'Stop taking electorates for granted' - Don tells Politicians - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Sunday, August 6, 2023

'Stop taking electorates for granted' - Don tells Politicians

By Editor

A University Don, Professor Adelaja Odukoya has called on Nigerian politicians to stop taking the electorates for granted, saying that "no serious government that is interested in development and democracy will ignore the views of the people.

Odukoya, a Professor of Political Science, Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, University of Lagos (UNILAG), said criticism by members of the public is the tonic that nurtures democracy and development".

Odukoya, made the call while delivering a lecture, titled: "Pluralism and Public Opinion Management: Challenges and Prospects for Sustainable Democracy in Nigeria", at the 2023 Colloquium of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Ogun State chapter.

"Nigerian leaders are too alienated from the Nigerian people, they are too self-centered, they must change or the people should flush them out. Our government officials are unprepared for government, our government officials are only interested in there pockets.

"Nigeria is not one, it is drifting apart and something urgently must be done."

He charged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and law enforcement agencies to stop treating electoral infractions with kid gloves, regretting that many electoral offenders have gone unpunished.

He noted that this has encouraged more people to break the law.

Odukoya said, "the present authoritarian, anti-people, exploitative and irresponsible" style of leadership in Nigeria cannot promote the country's democracy.

He said, "The kid gloves treatment of electoral infractions must stop if we must have a democratic order.

Speaking at the programme, Ogun State Deputy Governor, Engr Noimot Salako-Oyedele noted that prioritising public opinion is a veritable means of bridging gap between government and the governed.

Salako-Oyedele pointed out that through public opinion, one could foster trust and build a sustainable democratic society.

She said Governor Dapo Abiodun government had tremendously succeeded in institutionalizing high self-esteem among the people by creating an enabling environment for individuals to grow without hindrance.

 "As the Government of Ogun State, we are committed to creating an inclusive and participatory governance system and we have initiated various programmes and policies aimed at encouraging the citizens to participate in the decision-making process and ensuring that their voices are heard," she said.

She urged the government, media, civil society groups, and the public to work together in promoting pluralism and public opinion management, towards harnessing the prospects for sustainable democracy in Nigeria and overcoming the challenges associated with it. 

On his part, the President and Chairman in Council, NIPR, Mallam Mukhtar Sirajo, represented by a member of the Council, Mrs. Nkechi Balogun, commended the leadership of the NIPR, Ogun State chapter, for its unrelenting efforts in promoting the profession.

The State chairman of NIPR, Seun Boye in her remarks, charged civil society organisations, media and Nigerians at large to continue to promote the values of democracy.

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