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Nigeria needs radical change, not slogans – Oshiomhole

By on February 21, 2013

EDO State Governor Adams Oshiomhole Wednesday insisted that solving Nigeria’s problems required revolutionary agenda and not transformation as is being orchestrated in some quarters.

The governor stated this when he received the new leadership of the Edo State Council, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), led by Desmond Agbama.

Oshiomhole said Nigeria should wake up to its responsibilities of giving direction to other countries of Africa. “What Nigeria needs is a revolutionary agenda because the level of decay in our society and the amount of dysfunction in our society is high. The gap between where we ought to be and where we are is such that we can’t make up through just reform. I think we need a radical strategy to make up for lost grounds. We are in trouble; we need to sit up to meet up with those who have started working while we were sleeping. Today, the Ghanaians are asking Nigerians to go home, when we were at our best, we said ‘Ghana must go’ and they went, they fixed their politics right. They have changed their political system; different political parties have formed national governments there. Ghanaian democracy is on; power truly belongs to the people. It is clear that Nigeria has to wake up. The African elephant has been on its belly for too long, it has to get up and run. So what we are doing in Edo is more of a revolution”.

He said the Nigerian media had done enough to ensure democracy thrives, adding that they also needed to remain independent to sustain it. He kicked against leaders who would not want to relinquish power including the recent experience in Edo NUJ when an incumbent chairman refused to vacate power even after the expiration of his tenure.

“You have commented very freely on the challenges of free and fair election. The Nigerian media has taken a position over the years against sit-tight leaders as African leaders who seek to perpetrate themselves in offices, who have behaved like emperors. The Nigerian media is easily one of the freest in the African continent. Whatever anybody wants to say, Nigerian media unarguably is the most vibrant in the African continent.

“For me, it was an embarrassment that you had difficulty in conducting a free and fair election and you had leaders who were reluctant to vacate. People must recognise that the honour of leading a voluntary association exists when you are freely chosen to lead and that when you are asked to vacate, no one should give us reasons. That is the beauty of democracy, there is a time to come, there is a time to go.

“Journalists must continue to lead by examples. We need associations, we need groups to organise, to mobilise, so that you can interrogate those in power and ensure that democracy is on.”