of poverty as sources of grave concerns.
While reviewing the third book, Omo Oragun said Nigeria can become the first federal state where perceived imbalance lead to disintegration of the country because “the interests of the ordinary citizens seem to be incongruent with the interests of the elite. Undoubtedly, where a federal arrangement harbours discontentment of a large number, the country may suffer a sudden death.”
The chairman of the event, Prof. Bola Akinterinwa, who is the Director-General of Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), while holding out front-page headlines of major newspapers said: “I don’t know what has been written in the books, but it appears the headlines in the national dailies are in agreement with the titles.”