By David Adejuwon
Nigerians have been urged to properly analyse character of whoever they will vote for in future elections, and avoid ‘collective hypnotism’ when choosing leaders.
The advice was given by a panel of discussants at a programme organised by the Justice Development and Peace Makers’ Centre, Catholic Diocese of Osogbo, to commemorate the 19th anniversary of Nigeria’s return to democratic rule with the theme: “Evaluating Nigeria’s Democratic Dispensation in the past 19 years; The achievements and the challenges.”
This, according to them, will enable the electorates to elect leaders with good antecedents, rather than offering leadership opportunity to people with the history of being anti people.
The panel which has former chairman of Egbedore local government area of Osun, Mr Bamidele Salaam, a broadcaster, Mr. Femi Olanipekun and Mrs Aderonke Ayilara, also averred that Nigerian youths have needed wherewithal to lead the country, and urged them to be more involved in the political processes and vie for positions.
Responding to some of the questions asked by the audience that includes; corps members, members of the Civil Society Groups, religious bodies and secondary school students, Salaam, admitted that democracy may not have led to good governance for the country
He however added that with better leadership recruitment process, Nigeria will eventually produce good leaders that will steer her ship aright.
“Democracy is to be blamed for the lack of vibrancy in today’s civil society movement in the country. Look at media too. The vibrancy of the military era is no longer there. But I am optimistic that with a better leadership recruitment process, Nigerians will give good leaders opportunity to serve”, Salaam said.
In his welcome remarks, the Deputy Coordinator of Justice Development and Peace Makers’ Centre, Rev. Fr. Anthony Adebayo, who stood in for the Coordinator, Rev. Fr. Peter Akinkunmi, encouraged Nigerians not to lose hope, but to continue to intercede for the country.
Speaking at the event, the Project Coordinator, Democracy and Good Governance for the Centre, Mr Festus Ojewumi, listed Osun as the fifth state with the largest unclaimed Permanent Voter’s Cards.
He urged electorates that are yet to collect their PVC to do so immediately, and ensure they vote during elections, adding that by so doing, they would be contributing to the development of the nation’s democracy.