- Leaders from the north and south have resolved to form a Nigerian Elders Forum to find solutions to the various challenges in the nation
- They said a lot of things are happening in the country that ordinarily should not take place
- The leaders highlighted ecological, economic and governance problems; and also focused on the killings in the country
The technical committee set up by the Northern Elders Forum and southern elders to discuss modalities to address some challenges confronting the country, has met in Abuja, with a resolution to have a broad-based Nigerian Elders Forum which will be able to intervene in crisis situations, when they occur, Vanguard reports.
Spokesman of the forums, Prof Banji Akintoye, told newsmen that Nigeria’s elders were worried “that things are not well with our country,” adding that a lot is happening that ordinarily should not take place.
NAIJ.com gathers that participants at the forum also included Dr Yime Sen, Yinka Odumakin, Dr Afred Mulade, Sen Kofo Bucknor-Akerele, Sen Chris Anyanwu, Francis Doukpola, Dr Chike Dike, Engr Bello Suleiman, Sen Ibrahim Y. Lame and Ambassador Bala Sani, Doyin Okupe, Yerima Shettima, among others.
Akintoye stated: “We are elders, we are not active politicians. Most of us are not active politicians. We have come together because we are worried about the condition of our country. Things are not well with our country.
“A lot of things are happening in our country that ordinarily should not happen. Ours is a land of promise, a land well-endowed by nature with a lot of wealth; but we are not using the wealth to enrich our people. Instead, we are going down, down and down in terms of prosperity and progress.
“So, we have decided to work together – that is the most important thing because the problems are many. There is a general problem like the problem of ecology; the desert is moving South on us, upon our country and we are not doing anything about it.
“The ocean is moving in from the South, parts of Lagos already under sea level and we are not doing anything about it. Parts of the south-south too already under the sea, and we are not doing anything about it. And in the East, there is serious problem of gully erosion. Nobody seems to know what to do about it.
“And then, the economy itself; we have become a country that is no longer productive because lack of productivity is the big problem now of our country, and we have to do something about it.
“We also have this huge problem of poor governance. It is no longer a question of party, it is no longer a question of one party is doing better than the other. You can see now clearly, even though our political parties are no longer political parties, they are just neighbours or combination of people who want to gather together and win elections and control the wealth of the country.
“That is what it has become; and the quality of leadership has fallen so drastically that it is not possible to have any progress in the hands of such poor leadership.
“And then, now, we have reached a point where we are actually killing one another - people going around killing their countrymen and destroying their livelihoods. So, we cannot go on like this. We elders of the country have decided that we cannot go on like this. We must change actions to change these things.”
He added: “What we have decided is to set up – and this is the height of our decisions, to set up a Nigerian Elders Forum.
“The Nigerian Elders Forum that will establish its own means of meeting, and study situation and provide solutions, and make sure that the decisions have impact on the lives of our country. Those are the things we have decided today.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum (NYPF) disclosed plans to convene a conference for Southern and Northern young leaders that would address the need for the inclusion of young people in the nation’s political process.
Prominent traditional rulers across the country were billed to attend the event, including the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi Lamido; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, and Dein of Agbor, Benjamin Ikechukwu.
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