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Government should be accountable to the masses, says Oloyede


Registrar, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Ishaq Oloyede flanked by Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief The Point Newspapers Hajia Lateefat Yemi Kolapo (right) and Occasion Chairman and ex-Minister of Mines and Steel Development Chief Sarafa Tunji during the Ramadan Lecture organised by Right Development Limited, Publishers of The Point Newspaper.

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

Oloyede, who made this call at the First Ramadan Lecture organized by Right Development Limited, Publishers of The Point Newspaper, in Lagos, said the decision makers should 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 register however cited overlapping and dynamic identities as the root of recurrent problems in Nigeria.


He 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. “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”.

Oloyede said: “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 percent (Hausa 21 percent and Fulani 8 percent), Yoruba 21 percent, Igbo 18 percent, Ibibio 5.6 percent, Kanuri 4 percent, Edo three per cent, Tiv two per cent, Ijaw two per cent, Bura two per cent, Nupe one percent and others 10 percent.

He added 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. “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”

Despite this, ethnic partisanship and emotional commitment are understandably and generally more potent than commitment to the abstract “State”.

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.

Oloyede said, peace is more than the absence of violence but a situation where people are able to resolve their conflicts without violence and can work together to improve the quality of their lives.

“It involves everyone living in safety, without fear or threat of violence, and no form of violence is tolerated in law or in practice there is equality before the law and the justice system is trusted to be fair and to protect the rights of citizens, everyone is able to participate in shaping political decisions and the government is accountable to the people, everyone has fair and equal access to the basic needs for their wellbeing – such as food, clean water, shelter, education, healthcare and a decent living environment; everyone has an equal opportunity to work and make a living, regardless of gender, ethnicity or any other aspect of identity,” he said.

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Ishaq OloyedeJAMB
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