Peace and justice’ll determine Nigeria’s progress – Gov Fayemi

Kayode Fayemi

MR Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti governor and Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum, has said that peace and justice would determine how far Nigeria would go in its nation building efforts.

Kayode stated this on Wednesday in Abuja during a panel discussion titled “Nigeria’s Unfinished Greatness and Next Steps”.

The discussion was part of activities to mark the 70th birthday of Most Revd Mathew Kukah, Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese.

He said that the nation required concerted efforts and solid cohesion as it prepares for the 2023 general elections.

“The work we put into the process of nation building, national coalition, peace and justice will determine how far we go.

“The route to nation building is peace and the root of peace is justice and inclusion,” he pointed out.

He said that Nigerians had an opportunity to continue strengthening its bond of unity in spite of how  challenging the process was.

“Fact is, development will only thrive when we have a nation.

“To have a nation is to have a consensus on a definition of what nationhood means to Nigerians; it means we must galvanise support for its progress.

“We have not arrived at that destination yet, but our mission is to build it,” he said .

He described Kukah as an inspiration who had always pursued the overall interest of the people in his critique of government.

“He is good trouble,” Fayemi said of the Bishop.

Ms Gloria Balleson, a member of the panel and human rights activist, said that Nigerians must go beyond wishful thinking and invest on national growth if they wanted greatness.

She said the judiciary should be strengthened to operate independently so as to achieve justice and equity.

“The Judiciary needs such strength to hold political leaders accountable as immunity granted the leaders is frustrating that.

“When laws are applied for a specific subset of people, it is no law. Leaders in Nigeria are often above the law. In normal societies, leaders are to be held and upheld to a higher threshold .

“Section 308 of the constitution gives political leaders immunity which gives them a lot of latitude,” she lamented.

Earlier, Plateau governor Simon Lalong, who is the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, had described Kukah as “a man of wisdom, who demonstrates courage and strength to say what is right so as to contribute to nation building”. (NAN)