“The people feel that their votes do not count and have therefore sunk into disillusionment, resentment and resignation,” Okowa says.
Delta Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, says bad governance, ethno-religious conflicts and lack of faith in the electoral process, are major causes of disunity in Nigeria.
Okowa stated this in his keynote address at the 2021 Annual Lecture and Symposium organised by Ripples Centre for Data and Investigative Journalism (RCDIJ) at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
“It is not a secret that during elections most people vote along sectional lines, be it religion or ethnicity. Even the war against corruption is subjected to all manner of scrutiny based on our ethnic affiliations and religious persuasions.
“The sad reality is that we seem to derive more comfort, protection and security from our ethnic identity. The concept of one Nigeria is still just that – a concept.
“Another factor responsible for our current disunity is the lack of political will to devise a constitution that supports true federalism,” he said.
He added that: “A situation where the federal government takes 52.68 per cent, the 36 states and 774 local government areas that carry most of the burden of development get 26.72 per cent and 20.60 per cent, respectively, does not augur well for effective grassroots development, inclusive economic growth and social cohesion.”
Other speakers at the event were Afenifere Leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo; Northern Elders Forum Spokesman, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed; former House of Representatives member, Hon. Uche Onyeagocha; and former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof. Usman Yusuf.
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