The Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has canvassed a national rebirth founded on the recurring resonance of a renowned statesman and foremost Northern political leader, Mallam Aminu Kano, in the nation’s quest to surmount its socio-economic and political disorder, coupled with systemic dysfunction, which is fast overwhelming the essence of the country’s nationhood.
Besides, Fayemi worried that the crisis bedevilling Nigerian nationhood, which is already eating deep into the fabric of religion and ethnicity, is also generating restlessness in the security architecture and social livelihood.
Fayemi, who spoke yesterday, while delivering a keynote paper at the 21st anniversary of Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training, MAMBAYYA House in Kano, described the late political sage as the epitome of modesty, simplicity and moderation, whose political ideology was hinged on emancipation and empowerment of the downtrodden, the qualities the speaker said are fast e luding Nigeria politicians.
Drawing from Aminu Kano’s legacies in his paper titled: Democracy, Good Governance and the Question of National Integration in Nigeria, the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, said citizen empowerment articulated by the generation of Malam Aminu Kano was structured “around the provision of public policy of basic tools by which individuals and groups could advance themselves in life.”
He cited an efficient provision of education and healthcare as part of the basic foundation of true governance and social policy enjoyed by Nigerians during the days of Aminu Kano and other nationalists. However, he regretted that the onset of economic crisis, which began in the early 1980s, triggered structural adjustment measures that continue to rear their ugly head in present-day governance, manifesting in massive unemployment, growing social inequality and security threat.
Fayemi, therefore, suggested that Nigeria must calibrate a new social bargain that will redesign universal social policies, which will enable Nigerians to renew confidence in government and the country.
He said: “Thinking through what a new social compass for Nigeria might be, we can borrow a leaf from the late Mallam Aminu Kano and resolve that as part and parcel of the bargain of being a citizen of Nigeria, we will strive to design universal social policies that will enable the generality of our people to renew their faith in the country and their government.
“Universal access to education should be accompanied by a system of universal health care. It should be underpinned with a national strategy that defines employment creation as a priority concern to public policy. Enhanced efforts at boosting domestic resource mobilisation will need to be accompanied by deliberate measures at redistribution, designed to reduce wealth, income, gender, and inter-generational inequality.”