THE vice chancellor of Fountain University, Osogbo, Professor Amidu Sanni, has called the attention of all Nigerians, leaders and followers alike, to the need to accord governance the seriousness it deserves by being God-conscious in the discharge of their respective civic responsibilities.
Professor Sanni pointed this out last weekend at the 22nd Ramadan lecture of the Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN), Oyo State chapter, held at Afe Babalola Bar Centre, Ibadan.
In his lecture titled “Sanctity of Trust between the Leader and the Led,” Prof. Sanni opined that Nigeria might have advanced in age in terms of democratic experiment but it was debatable if the other variables, namely, the electorate, the elected, the process and the society had correspondingly advanced.
Therefore, according to the don, to institutionalise the ideal manner of government and achieve a progressive society, enlightened people, the cream of the society in all callings and professions, must live up to the responsibility of guiding the populace and the leaders.
He called on religious leaders to reject the idea of being patrons of corrupt public officials and politicians, and embrace their obligation of enlightening the public on issues of right and wrong and how people should behave in accordance with the will of God.
The vice chancellor challenged lawyers, journalists, civil society organisations, clerics and all other institutions to be part of the monitoring and quality assurance movement in governance so as to be able to challenge tyranny, arrogance and misrule.
“The process of evolving leadership and followership is divine. It is an obligation which everyone owes in the context of obeying Allah and His Prophet. And the Qur’an explicitly commands all to entrust trust to the trustworthy and, conversely, for the trustworthy to discharge the trust when so entrusted to him/her.
“Electors must be responsible and God-conscious enough to offer concrete and useful advice to their leaders and elected representatives, and hold them accountable for their overall performance,” Prof. Sanni stated.
He urged politicians and public officeholders to follow in the footsteps of Prophet Muhammad by managing the affairs of the people justly and by subjecting themselves to public scrutiny.
“Governance is a process that starts with getting the right people there without any preconditions and ensuring that election is free, fair and credible. And we should be able to monitor thereafter to ensure that dividends of democracy or the purpose for which they were elected in the first place, is fulfilled.
“So, if you just conduct an election and sit back or sleep off, then you have no right to demand for performance,” he added.
The Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Mukhtar Abimbola, who was the chief host of the event, in a remark, described purification of souls on individual and collective bases as a precondition to ridding Nigeria of all ills, social, economic and political.
Earlier in his address, the state chairman of MULAN, Mr Akeem Adetunji, decried what he alluded to as the prevailing way of life without dignity or social comforts in the country.
Awards were presented to Justice Kunle Adeigbe (rtd) and Alhaja Sherifat Adepoju, a former treasurer of Oyo State MULAN, for their contributions to the development of the association.
The event, which was chaired by a retired commissioner of police, Alhaji Sulaimon Lawal, was attended by the Executive Secretary of the Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN), Professor Dawud Noibi; a judge of the Oyo State High Court, Justice Moshood Abbas and Alhaji Lasun Sanusi (SAN).
The chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ibadan chapter, Dr John Akintayo; a former Secretary to the Oyo State Government, Alhaji Sharafadeen Alli; the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Mutiu Agboke, among other Muslim personalities, were also in attendance.