ASAP, Premium Times Hold Symposium

Akin Oyebode


The Academics Stand Against Poverty and Premium Times are organising a symposium on campaign funding on January 27 in Lagos

AS the 2015 general elections draw nearer, the Academics Stand Against Poverty, ASAP, an association of academics across the globe, is organising a symposium to address issues of campaign funding in political parties and its link to corruption in collaboration with Premium Times, an online medium.

Akin Oyebode, a Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence, will deliver the keynote address at the inaugural symposium themed: “Political Campaigns and the Looming Tsunami of Poverty”. The event will hold on January 27, at the University of Lagos.

Speakers at the one day event include Rahman Ade Bello, the Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos; A. M. Ninalowo, Professor of Sociology, University of Lagos; Mr. Pogge; and Ralph Akinfeleye, Professor of Journalism and Communication, University of Lagos. The others are Dapo Olorunyomi, publisher of Premium Times newspaper; Femi Aribisala, scholar and international affairs expert; Femi Fani-Kayode, director, Media and Publicity of the Peoples’ Democratic Party’s presidential campaign; Femi Falana, human rights lawyer; Innocent Chukwuma, regional representative for West Africa, Ford Foundation; and Hussein Abdu, director, Action Aid, Nigeria.

Ismail Ibraheem, co-chair of ASAP, West Africa, said the discussion became imperative because of the corruption plaguing the nation and the forthcoming general elections, adding: “As a matter of fact, corruption has become endemic in the nation’s body politics.”

Ibraheem said it was needless stressing the fact that political corruption could be traced to the iniquitous need to satisfy the urge of political godfathers and sponsors who bankrolled the campaigns of candidates who eventually get elected into political office as another major problem of Nigeria, adding: “The end result of political corruption is the diversion of public funds meant for developmental purposes into private accounts.”

Ibraheem noted that such political misdemeanor had not only set Nigeria backward but had largely contributed to the increasing level of poverty of its citizens. “In the 15 years of this on-going democratic experiment, the only visible growth in the country is the democratisation of poverty.”

Ibraheem said the symposium would serve as an opportunity to lend a voice to the looming inequality and tsunami of poverty threatening the structural foundation of the country.

“ASAP believes that one of the ways to tackle poverty is to attack the root cause of poverty which is corruption,” he said.

ASAP is an organisation established in the United States of America by Thomas Pogge, Professor of Philosophy, Yale University, to bring together academics from various institutions across the globe with the vision to fight poverty and aid development.

— Feb. 2, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT