The younger generation must rise and fight for better Nigeria – Fayemi



Dr. Kayode Fayemi, former Ekiti State governor, has called on Nigeria’s younger generation to rise and begin the long struggle for a better country, cautioning that the task of nation building cannot be left in the hands of politicians.

Fayemi who stated this during the question and answer session at the Prince Emeka Obasi Inaugural Memorial Lecture held at Muson Centre, Onikan Lagos on Thursday, May 2, 2024, pointed out that Nigeria is yet to be a nation, and therefore lacks a coherent national vision, which according to him, is at the heart of its developmental challenge.

The former Ekiti governor who was the guest lecturer, and had earlier delivered a lecture titled, ‘If This Giant Must Walk; A Manifesto for a New Nigeria,’ called for devolution of power to the federating units, describing Abuja as a no man’s land where politician go to steal without remorse.

He said although some state governors have tried in their respective capacities to craft visions and develop their states, “it doesn’t amount to anything much collectively,” on account of lack of national vision.

Referring to Tinapa Resort built by Donald Duke, former governor of Cross River State who was chairman of the occasion, he said, “Take Tinapa Resort for example, yes, Donald did a great job, but then you still had people who said, ‘naTinapa we go chop?’ I’m sure you remember 2014 when some people said that Fayemi is all about physical infrastructure – he’s building roads; he’s building bridges, but what about our stomach infrastructure?”

According to Fayemi therefore, “even if you do your bit, in terms of collective national development and progress, you need to have that vision settled. The vision question has not been settled in Nigeria, and that is why you can have 400 people go into the national legislature, including my radical brothers and sisters from Labour Party, and all will want a N150m car. Because for them, it’s their own share of the national cake.

“That same legislature from Abia, if he belongs to Umuahia development association, he would not dare. If they make him treasurer of Umuahia development association, he would not steal one penny from there because of local accountability. But in Abuja, it’s no man’s land, and in no man’s land, I can collect anything I see there. I can even steal it without feeling any moral burden, because that’s what people go there to do. And that’s also why even the greatest advocates for restructuring can get get to Aso Rock and become a bit…”

He emphasized that the task of building Nigeria at the point should be undertaken by the new generation, as according to him, it’s not a task that should be left for politicians alone.

“So, I think it’s important for us to know that this work is beyond what should be left in the hands of politicians,” he said.

“It’s a citizen struggle for change. And we all must be ready for that long struggle. And that’s why I said that every generation must fight their own battle as long as nation building is concerned. Are we ready? If we’re ready, then let’s go.”

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