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Jonathan, others push for restructuring at book launch


Wife of the celebrator, Chief Margaret Okunrounmu (left); Oyo State Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan; Pro-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Dr. Wale Babalakin; Book Reviewer, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu; Chief Ayo Adebanjo; former President Goodluck Jonathan; the celebrator, Senator Femi Okurounmu; and Senator Anthony Adefuye at the presentation of The Dream: Pursuing the Black Renaissance through the Murky Waters of Nigerian Politics written by Okurounmu to mark his 80th birthday, in Lagos…yesterday. PHOTO: NAJEEM RAHEEM

The launch of ‘The Dream: Pursuing the Black Renaissance through the Murky Waters of Nigerian Politics’, a book written by Senator Femi Okurounmu, at the Afe Babalola Multipurpose Hall, University Lagos, yesterday, was like a mini-national conference for issues of how the country could achieve her dreams.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan, who organised the 2014 National Conference, chaired the event, while Senator Anthony Adefuye, a delegate to the conference, was the chief launcher.

The need to re-engineer Nigeria back to true federalism was a major discussion at the book launch to mark Okurounmu’s 80th birthday.

In his address, Jonathan said the dignitaries gathered for a common dream; a vision of a united, peaceful and prosperous country.

The former president said though he did not share political ideology with Okurounmu, that did not affect the way they related in pursuit of the common good. “I received support from him during my administration,” he added.

Executive director, Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, Dr. Tokunbo Awolowo-Dosunmu, another strong advocate of restructuring, was the reviewer.

Deputy governor of Oyo State, Remi Olaniyan; Afenifere chieftain, Chief Ayo Adebanjo; historian and Second Republic senator, Prof. Stephen Akintoye; former deputy governor of Lagos, Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele; pro-chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), Wale Babalakin, among others were at the event.

On the need to re-tool the present system of governance, Jonathan said: “Our country is faced on all corners by a multiplicity of challenges, bordering mainly on security and national cohesion. Although these problems are not new, the discord has continued to widen over time.”

Jonathan suggested an election body to select the chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), if the country must have credible election.

He added that such body should also select judges for election petition tribunals.According to Adefuye, the author is not just a politician but also a builder of human being, who lectured and nurtured many students during his days in UNILAG.

Adebanjo urged Nigerians to read the book, as “it contains critical issues” that could easily resolve most of the challenges confronting the country at present.

“Unlike many memoirs that are full of lies and self-glorification, Okurounmu’s story is real and narrated the truth about Nigeria’s situation,” he said.

In his remarks, the author emphasised that without restructuring back to federalism, “Nigeria’s development will continue on a downward path, and the state of social disharmony and insecurity will continue to heighten.” He frowned on a situation where one particular ethnic group continued to dominate the rest of the country.


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