Osinbajo, Dogara seek good governance in Africa

Senate President, Bukola Saraki (right); Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo and Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; at the opening of the 16th Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers’ conference, Africa Region, in Abuja…yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, yesterday enjoined public office holders to strive towards the upliftment of Nigerians and Africans in general.

They noted that it was incumbent on those entrusted with leadership positions to break free from dictatorial tendencies by building strong institutions to ensure socio-economic development of the nation and the African continent at large.

The pair spoke during the opening of the 16th Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers Conference, Africa Region in Abuja.

Referring to the thoughts of the famous British theoretical physicist and Cambridge professor, Stephen Hawking, the Acting President noted that the realities of hunger, joblessness and poverty among the vast majority of the populace could not be wished away by the political elite on the continent.

Osinbajo told the delegates, drawn from 18 member-states that it behooves the political class to offer selfless leadership.

He noted: “So, while we speak of our legislative halls as hallowed chambers, our courts as temples of justice and the executive villas as corridors of power, all suggestive of grand but isolated institutions, the reality for the majority of our peoples is the misery of the slums and the indignities of powerlessness.

“So, while we describe ourselves as excellencies, distinguished and honorable, the vast majority of our people would in their most polite moments say that they see neither excellence nor much honour in their own lives.

“The leadership positions we occupy are a short lease that providence and the electorate have given us to shape the present and determine the future of millions and the generations that will be born to them. It would be foolish, indeed, to think that it is an occasion for self-aggrandisement or the pursuit of selfish interests.”

To Dogara, Africa is in a hurry to develop, adding that the goal could be achieved when strong institutions are built.

The speaker, who is also chairman, Africa Region of Commonwealth Speakers of Parliament and Presiding Officers, insists that the continent does not need strong men but strong institutions to tackle her myriad of problems.

In this article:
Yakubu DogaraYemi Osinbajo
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