Ezekwesili: Buhari running a divided country
Speaking at the 11th Wole Soyinka Centre Media Lecture Series in Lagos, themed, ‘Rethinking Credible Elections, Accountable Democracy And Good Governance In Nigeria’, meant to mark Soyinka’s birthday, Ezekwesili said: “Recently, a vexing issue of Ruga took the country like storm and you could see the level of argument. If the President didn’t learn anything from Ruga, then we should let him know that Ruga conveyed to him that he is the President of a highly divided country. I’ve never seen this country as divided as now.”
She noted that it is impossible to have good governance without democratic accountability. Ezekwesili, who was the keynote speaker at the programme, said: “Prof. Soyinka at 85 has refused to be indifferent. People always expect Soyinka at 85 to still lead protest, while they sit down and watch. They outsource their responsibility to an 85-year-old man.”
She maintained that government must be effective enough to safeguard citizens’ lives. “But that is not our story, because aside from the real life story that happens yesterday (Friday), analytical information said we lost about 3,000 of our fellow citizens in 2018 in needless killings without any consequence to those that killed them.”
Quoting the latest UN report, which said about 98 million Nigerians are in extreme poverty, she said if extreme is removed from poverty, the number jumps beyond half of the population.
“So, if you look at that measure, our country has overtaken India that is six times the number of our population among extremely poor people.”
Board Chairman, Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigate Journalism, Prof. Ropo Sekoni, who gave the welcome address, thanked Soyinka for his support to the centre.
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