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Nigeria’s future depends on electoral choice — Odinkalu

03 Jan

CHAIRMAN, Nigerian Human Rights Commission, NHRC, Professor Chidi Odinkalu has said the corporate existence of Nigeria depends on the choice make by Nigerians,
especially on the general election.
Odinkalu, a professor of law made the remark at the annual lecture he presented recently in honour of the former Chief Justice of Botswana and former Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, NIALS, Justice Akinola Aguda.
In the paper titled: “The Place of Good Governance in Nigeria’s Human Rights Philosophy”, Odinkalu cautioned Nigerians that they cannot afford “to fail to find our values this time.”
The law Professor, who argued that there is no reason for the nation to fail, however opined that extreme care and caution must be exercised for the country to sustain her corporate existence. He noted: “With such demographics, (religion, ethnic multiplicity, etc) Nigeria’s failure would be akin to a piece of fine China dropped on a tile floor-it would simply shatter into potentially hundreds of pieces.
“There is no reason why this must happen. Yet there is no reason to think it cannot. Whether we realise it or forestall it will depend on the choices that citizens, communities, institutions and leaders make.”
According to him, there are five issues that needed urgent resolution for the country to move forward and for her to pride herself in the comity of nations.
He listed them to include-Nigeria electoral system, safety and security crises, the nations population growth, impunity and ability to fight cope with climate change.
On the conduct of election, Odinkalu said: “The crisis of governance without legitimacy from the people is the original source of the Nigerian pathology. To change it, we need to minimize and then eliminate the over-judicialisation of access to power in Nigeria and end our system of “democracy by court order.
“As long as our political process does not reward honesty or is reduced to a system of hunting judges and lawyers with corruptly acquired resources, we ‘ll not make any progress on the things that matter, especially on the leadership values.”
On safety and security, he said, “If we are going to address our safety and security crises, we need to re-construct the police and policing. The incapacity of the police in Nigeria is reflected in the fact that the Army is presently deployed in internal security operations in 32 out of the 36 State of the Federation and is fighting insurrections effectively in three of the six geo-political zones in the country.”
He therefore suggested that the government should invest in policing to give rise to the confidence required to undertake their difficult task.
Odinkalu noted that Nigeria must address her “demographic acceleration clearly outstrips our capacity to extract a demographic dividend from our population growth.”
He declared that impunity is affecting equity and justice in all ramification in Nigeria. He said: “We need a judiciary that is less accountable and a legal profession that is committed both accountability and value for money professionalism.
Among the dignitaries at the event were Hon. Justice Alade Eunice, Mrs O. Akinola-Aguda, Justice F. O. Aguda-Taiwo, Mrs Dare Soetan and Prof. Akanki.

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Posted by on January 3, 2015 in News and Events

 

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