Experts at 15th AELEX Annual Lecture call for more inclusion in politics and governance
Founder and principal of Alder Consulting, Leke Alder has said that there are 61.3 million Nigerians aged between 19-35 who are under-represented in government.
Querying this development, he said, “how is it possible that such a percentage is not represented in government when in 1966, all the leaders who ruled in the country were below age 30. Now in the year 2021, we have people in the 70s and 80s. How will they come up with fresh ideas? We need to address these germane issues, he said.”
According to him, the Nigeria we want is what we don’t currently have, and we must begin to deal with the root causes rather the symptoms.
“There are more natural resources in Nigeria than most countries in the world, yet we are poor, this shows there is a problem.
He further disclosed that Nigeria is a plaque with three forms of illogicality, namely: conceptual illogicality, demographic and religious illogicality.
“On the religious illogicality, Nigerians pray to God on something that common sense can solve, if you look at all these illogicalities, you will find out the reason why we are where we are,” he said.
In her remarks, former presidential candidate, Prof Remi Sonaiya stated that having a modern society with political restructuring and more inclusiveness of people in governance will take Nigeria to the level where every citizen desire it to be.
“While noting that Nigeria has the capacity to solve all her problems instead of running to foreigners for help, she maintained that the leaders must be held responsible in order to achieve this.”
Sonaiya, who was one of the Panelists with two other persons, Frank Nweke and Leke Alder in a lecture anchored by Ibironke Faborode, Co-founder and Executive Director of ElectHER, made these submissions at the 15th AELEX Annual Lecture, themed, “The Nigeria We Want: Economic, Political and Social Justice”.
At the lecture, the former University lecturer, Sonaiya further averred that a political restructured nation should be the type, whereby vibrant young women will take positions of leadership and responsibilities in Nigeria.
Speaking on how women matter in achieving a Nigeria that we want, she noted that Nigerians must think about why there are women sitting on boards of companies and why we have women professors and judges, but they are not fit for political leadership.
“We must engage male advocates who will speak for women so that we can begin to have people who have the mind to serve and lead. To bring this about, we must continue to advocate for a fundamental change of our constitution so that we will have a bigger say in the way our affairs is being run.
Also speaking at the lecture, Frank Nweke Jr., a former Minister of Information, in his submission said no nation develops by accident, except they have leaders who with the welfare of their people.
Nweke said: “I want a Nigeria that is secure, and the government is development-driven but regrettably today, we are still talking about basic needs like security for citizens. I also want a Nigeria where everybody is included and treated equally regardless of their tribe.
“It will be good if we create opportunities for women to emerge as leaders of key posts in our country as we had during the era of former president Obasanjo where we had a list of women who were empowered to participate in active governance.”
Earlier, in his welcome address, Tunde Adedapo-Olowu, SAN, Managing Partner at AELEX, speaking on the choice of the theme, said, “we carefully chose this year’s lecture theme to address problems like the rising cost of living and the current political disabilities in the country.”
He noted that this was in keeping with the ethos of the lecture series which was instituted in commemoration of the founding of the law firm, adding that through the years, the forum has been a place where National issues aimed at proffering solutions to Nigeria’s problems have been discussed.