GOVERANCE

Nigeria’s Democracy: Political Scientists Clamour For Improved Governance

Political Scholars under the umbrella of Nigerian Political Science Association (Southwest zone) have clamoured for improved governance in Nigeria’s democracy.

The Association made the call at its 3rd Annual Conference in commemorating Nigeria’s Fourth Republic, held at the Lead City University, Ibadan, Oyo State.

Notable scholars including Chancellor, Prof. Gabriel Ogunmola, Pro-Chancellor, Prof. Jide Owoeye, Vice Chancellor Prof. Kabiru Adeyemo, all of the Lead City University.

Others include; pioneer Head of Political Science Department, Lagos State University (LASU), Prof. AbdulRahman Olayiwola, Prof. Sylvester Odion, and Professors of Political Science from other Universities graced the occasion.

Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, who doubled as the Chairman of the ceremony, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, praised the Association for selecting the theme, “Nigeria’s Fourth Republic at Twenty-Five: Democratic Governance, the State and Service Delivery,”.

Olaopa emphasized the importance of bridging academic insights with practical governance for enhanced democratic processes.

In his welcome address, Prof. Adeyemo underscored the theme’s significance, stressing the need for introspection and collective action to navigate Nigeria’s democratic journey.

Adeyemo stated “As we commemorate twenty-five years of democratic governance in Nigeria, it is imperative to acknowledge the strides we have made while steadfastly confronting the persistent challenges.”

He also highlighted the imperative of addressing persistent challenges while prioritizing citizens’ welfare and advocated for social justice and economic prosperity.

In his Keynote address, former Vice Chancellor, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Prof. Kayode Soremekun, reflected on Nigeria’s democratic trajectory and the critical role of service delivery.

Soremekun echoed concerns raised by literary giants like Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe regarding Nigeria’s development challenges, emphasizing the need for improved governance structures and service provision.

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President of the Nigerian Political Science Association, Southwest Zone, Professor Adefemi Isumonah, delved into the nexus between politics and service delivery, urging a paradigm shift towards prioritizing public good over personal gain among political actors.

“The dominance or the predominance of the concept of politics that emphasizes the pursuit of public interest in the mindset of powerful state and non-state actors results in political decisions and policies with very complementary and pleasant effects on the public and ordinary people.

“In the mind set of these actors, public office or authority is not power but service, which in the context of this conference is service delivery.

“This mind set leads to the pursuit of service delivery in politics and avoids avarice, domination and oppression of others,” he emphasized.

Participants, comprising mainly political scientists, identified key issues such as poor infrastructure and governance deficiencies as prominent among the factors hindering effective service delivery.

Recommendations include; reorientation of political actors towards public service, prioritizing service delivery, and fostering meaningful engagement between citizens and decision-makers.

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