Project Nigeria: ‘Older generation still needed’
Project Nigeria: Older generation still needed
By John Eche
Former Permanent Secretary and media entrepreneur, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed has said that the older generation is still needed to make its inputs in the Nigerian project.
Speaking as a panelist in the #NigeriaInAfrica tweetchat session hosted by the pan-African newspaper, The Difference on Thursday, Baba-Ahmed affirmed that rather than completely dismiss the older generation, the true position of things has to be put on the table.
‘I am proud of ‘my generation’s’ contribution to national and African development. We were also angry with military rule, with corruption, with police. We marched against apartheid. We marched when they killed Murtala. We worked hard to be good.’
Asked to comment on whether there is indeed anything to celebrate about Nigeria at 60, Baba-Ahmed opined that it has not exactly been a hopeless case.
‘…we should celebrate. We have had great moments, and moments that tried us very badly. So far we are still standing, and so we can do better.’
On the forthcoming polls in Cote D’Ivoire, Baba-Ahmed opined that everything should be done to ensure a seamless process. He outlined a number of last minute things to do:
‘Send notice that Africa will not recognize rigged election results. Send strong observers. Get France to be tough (sob). Pray for democracy in Africa.’
However, another panelist at the session, the writer and advocate, Chuma Nwokolo, does not want the continent to have anything to do with France inn the clearly very testy electoral contest and affirms that if he has his way, ‘France should be evicted from any role in African affairs.’
Chuma Nwokolo, who is author of several books, including The Ghost of Sani Abacha and African Tales at Jailpoint, also made remarks on the subject of the restructuring of the Nigerian Federation.
‘The electoral system, for instance, is key to a restructure agenda. Our electoral system is currently in the pockets of godfathers. So any restructuring – constitutional or otherwise that does not tackle evict godfathers from the process will end up not reflecting the public will.’
He equally touched on the recent #EndSARS protests saying that it has basically shown that the old order could indeed be disrupted.
‘…the protests that shut down Nigeria has demonstrated the hollowness of the idea of ‘mandated agents for change’. What is important is for the people to know their best interests so that they can agitate for it.’
The session, which took place under the aegis of the #FocusNationAfrica series of the newspaper and events outfit, was moderated by the Editor of The Difference Newspaper, Mr. Richard Mammah.
The #FocusNationAfrica summit series is a monthly initiative of The Difference newspapers.
Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed