Nigeria’s system has been designed to fail —Afolabi-Akiyode
The Chairperson of Transition Monitoring Group, Dr. Abiola Afolabi-Akiyode, has said that Nigeria’s political and economic system has been designed to fail by Nigerian elites who are the beneficiaries of the political space and care less about the existing challenges of citizens.
She noted that restructuring can go a long way to solve various leadership, economic and ethnic challenges confronting Nigeria as a nation.
She said this on Thursday at the maiden edition of Ripples Nigeria Dialogue tagged “Rebuilding Trust in a Divided Nigeria”, organized by the Ripples Center for Data and Investigative Journalism (RCDIJ) held in Lagos.
She said, “We cannot rebuild a society where the political sphere has led to animosity. We cannot continue to live under economic insecurity, which is engineered by our rulers for their own selfish reasons, to maximise their own fortune, political and economic power.”
Afolabi-Akiyode noted that the problem of Nigerians is that they do not look at themselves in the mirror individually and collectively, adding that the slave master (rulers) will not give up
“Most Nigerians are unemployable and that is quite painful. We understand that Nigeria needs to be careful not to engineer the fore of Nigeria by the failure to capitalize in their enormous potential for growth and pursuing the policy that put their citizens to a lifetime of poverty.”
She called on Nigerians to ensure that they hijack the country’s fortune from the ‘selfish and self-centred in power’. We need to rebuild the nation that is non-sectional and against favouritism and nepotism.”
While noting that most political panellists say that Buhari has a key opportunity to rewrite the past and unite the nation, she frowns, stating: “We are in a big and bold promise of change and what we are seeing is abduction, kidnapping, and a whole lot of things.”
Afolabi-Akiyode, however, said that restructuring is the solution to Nigeria’s challenges, while noting that if injustice and inequality are not addressed, Nigeria will continue to have problems and there is no how the country can rebuild trust.
“Nigeria cannot rebuild trust if the people continue to hijack the restructuring discussion,” she said. “The issue that begets colonialism and the issue of the most recent of our collective experience will have to be addressed. There are political elites that are using ethnic-religious and other differences to further divide the country. That is why we have the issue of the herdsmen, Boko Haram and other issues. We must be ready to resist that.”
On what can be done to fix the problem, she said “We need to address the issue of insecurity. You can talk about trust when you are in a secured nation, so we need a secured nation that is united and healthy. We need to build a nation that can compete and grow. We need a nation that can address unemployment. We need to build accountability in government because we cannot continue to seat and think that things will change. Nobody can rebuild trust for us. We can only rebuild trust for ourselves.”