Issues of equity, justice, fairness requires major response in Nigeria, says PGF DG
As agitations for zoning continue to rage ahead of the 2023 general elections, Director General of the Progressives Governors Frorum (PGF), Salihu Moh. Lukman, has identified equity, justice and fairness as major issues that de,ands adequate attention in the country’s polity
Lukman in a statement he issued Sunday in Abuja, noted that, those issues, with respect to distribution of resources and representation in government are the main political demands requiring responses to meet the expectations of Nigerians from all the six geo-political regions.
The PGF DG emphasised that cries of marginalisation and neglect with contestable justifications are very loud across all parts of the country, stressing that it is simply either demand for restructuring,/true federalism or power shift/rotation of Presidency between the Northern and Southern parts Nigeria.
Lukman in his statement titled “Nigerian Politics and question of National Unity,’ said “These demands mean different things to the different regions. Consequently, perceptions of contemporary challenges of Nigeria are different across all the six geo-political regions and from the different ethnic groups. Therefore, expectations are also different even when the demands are made in the same vocabulary. To a large extent, the distinctive attributes of the different geo-political regions that constitute Nigeria and the ethnic groups from the respective regions is responsible for why the same demand is interpreted differently. The overarching challenge basically is how, as a democratic nation, political structures can facilitate the process of consensus building and agreement among the constituent parts of the country – the six geo-political regions and all the different ethnic groups.
“The extent to which therefore the details of the demands from the six geo-political regions are clarified by political leaders based on which they are able to commit themselves to agreements that translate to initiatives that unite citizens is the critical challenge of Nigeria’s contemporary political development. How are political leaders handling this critical challenge? Are there initiatives being taken to facilitate consensus building and agreements by political leaders from the six geo-political regions of the country? To what extent are processes of consensus building being driven by lawful institutions in the country? How representative are the different sections of the country’s political leadership in the processes of consensus building? To what extent are political leaders committed to agreements reached?
“No doubt, there are efforts by successive political leaders, especially since the end the civil war to facilitate institutionalised processes of consensus building in the country. Whether those processes have produced agreements among the constituents’ parts of the country is also a challenge. However, the fact that national unity remained under threat, even on a bigger scale, is indicative of either the absence of agreement or lack of commitments by political leaders to implement agreements. Part of the growing challenge is that commitment of political leaders from all parts of the country to facilitate processes of consensus building is more and more diminishing. How can we, as a nation, push our political leaders to be more dedicated to facilitating processes of consensus building and at the same time become more committed to implementing agreements therefrom”?
He noted further that “endless vicious circle of agitations to resolve problems of marginalisation, injustice and unfairness has created atmosphere of deep-seated frustrations by most Nigerians from all sections. It is also responsible for the anger against political leaders and political establishments.
“Consequently, public commentaries are antagonistic against elected leaders and the ruling party – President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC). Arguably, the belief is that President Buhari and the APC are the problem. Anybody who is associated with them is condemned and projected to be part of the problem. In the same way, every analysis of challenges facing the country, which attempt to highlight any progress being made on account of initiatives by the APC administration led by President Buhari is dismissed and condemned. Some critiques have argued that the APC and President Buhari also used the same approach to defeat the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, which is debatable.”