Nigeria’s contribution to world greatness lies in management of own challenges ― Fayemi

Ekiti State Governor and Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has said that Nigeria could only make the world a better place when it is able to effectively deal with her domestic challenges.

He said this would enable Nigeria to also project her greatness and manifest destiny upon the rest of Africa because charity begins at home.

The governor stated this on Thursday in Lagos at the occasion of the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) 60th anniversary lecture.

Delivering a lecture on the topic, “Fixing Nigeria for a better world,” Dr. Fayemi charged Nigeria to look inward and work assiduously to be able to tackle her domestic problems, so as to assume the leadership position that destiny had bestowed on her in Africa.

Proffering solutions on how to fix Nigeria, he charged the political leaders to embrace political restructuring through a national dialogue process before it becomes too late, undertake concerted efforts towards revamping structures and instruments of the country’s foreign policy, documenting her experiences and projecting into the future, as well as establishing the linkages between the country’s domestic and foreign policy needs.

Fayemi noted that in spite of the myriads of problems bedevilling the African continent, it is still yearning for highly resourceful, focused, selfless and visionary leadership that can galvanise and mobilize the required assistance and guidance to lift it out of anguish and only Nigeria could do that.

The governor condemned the resurgence of military coups in Africa, saying: “Our continent is replete with the resurgence of military coups d’etat and the unconstitutional retention of powers by leaders, armed insurgencies and violent extremism that is ravaging the Sahel region and the Lake Chad Basin.

“There are intra state wars in places such as Ethiopia, Sudan and others. Secessionist agitations have not left the shores of Cameroon, Senegal and Nigeria, while the socioeconomic effects of COVID-19 pandemic are manifesting through increased disillusionment with the state by several citizens,” he said.

The chairman also charged the NIIA to consider moving its headquarters to Abuja, which is the centre of foreign policing making and practice, insisting that distance from the centre could relegate the institution to irrelevance.

In his opening remarks, the Director General of NIIA, Professor Eghosa Osaghae thanked God that in the last 60 years, the institute has deliberately pursued its core mandate.

“We decided to roll out the drums because at 60, one has come of age,” he added.

He commended Gov Kayode for his involvement in democratic struggles during the military era, which has brought the country to its current democratic state

Also speaking, the Chairman of the occasion, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, who is also a former DG of the Institute and former Minister of External Affairs, commended the founding fathers of the institute whose dreams one year after Nigeria’s independence gave birth to NIIA.

He charged the NIIA leadership and Nigerians at large, not to disappoint the founding fathers.

“Nigeria was only one year old when the founding fathers dreamt of this institute. We must not disappoint them and I hope we have not disappointed them,” he stated.

Dignitaries that graced the event included Gov Kayode, Prof Akinyemi, Prof Bola Akinterinwa, and the Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) among others.


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