A former Vice Chancellor of Ekiti State University, Prof. Dipo Kolawole, has said the Federal Government must make South Africa and other countries treating Nigerians shabbily realise that there will be grave consequences for their actions.
Kolawole, said this on Weenesday at the opening of the ongoing first annual conference of Nigerian Political Science Association, South West Zone held at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
The ex- vice chancellor said Nigeria should review its foreign policy thrust which made even lesser countries to disrespect and assault its nationals at will without any fear.
He said, ” Nigeria must strive to reclaim its leadership position in Africa not as a Father Christmas by distributing resources to lesser states but as a respected nation whose citizens should not and cannot be insulted and assaulted at will as it is happening in South Africa.
” It is natural that a bold and respected leader in domestic politics will command external respect. Our friends in the international community, including the sub-region of West Africa and the continent of Africa must always be made to realise that there will be consequences if out citizens are treated shabbily and unfair.”
To strengthen the nation’s democracy, Kolawole urged professional bodies and civil society organisations as well as student union bodies to monitor the activities of the government.
He stated that leaders must be held accountable because they held the power in trust for the people they governed.
According to him, the anti corruption crusade of President Muahammdu Buhari and the containment of the menace of the Boko Haram were the flagship achievement of his administration .
But he said Nigerians must not be deceived that corruption was limited to the past administrations only, saying there was a ” accelerating geometric progression in corruption scale from one administration to the other.
He advised the present administration to formulate good policies and put in place structures to make them transcend the regime in order to ensure a lasting success.
Kolawole berated Buhari administration for its slowness in decision making, saying the Central Bank of Nigeria did not respond positively until the naira fell to an abysmal level.
The Head, Department of Political Science, OAU, Prof. Sat Obiyan, in his address said although Nigeria had enjoyed uninterrupted democratic rule for over 17 years, it was obvious that the country’s democracy was still being faced with severe democratic challenges.
He said how and when the issues were reasonably resolved would might be crucial to the health and survival of Nigeria.
Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, said in his speech Nigeria had not moved forward because it was spending 70 per cent of the nation’s resources to maintain the one per cent of the population, who were in leadership position at all levels.
He stated that the one per cent of the population were now using the remaining 30 per cent of the resources to take care of the 99 per cent population, saying development would continue to elude the nation as long as that continued.
He, however, said his administration worked hard to address this problem hence the development he said he had brought to the state.