Monday, September 25, 2023
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‘You can’t solve the problem of any nation without doing what benefits the citizens most,’ Says Prof Nnamchi

An erudite scholar, former university lecturer and now Hon. member of the House of Representatives Professor Paul Nnamchi, has advised those in leadership positions in Nigeria and indeed Africa to pay more attention to the needs of the people instead of their selfish interests.

He gave the advise while speaking to journalists at an event in Awka , the Anambra state capital recently on some national and international issues.

Asked his view about the current hardship in the country due to the removal of the fuel subsidy, he said that even though the near consensus was that the removal of the subsidy is necessary due to the fact that it had entrenched serious corruption and other ugly tendencies in the oil sector, but the way it was removed is the problem.

His words “What our people are currently facing in terms of hardship occasioned by the subsidy removal is humongous and unimaginable, nobody can deny that. Even the so called middle class which I doubt if it still exist are seriously affected. 

“Maybe only the few super rich in our midst are not affected.

“The government which removed the subsidy the way she did must find a way of managing the ugly side of it quickly before it gets out of hand.”

He argued that you don’t put the cart before the bag in handling any policy issue that will affect almost everyone in the country.

According to him,  “they simply announced that subsidy is gone which had instant harsh  effect on the citizenry before they sat down and begin to look at issues of palliatives to cushion the effects. Things are not done that way and I can tell you that another person like the Labour Party Presidential candidate His Excellency Peter Obi, would have handled it differently to achieve a better result”.

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He said that this has put serious pressure on some of them holding leadership positions “especially some of us who are just first time members of the National Assembly, we are still trying to find our foothold but I can assure you that the welfare of the good people of Enugu East/Isi-uzo federal constituency I represent is my priority. I will make sure they feel the good effect of my representation because they’re the reason I am there”.

Talking generally on the issue of leadership in Africa in view of the current resurgence of military intervention in governance, the Professor of Iron/metallic engineering blamed what is happening on bad leadership.

“What is happening in the continent of Africa including Nigeria is as a result of bad governance for a long time. Most of those who found themselves in political leadership as Presidents or Head of States have not lived up to the expectations of their people. 

“Majority of them simply turned their countries into centres of underdevelopment where hunger, disease, squalor, fighting and other indexes of poverty and backwardness are seen. 

” This is shown in terms of global development measurement goals and standard of living in most African countries which are at very low level. Leaders at the subnational levels in Nigeria are also to be blamed because many of them are not living up to the expectations of their people”.

He also said that in spite of these, some of the leaders don’t want to leave the stage, some handing over to their children as if it is a monarchy system.

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“This type of behavior will certainly breed resentment, anger, hunger and the result is what is currently happening in Africa in terms of military coups which I condemn totally because it is not the solution, he said.

According to Prof Nnamchi, “I spent many years in Europe in the course of my studies; UK, Germany, Netherlands and saw how the affairs of the state and her citizens were being handled. O

” Over there, they see public positions as opportunity to serve, opportunity to provide things that will make their citizens live a meaningful live. Any small issue against them, they resign immediately. But in Africa including Nigeria our country, people see public positions as opportunity to corner the resources of the nation entrusted in their care, opportunity to live big, act crazy and trample on others. 

“Ethnicity, tribe and religion are used to divide the people and gain personal and family advantage and luxury while majority of our people are suffering”.

He stated clearly that “our leaders in all leadership positions, led by number one person at the centre, the state governors and local government chairmen must as a matter of urgency imbibe new values and change their ways of doing things in Nigeria and indeed Africa”.

According to Hon. Nnamchi, “we must begin to build strong institutions not strong people, come together to discuss with open and nationalistic disposition how to make Nigeria great and build a country where everyone will feel free, safe and happy. 

“A country where corruption must be eradicated, a country where the electoral body INEC must deliver a free, fair and credible elections etc. Only then will those in authority and the people they govern will feel comfortable and peace will rein. I look forward to that time and in my own little space in governance I will do my best to show example”.

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