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Leadership crucial to good governance, says Fayemi

Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi yesterday said good leadership is crucial for good governance.

Fayemi spoke at the Pan-African University in Lagos while delivering a lecture on public governance.

He said government policies must be fashioned with the people at the centre.

The governor regretted that post-colonial Nigeria has not behaved differently from the colonial era.

He said although the post-colonial era is being run by Nigerians, the system of governance at the centre is still “alien and predatory” like the colonial system.

Fayemi said the quality, vision, patriotism and competence of the political leadership was critical to the transformation of the African state and the sustenance of good governance.

He said politics has been reduced to a clash of one exclusive claim of power against another, adding that operators of the Nigerian state often decide to select a “selectorate” against the wishes and aspirations of the people.

Citingthe struggle to regain his mandate as an example, Fayemi said it is only a determined people and an impartial judiciary that can save the situation when the “selectorates” confront the electorate.

He reiterated the call for a national dialogue, adding that no meaningful development can be achieved unless Nigerians were at the front burner.

Fayemi said: “The Nigerian state has become disdainful of its citizens and the citizens disdainful of the state. Government is no longer treated as a synonym of governance. What is needed is not a customer-based service, but the consultation of the people who are supposed to take decisions as to how things should be done.

“You will all recall a famous exchange between two of our founding fathers. One asked that we should forget our differences and build a strong and united country. The other insisted that we cannot build a strong and united country without recognising our differences. The truth about how to save Nigeria and create a new paradigm for public governance lies between the two statements. Whether Nigerians will continue in perpetuity to recognise their differences or forget them forever must be left to the collective decision of Nigerians.”

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