How to reinvent nation via democratic governance, by Jega
• Seeks NBC reform for impartiality
From former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Atahiru Jega, yesterday came a recipe for the consolidation of the country’s democracy.
According to him, elections must be free, fair and regular with the votes counting to sustain the aspiration of the citizenry towards the nation’s reinvention through a good democratic governance framework.
He noted that this would rid the country of recklessness and squandermania of the past and focus on diversifying the economy as well as harnessing available resources and addressing the basic needs of the citizens.
Jega urged repositioning of the broadcasting industry to make it non-partisan by putting in place a strong and legal regulatory framework as well as an effective regulatory agency that could discharge its responsibilities transparently.
At the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) yearly lecture series in Abuja, the former Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) national president noted that the outcome of the 2015general elections was being perceived by many as another opportunity to stabilise the polity, consolidate the gains of democratisation and expand the scope of good governance and democratic development in Nigeria.
“It requires incurable optimism to sustain this motivation and to redirect Nigeria into becoming a stable, united and prosperous country that we would be proud to have.
“We have to continue to make concerted efforts to address the persistent challenges. We must not be hostages to our reckless and unwholesome past, we should see the Nigerian federation as akin to a Catholic marriage… not necessarily a perfect union. But till death do us part, we must strive to do everything humanly possible to find accommodation and live peacefully.”
Jega stressed that President Muhammadu Buhari has a responsibility to enthrone a new Nigeria and reform broadcasting so it could play a pivotal role in Nigeria’s development.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, charged the NBC on general principles and policies enunciated in the nation’s Mass Communication Policy for the promotion of the well-being of the citizens.
Represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Mrs. Ayotunde Adesugba, the minister noted that the current challenge for the agency was the switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting, expressing the hope that Nigeria would meet the June 2017 deadline.