FOR Oyo Sate Governor Abiola Ajimobi, the country has the capacity to surmount its numerous challenges and exploit them for development.
He urged Nigerians to see “crisis in limited form” as a veritable tool in development and nation building. He assured that the country could emerge a better and stronger nation if the crises challenging it were properly managed by its leaders.
Ajimobi spoke at the weekend as a guest lecturer at the 13th Founders Day of Igbinedion University, Okada in Edo State on the topic “Making progress in the midst of challenges: the Nigerian example.”
The governor said political instability had a positive feature that could lead to the realisation of a viable political order. He pointed out that Nigeria’s challenges should be building blocks for development.
“The first and most important thing is transparency. It is for government to carry the people along. It is for government to make governance positive, responsive, transparent and accountable to the people. Nigerians are very simple, easygoing people, and they are yearning for development. So it is for government to have a symbiotic relationship with the people based on transparency, commitment and development.
He continued: “Crisis has been a very significant feature of the Nigerian state since inception. It got to an extent that it was impossible to regurgitate the past without giving ample consideration to the conflictual features of the Nigerian state. It is such that virtually every developmental milestone made by the state had considerable measure of conflicts and crisis.”
Ajimobi said that from independence, crises had acted as precursors of developmental milestones in the country.
He quoted Billy Dudeley’s work on Nigerian crises saying: “Instability of the Nigerian political system is an inevitable condition of the development process and should not be perceived as abnormal,” but that the “instability or crisis should rather be seen as a necessary and inescapable condition in the creation of political order and is intimately bound up with the process of modernisation and political development.”
Ajimobi, however, warned on the negative effect of activities of the Boko Haram sect that he said had negatively affected ties among the states.
He said the activities of the sect in the Northern Nigeria had made the region to be avoided by people from other parts of the country.
“The Boko Haram crisis has also hampered relationships in Nigeria. For instance, migrations or inter-state relationships have been greatly affected because the notoriety of the bomb blasts, which is more pronounced in the northern part of the country, has made the zone a place to be avoided by people of other areas of Nigeria.
Ajimobi continued: “Almost on a daily basis, people migrate from the volatile parts of the north to perceived peaceful parts of the country. This is worse than a war situation because there is an open declaration of antagonism, there is an underground war that has turned men and women against one another.”
He canvassed support for President Goodluck Jonathan in his effort to tackle the country’s challenges.
“The President of the nation, Dr. Jonathan is a slow but steady administrator. I think he is doing very well. Nigeria is a very difficult place to manage. He needs the support of every Nigerian. It is not about politics. It is about our survival as a nation.”