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We can’t have a nation of jobless youths and want peace — Fayemi, others, speak on democracy, leadership in Nigeria

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KAYODE Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman, Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) on Thursday, pointed out the impossibility of having a peaceful nation when millions of youths in the country are jobless. 

The governor stated this while speaking at the 17th Daily Trust Dialogue in Abuja, where he highlighted the need for improved institutions that will secure and uphold democracy in Nigeria, stating that poverty isn’t the nation’s problem but inequality in wealth distribution.

“The issue in Nigeria is not poverty but inequality in wealth distribution,” Fayemi said.

Evidently, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its latest 2019 report pegged Nigeria’s unemployment rate at 23.1 percent, up from 18.1 percent a year earlier.

The Ekiti state governor also spoke on security, defended the Amotekun initiative and called for the Nigerian constitution to place premium on residency rather than indigeneship.

“Given the current debate on legality of Amotekun, I see opportunities and possibilities. Amotekun is a paradigm shift in national security and crime prevention.

“It’s time for our constitution to place premium on residency rather than indigeneship,” Fayemi stressed.

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Fayemi berated Nigerian democracy, saying it is below standard.

Some have already considered Nigeria as a failed democracy. A democracy that can not improve the citizens is a sham,” said Fayemi.

Former governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima who was also present at the occasion, attributed the trouble facing the country to failure of leadership.

“Nigeria is in trouble and that trouble is simply and squarely a failure of leadership,” said Shettima.

Worthy of note, Shettima has been a ‘leader’ in Nigeria for over a decade.

He started his political career in 2007, while he served as commissioner in five ministries till 2011 when he ran and won election in the same year to become governor of Borno state. He went on to win reelection in 2015 and is now currently a senator in the 9th assembly.

The Senator also called for improved democracy while, calling on Nigerians to resist  dictatorship.

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“Citizens, as I cited earlier, are entitled to the freedom of expression upon which they hold leaders accountable. This brings me to the issue of leadership.

“The mere feeling of being ruled under a system of dictatorship imprison citizens psychologically.” Shettima said.

Former Vice President of Nigeria, Namadi Sambo offered advice to put Nigeria on the part of greatness.

He urged the leaders to show greater accountability, and charged the media to hold government and public institutions to account.

“Media should continue to hold to account, all apparatus of government,” Sambo said.

Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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