Justice for Development and Peace Commission, JDPC, Ibadan on Wednesday held a panel discussion to celebrate Nigeria’s 60th anniversary.
The panel discussion which took place at J Traver’s Place inside St. Patrick Church, Ibadan featured various panelists and discussants who spoke on the theme: Nigeria at 60: Failing, Failed or Fallen.
The panel discussion, which was moderated by popular broadcast journalist and political scientist, Edmund Obilo, was led by Nigeria’s former ambassador to the Philipines, Ambassador Yemi Farounmi; Professor Francis Egbokhare; Mrs. Busola Ademiluyi and Alhaji Garba Danjuma.
Speaking on the theme, Professor Yemi Farounmbi stated that while it is important to acknowledge that 60 years after independence this country is not where it ought to be, it is sacrosanct for us not to rely on a foreign definition of failure or success as a gauge.
“I like the theme because whoever wrote the themes was not sure whether we have failed or we failing. But the most important thing is that given the potential we have and the hopes Nigeria was given 60 years ago we are not where we ought to be. The National Anthem represents perhaps the hope of Nigeria.
“The greatest problem we can have is to rely on the American or google definition of failure or success. I know that Nigeria is probably number 13 on the ranking of a failed state and Somalia as number one,” Professor Farounmbi said.
He added: “We have to leave the abstract and come to the reality. Has Nigeria reached our expectations? Is the Chief Executuve performing his role. Are the legislators fuliffing the wills of Nigerians? I think when we address these issues we might be able to address our problems.
“There have been No good days. The 1960 constitution allowed the federal government to suspend the government of a region and the western region was suspended which led to various crisis. It laid the foundation of where we are now.”
Another discussant, Prof. Egbokhare in his submission, maintained that there is no doubt the country has failed in all parameters for measuring failure. He emphasized that the country needs to find a way to manage its diversity and make government look less attractive.
“The problem with Nigeria is not money. It is a management of diversity.
“We need to allow some groups have some level of self-determination. If everyone is wrong and you alone are right them you are wrong. The problem with Nigeria is bigger than Buhari. Every administration in this country has been worse than the previous one.
“We need to make government attractive. We need to reduce the size of government,”Egbokhare said.