An overheated polity?
The former Prime Minister of Ireland, John Bruton, who also made a presentation at the event, shares the same view. However, he wants the government to take steps to encourage Nigerian professionals in the Diaspora to come back home and contribute to national development.
He said, “If Nigeria can find a way to attract all those talents back into the country and to encourage them to bring foreign direct investment back with them, I think Nigerians will have a much more prosperous country than you have today.”
Noting that good governance is a process, and not a destination, he identified the rule of law, free and fair elections, strong political parties, and zero tolerance for corruption as ingredients of good governance. In his remarks at the occasion, Amaechi agreed that corruption had hindered Nigeria’s progress and expressed regrets that institutions in the country had failed in the fight against graft.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives has assured that 2015 elections will not disintegrate Nigeria, as feared in certain quarters. Tambuwal, who made this pledge at a book launch in Illorin, the Kwara state capital in March, pointed out that the unity of the country does not depend on the outcome of an election. He observed that since 1999, some disgruntled politicians have tried to overheat the polity and cause a lot of tension in the country.
He said: “There is no doubt that the coming election will have critical bearing on the growth of our democracy. A fraud-free election is therefore a big step towards restoring people’s confidence in the electoral process and deepening our democracy. It will also give conclusive proof of our ability to face the challenges of nation-building.”
The American government has said it will provide $15m in support of the conduct of the elections. Consul General of the United States of America in Nigeria, Jeffrey Hawkins, who conveyed the disposition of his country, said part of the funds would go INEC, civil society organisations and the political parties.