Connect to the people, don tells govt

From left, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, Prince Abdul-Jabar Bola Ajibola; the President, Dr Sakariyau Babalola; the Executive Secretary, Professor Dawud Noibi and a former acting president, Justice Tijani Bolarinwa Babalakin, during the third General Assembly of the Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), held last weekend at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan. Directly behind Prof Noibi is a former Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Prof Taoheed Adedoja.

IT is not enough for a country to be endowed with human and natural resources, to achieve good governance, government at all levels must connect to the citizenry through activation of policies that enhance life chances and provision of social infrastructure.

A don at the University of Lagos, Professor Lai Olurode, made the remark in his keynote address at the third General Assembly of the Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), held last weekend at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.

Speaking on the theme of the event, “Good Governance,” Professor Olurode urged the people to continue to ask the government questions and agitate for good governance.

He decried what he called a lack of evidence of better governance today than what obtained in the past, during the era of the regional system of government in the 1950’s through the 1960’s, saying “what we have done in the country is to bureaucratize challenges and social problems rather than solve them.”

Prof. Olurode equally deplored the situation where a preponderance of contemporary leaders spends so much time on politics rather than governance, noting that “the moment an election is won, they begin to talk about the next election, deploying a lot of energy and resources into winning an election that will not come until four years’ time.”

Earlier, the president of MUSWEN, Dr Sakariyau Babalola, appealed to Muslim preachers not to use the holy month of Ramadan, which is drawing near, as an avenue for hate-preaching.

A highlight of the event was the presentation of scholarships by MUSWEN to five female medical students from across the South-West states.

Dignitaries that attended the event include the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu; a former Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Professor Taoheed Adedoja; a former justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Bola Babalakin (retd); a former deputy governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Lateefat Okunnu; the Iya Adinni of Yorubaland, Alhaja Sekinat Adekola; representatives of some of the governors in the South West; delegates from the six states and President-General, League of Imams and Alfas in the South West, Edo and Delta States, Sheikh Jamiu Bello Kewulere.

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