#ThePlatform: These are the Speakers’ opinions everyone has been talking about

The Platform – a program organised by the Covenant Christian Centre – which took place on October 2, 2017, did not end without some interesting points that we as Nigerians should take note of.

From Roman Emaghele:

  1. Poverty is leading to more crimes…Prison population increased by 26% from 2011 -2015 while Nigeria’s population by 10%.
  2. We must start to consider the consequences of 10.5m kids outside school both to state and regional instability.
  3. Our population is growing faster than we are creating wealth, education is what can help us slow down our population growth.
  4. Education is what balances d socioeconomic activities of any country. If u destroy public education you destroy everything.
  5. All largest developing nations are reducing extreme poverty except Nigeria. China from 94% in 1981 to 6% in 2017.

From Segun Adeniyi:

  1. Nigerian is just like a meal ticket to many of our politicians/elites.
  2. All the agitation (in the North, in the Southeast) is actually distracting us from the real issue – Nigeria is no longer working for all of us.
  3. However, when you direct your energy, do it not on the basis of ethnicity, tribe, language, geographical instances, sexual orientation but, at the ignorance and bigotry of a vast majority.
  4. There is so much waste of resources in the Federal government – irrelevant agencies, duplication of parastatals, panels, committees.
  5. We should stop listening to naysayers, we should be seeing ourselves as allies.

From Segun Odegbami:

  1. With sports, we can change the world.
  2. Sports is a great unifier. It transcends religion, language, geography, tribe and so on.
  3. Sports can drive away the ills of society (poverty, illiteracy)
  4. Sporting activities go beyond the football or the athletics. It is about immigration, business, medical assessment etc.
  5. If one event can bring the whole world together – World Cup – why don’t we harness the power of sports in development?

From Professor Osaghae Eghosa:

  1. Territories and/or regions used to define a people are but artificial definitions that must be erased.
  2. The people calling for restructuring do not have the technical know-how on how to go about the process.
  3. What really led to the call for restructuring is a function of the dysfunctionality of states.
  4. Governors should stop saying they cannot do things because it is in the exclusive list. They must wrestle power from the Federal government. For instance, the Lagos government created more states and when they got to court with the Federal government, they won the case.
  5. Impediments to true federalism: i. Political parties. ii. Labour Unions. iii. Civil societies.

From Professor Pat Utomi:

  1. By creating more states, we have created a government of politicians, for politicians and by politicians.
  2. Only an active citizenry can keep the elite from going further astray.
  3. Restructuring as we define it would not get us the good governance that we desire.

From Dr Okey Enemalah:

  1. When we fix the ‘man’, Nigeria would become better.
  2. As a Nation, we need to focus on our people and what makes them successful.
  3. Principles towards a better Nigeria: i. We must create an enabling environment by removing constraints that impede the success of businesses (Government, civil societies must become more proactive and responsible; provision of soft and hard infrastructure and so on). ii. We must inspire and foster a competent and committed generation to build the Nigeria of our dreams. iii. The principle of always doing the right thing.
  4. We are mostly religious but have not followed the principles or the faith.

From Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah:

  1. We have a problem with identity in Nigeria – we use identities such as Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa that are not even real Nigerian languages.
  2. Everyone is angry and, the National Assembly or the Presidency should not have an opinion about restructuring but rather process that frustration – not try to silence the anger.
  3. We cannot do the same things and expect the same results – all of Nigeria’s presidents from 1999 till date are accidental.

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