Conversations On The Impacts Of Private Universities On Public Universities In Africa (3)
This conference was a gathering of progressivists. While planning for the conference, we invited a unique composition of participants because our aims were not as commonly seen elsewhere. We were quick to realise that for the conference to have the effects we expect and hope it would have, there needed to be an unconventional formation both in the composition of the participants and the order of proceedings. Thus, the Carnegie Conference did not only draw participants from diverse African countries, but we were also careful to draw participants from diverse walks of life to create inclusive participation of stakeholders in the university education sector. However, the conference was not a gathering of academics alone. University administrators, academic staff members of public and private universities, staff members and administrators of specialised universities, university staff unions, students, researchers, university founders and donors, the media, and policymakers were present. This gave room for robust and comprehensive discourses that shed light on some issues while discovering new ones.
Undoubtedly, there is a compelling need to reform our public universities by looking into proven strategies for managing challenges. One of the biggest problems militating against public universities in Africa is the inability to effectively use technology to their advantage. Many universities’ websites have a poor user interface, difficult navigation, and processes are not simplified or digitised. Of course, some schools have started to take baby steps in creating digital footprints for themselves; nonetheless, the university education sector in Africa is still way behind in the use of innovative technological interventions.
READ ALSO: Conversations On The Impacts Of Private Universities On Public Universities In Africa (2)
Innovation is often borne out of intellectual discomfort, out of a constant desire to know the situation and make it better. However, comfort is a killer of innovation, and it is sad to see that the management of many public universities in Africa is comfortable with the situation of things. Though they might not be necessarily comfortable with the financial standings of their institutions, when it comes to having a deep-seated discomfort as regards the situation of things as it concerns academic excellence, appropriate learning conditions, a commensurate staff-student ratio, among other things, one would find many public university administrators as complacent. What about inadequate power supply on university campuses when faculty of technology and science could embark on research to find a lasting solution to the problem? Why do universities cry about scarcity or lack of funding when they could draw up a sustainable self-funding model? Are there no services that the universities offer that could be of financial benefit to them?
There is an overbearing dependence on governments for funding public universities across Africa. Why should the universities overly depend on governments for funding? Why can they not seek out funding models for themselves? Many of these universities produce tens of thousands of graduates annually. But how well are they tapping into their alumni network? This comes down to how they treat their undergraduates. Do graduates feel any affinity towards their alma mater? How do universities convince their alumni network to actively participate in the growth and development of the university when students were made to go through hell on campus and were mostly impatient to graduate and leave the shackles of the university campus?
READ ALSO: Conversations On The Impacts Of Private Universities On Public Universities In Africa (1)
All over the world, progressive universities generate substantial funds from their alumni bodies. Beyond that, they also raise money from donations. How well do African universities position themselves as institutions worthy of donations and funding? Do they make the most out of the funding they receive? Are they accountable enough to their donors and benefactors? Sadly, the TETFUND disbursements given to some public universities to build learning and research facilities are not used for the intended purposes. Public university administrators have become a norm to rush TETFUND projects only when they need new funding.
The major problem militating against the university education sector in Africa is the mentality of the different categories of people in the system. This mentality is the same across different categories — from the administrators and managers to the staff members and the students. As a result of this dissociated mentality, the people do not truly see themselves as an integral part of the system with the potential of positively or negatively affecting the outcome of the system. This brings to the fore the reference made by one of the student participants about the different reactions of one of her lecturers in different scenarios. When the lecturer taught her in a public university, his reaction was harsh, and he was disintegrated from the needed synergy between students and their lecturers. However, when this same lecturer found himself in a private university, he changed his attitude towards work and his approach to students. In this situation, the system is to blame for being an enabler of the man’s actions, acting untowardly in a public institution and then comporting himself in a private institution.
In some way, this is related to the difference in the level of teaching presence in private and public universities. On average, there is more teaching presence in private institutions than in public ones. This can be tied to the attention paid by university managers and administrators to the classroom attendance and teaching presence of their universities. While the average private school has a two-way system that ensures that students and lecturers are available and attend lectures, only a few public universities have a classroom attendance rate system to ensure students attend classes. But what provisions are there for students to ensure that their lecturers are available for the classes? And beyond physical availability, how do public universities ensure that their staffers are fully invested in the teaching-learning process?
One valuable contribution is that we must give further thoughts on how we view our universities. Our perceptions of our universities will determine how we handle them and control the resources that come into and emanate from them. Are our universities value centres or profit centres? What contributions do we think the university system should make to our society? How do we view universities in Africa? Suppose our thoughts and perceptions about universities are principally business-related and profit-focused. In that case, there will always be skirmishes as to how the university’s resources will be shared, with each party seeking to have the largest cut of the cake. This presently seems to be the case with the university education system in Africa. There are egotistical tendencies as to the allocation and management of resources. But when we view our universities as value centres, the focus will shift from self-profiting to value proposition.
Staff unionism is another integral part of the university education system in Africa, and this is an interesting aspect for many reasons. The most popular staff union among universities in Nigeria, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has made giant strides in its achievements. Nonetheless, the fact remains that strike actions have become a clichéd signature of the union, which has become notoriously known for prolonged strike actions that sometimes yield positive or negative results. There are chances that the ASUU leadership needs to consider, especially as it concerns the art of negotiating. And though there is still room for improvement in the operations of ASUU, the fact remains that staff unionism is not an untoward move in universities.
However, private universities are missing from the staff unionism equation. Why then are private universities strictly against staff unions? Are there no grievances being nursed by staffers at private universities too? Private universities, being owned by individuals or private bodies and are very conscious of their public image, most likely loathe the idea of staff unionism as it is known in the Nigerian clime. With staff unionism comes strike actions, and one of the biggest selling points of private universities is in the absence of strike actions. Thus, there hangs a web of fear over private university owners. The orientation in many private universities also makes their employees believe there is no need for staff unionism. But the presence of good working conditions at the present moment does not negate the need for staff unionism and should not stop willing staff members from forming a union. Staff unionism is a means of ensuring fairness across all universities. While three private universities may be treating their staff members right, twenty other private universities may be doing poorly.
To kickstart the processes for effective and positive changes in the administration and functioning of public universities in Africa, there is the need to review and update the policies that put these universities in existence in the first place. We must also redefine our goals as distinct African societies on the need for universities and the roles we want them to play in our societal ecosystem. Only when we have done this would we objectively review the system and strive to make it work. The regulatory bodies put in place by governments need to reinforce their regulations and double up in their vetting and visitation endeavours.
Additionally, there is a need for reorientation and a paradigm shift in the way universities are run. Our universities in Africa are not at the same level as their counterparts abroad — their present seems to be our future. Thus, when we plan and prepare for the African universities of the future, we are only planning to measure up with the present status of the other universities that will not stop growing or evolving all over the world. There is a need for a shift that would align with global best practices and what obtains in other parts of the world. University regulatory bodies need to understand the dynamics of modern-day learners and position the system in a learner-focused way. This is because less-formal learning institutions are aggressively competing with universities, and the future of work is so designed that skills are increasingly becoming more relevant than certificates.
Students’ voices were also heard at the Carnegie Conference. And if not anything, the students’ contributions showed that the learners know what is obtainable in the system and the malaise bedecking the system. We must turn towards a learner-guide approach rather than a master-slave style in our teaching-learning process, especially in public universities. There is also a need for collaborative moves between students and their lecturers to benefit both groups. Flexibility in the education system and in selecting courses is also important. Students should be allowed to truly taste the university as a universe of knowledge in its real sense. More so, universities need to be pragmatic in their approach to focus on the acquisition of knowledge and the application of knowledge.
The first convening of the Carnegie Conference on Higher Education in Africa was a success. The communiqué has been released, and researchers and all participants have returned to their bases to develop their papers and reshape them according to the robust discourses had at the conference. As we prepare for the second convening, the two-day conference has rejuvenated hopes, especially mine, in the possibility of effecting a change in the university education system in Africa.
Falola is a Nigerian historian and professor of African Studies. He is currently the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas at Austin.
Read more authentic news on our social media platforms
TB Joshua: Remembering Exit Of A World Changer
By Dare Adejumo
The month of June is a significant month in the annals of Synagogue Church Of All Nations (SCOAN). It is the month of the birth and passing of its founder, Prophet TB Joshua, that great world changer.
Its fifth day makes the second year of his glorious exit from earth and on the twelfth, the great man of God who cherished marking his birthdays would have been 60 years old.
Nations across the world would have been agog for an extraordinary prophet of God whose footprints of wonderful deeds touching the lives of millions across the globe remain in the sand of time. TB Joshua came to revitalize the face of Christianity and made the physiognomy of practical Christian living as given by Jesus Christ already in abeyance real to mankind once again.
There’s no hide and seek in his life. He was love personified. The humbliest human being I have ever come across. Firm and stern, even in his moment of severity, you would still find love encapsulated. You could not offend him. He’s extra sensitive with propulsively radiating wisdom, unfathomable knowledge of life, charming and a paragon of magnetically illuminating character. He was completely acidic to vanity, envy, jealousy, human comparison, imitation, vulgarity and wonton desires. He described them as some of those “foolish things” not to be entertained for a moment in one’s life.
Pastor TB Joshua
TB Joshua was a divinely self-made man. Here was a man with little elementary education. Yet with your degrees, erudition and western exposure, you would be humbled by the self-discovery of your personal hollowness or quasi- emptiness when you sat to discuss or share a view with TB Joshua, a shy village man. TB Joshua was an attestation to God’s omniscience, omnipresence, omnipotence and greatness that lay in simplicity.
I personally witnessed several cases of some other so-called men of God who out of ignorance and envy were once persecuting him but after receiving the touch of God in different dimensions including mere touching of EMMANUEL TV while praying came to weep before God for forgiveness. Joshua would only say to them: ” I didn’t fire one single arrow back from all your arrows against me; otherwise you won’t be here today to talk. One thing we should always know is this: I did not choose myself to do God’s work. He in His wisdom just chose me and I know He is with me. God would never give anybody this kind of power He gave me if the person would use it for selfish purposes or against his perceived enemies. No!”
TB Joshua was a puzzle, an enigma. He was the light shining in darkness that many couldn’t comprehend. He looked too simple and ordinary having not been commissioned by the earthly papacy or religious authorities of the day and for him to be performing miracles of diverse kinds like breathing. This was clearly indescribable, incomprehensible, a mystery and shocker to the spiritual ignoramuses and empty flamboyant oratorical, motivational preachers with big congregations.
That great English thinker and philosopher John Locke once said: “New opinions are always suspected and usually opposed without any other reason but because they are not already common”. In God’s adamantine and inscrutable will, TB Joshua came to the scene when the acts of Christianity seen in Jesus Christ and His early desciples and apostles as captured in the Bible were gradually becoming moonlight tales to this generation. Religious leaders had already metamorphosed to careerism and polarised with pervasive unhealthy cacophonous standards. It was obvious that these religious leaders no longer knew what they were doing then even till today in several quarters without any tangible impacts in the lives of atrophied worshippers!
That was the turning point.There was no way TB Joshua could have had it easier. He faced satanic conspiracies and persecution galore, but the man remained focused with unmitigated perseverance, vision and mission of his divine assignments which he tenaciously upheld victoriously till the last.
He took his persecution joyfully and that conspiracy against him at home launched him to the outside world in God’s agenda and design for his mission on earth.
Hear him: “I began discovering the good life when I was only 15 years. My objectives and motives were determined at once. I wanted what God wanted and I wanted it for the reason God wanted it”. That’s prophet TB Joshua for you. Till the end he carried his childhood with him, with malice to no one but love, charity and firmness to all in God’s righteousness. To him love is pure. Take good care of your heart because that is your communicating point with God and must ever remain pure to know and flow with Him. You can never love God if you don’t love your neighbours and your neighbours include your percieved enemies, those not in the same faith with you, the poor and those in need who you must give love unconditionally.
This Godly character often made TB Joshua to be misrepresented by low spiritual human beings whenever they saw him attend to other people who were not Christians just as his Master, Jesus was accused of dining with republicans and sinners which made the religious authorities persecute Him.
The truth of humanity as once put by that foremost existentialist Italian philosopher Soren Kierkegaard is that history would always repeat itself because man would never learn from history. Many never discovered Joshua not until he had departed! What a painful loss.
You could never find TB Joshua criticizing or talking about other men of God. He moved on quietly on his own even though he lamented the pervasive discrimination and disunity in Christendom.
Several people from other churches who received healings and miracles in his church, Synagogue Church Of All Nations SCOAN wanted to come and do thanksgiving in his church but Joshua would not allow them. “Go back to you church and do your thanksgiving and give your offering there. We are the same. God had already answered your prayers there before you came here” for you to see how selfless he was in all his dealings.
TB Joshua was more interested in the quality of your Christian life and character. He would ask you: “Do you hear from God? Do you listen to Him? Does He speak with you? Do you know how much you need Him? Do you have a relationship with Him?” The God’s general believed that your highest achievement on earth was to hear from God.
To TB Joshua, Christianity is not a religion but a relationship with God. If you don’t have that relationship with Him you have missed it and you are worshipping in vain. “How can you be worshipping God you don’t know?” He would jerk up his congregants to move away from spiritual docility, complacency and indolence.
TB Joshua was never an academic preacher. He spoke words of life that transformed lives of ardent and fervent seekers of God and salvation.
I remember a female nurse I once encountered when she came to treat a patient as she stood looking at EMMANUEL TV. On enquiries whether she knew of the television station, she said that she used to attend SCOAN. “I was a nurse and member of the church’s medical team. Then the church was not rich, just managing to survive. It was what happened during the man of God’s birthday that made me stop going and besides I had relocated to a farther distance. We all on our own contributed money to give TB Joshua as a present. When we got there to present it, the man just asked us to put all the money in one sack. He asked us to choose some people among us to take the whole money to the disabled people’s home at Oko Baba. He instructed that one of us should just dip his or her hand in the sack and be distributing the money to them one by one with whatever the hand could gather at once like that to the less privileged living there and nothing should be left in the sack. I couldn’t believe it. I was shocked that the man could take everything there like that not minding that the church itself was very poor”. This woman completely missed the beauty of life and essence of humanity the prophet symbolized. TB Joshua believed your giving is only meaningful when you give what you cherish most. He would never give in half measures. He was extraordinarily generous and at home in humility with all categories of people as a friend however commonised other people may look at them. Every human being is unique and important to TB Joshua and must be treated with dignity.
TB Joshua was never a burden to anyone but carried all human burdens that crossed his paths. He was the only man of God holding crusade abroad without asking for any donations or collecting offering from worshippers. He would rather go there with loads of charity works for people and the country. There was a time in Cameroon when the airwave was jammed with announcements that TB Joshua would be coming to hold a crusade in Yaounde, asking for people to donate money. This was a scam because the scammers were capitalizing on Joshua’s popularity and the perceived pressure of the country’s request for his crusade program in Cameroon. TB Joshua in holy anger countered the announcements saying: ” That cannot be my TB Joshua of Synagogue Church Of All Nations SCOAN. I have no plan to go to Cameroon. God has not directed me to go there. Have you ever seen my pictures or envelopes asking for donation of money from anyone or anywhere? Please disregard this announcement. When God gives you an assignment He would also send to you what you would need through His chosen vessels”. This is a symbolic message for you to differentiate the chalk from the cheese in the religiously distorted world. He never allowed himself for a moment to be carried away by anything.
The lofty principles and legacies of TB Joshua remain enduring and a high watershed in Christendom. The joy today is that SCOAN is in the capable hand of a down-to-earth and visionary successor, Pastor Evelyn Joshua, a woman who had gone through the spiritual mills and rigorous discipline of TB Joshua the spiritual mentor extraordinaire who strongly believed that life’s biggest decision is what you do with Jesus.
Toyin Falola: A Lifetime Achievement Honour For A Colossus
By Temitope Oriola
The Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) has awarded the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award to Toyin Falola, a professor of History, University Distinguished Teaching Professor and the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities at the University of Texas, Austin. CAAS is the preeminent association of Canadian scholars studying Africa. The Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest honour of CAAS. Therefore, it is rarely bestowed.
For context, no scholar received this honour in my three years on the board of CAAS as vice president, president and past president (2019-2022). The latest in Professor Falola’s constellation of global awards represents another acknowledgment of the worldwide status of the Bobapitan of Ibadanland. As a former president of CAAS, I know the painstaking process involved in the adjudication of CAAS awards. I am particularly delighted that Baba Falola, as we all call him, is recognised in this manner.
It was unusually fitting that York University, Toronto, was the venue of the conferment. Falola was a professor at York University between 1990 and 1991. He had also previously delivered keynote addresses at the CAAS signature annual gatherings and helped to organise the conference in 1991. The president of CAAS, Nduka Otiono, a professor and director of the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, noted that the “esteemed accolade recognises (Falola’s) exceptional contributions, unwavering dedication, and profound impact on the field of African Studies in Canada and beyond.”
The United States took Falola from Canada but his influence is very much like he never left. The University of Texas, Austin has somehow managed to hold on to Professor Falola. I am curious about how Texas has done that since 1991.
I met Professor Falola at the 2016 Africa conference at the University of Texas, Austin. I was immediately struck by his fine magnetic personality. You immediately felt an instant connection as you would a family member. The annual conference convened by Falola is an excellent gathering and for some young scholars, their first international conference outside Africa. The conference also attracts senior scholars and university administrators across Africa and the diaspora.
Toyin Falola received his B. A. (Honours) in History in 1976 from the University of Ife (later renamed Obafemi Awolowo University). His PhD in history was awarded by the same university in 1981. Falola wrote his doctoral dissertation on “The Political Economy of Ibadan, c.1830-1900.” Always on a quest to learn and chart new grounds, Falola received his D. Litt. in African Studies from the University of Ibadan in 2020 (i.e. 42 years after his first doctorate). This is the stuff of extraordinariness.
Professor Falola has received 16 honorary doctorates from universities across the globe. The roll call includes the University of Jos; Lincoln University; Olabisi Onabanjo University; Monmouth University; Federal University, Lokoja; and Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
A Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), Falola has held fellowships, professorships and distinguished scholar status at various universities and other institutions globally. For example, he was visiting professor at the Olusegun Obasanjo Centre for African Studies, National Open University, Abuja (2019-2021) and honorary professor, Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town, South Africa, from 2018 to 2022. Professor Falola was also Kluge Chair in Countries and Cultures of the South, Library of Congress in 2016; visiting professor, Pontifícia Universidade Católica De São Paulo, Brazil in 2007; and fellow at the Humanities Research Council, Australian National University in 1995. He is a life member at Clare Hall, University of Cambridge.
Traditional institutions have also bestowed high honours on Professor Falola. He is Nii Kpani Ashaabla 1, Adabraka Otukpai Palace, Accra, Ghana; the Agbakin of Kusela-Ibadan; the Bobagbimo of Ugboland; and the Mayegun of Auga, Akoko.
Being a globally recognised scholar and an excellent human being are not necessarily mutually inclusive. Falola is an iconic scholar, a mentor to generations of scholars and a humane person. His devotion to the success of others is astonishing and uncommon. Falola is intentional about creating opportunities for others. He derives great satisfaction in seeing others thrive. Falola’s accomplishments require a truly exceptional intellect, fine analytical mind, perspicacity and a strong work ethic. His long list of accomplishments speaks to a lifetime of devotion to investing in others and expecting nothing in return: World class brilliance meets humaneness.
.Oriola is professor of criminology and associate dean at the University of Alberta. He is president-elect of the Canadian Sociological Association and former special adviser to the Government of Alberta on Police Act Review.
10th National Assembly: Nigeria’s Last Chance
By Mon-Charles Egbo
In a few days, the presiding officers of the Senate and the House of Representatives would be elected upon the inauguration of the 10th national assembly. This event, typical of every contest, would throw up two categories of people: those who are pleased with the outcome and the ones who feel otherwise.
Understandably, the wishes of both sides are interests-driven though it cannot be immediately established whether the interests are about the country or individuals.
But on the belief that it is about nationalism, then head or tail, it is a win-win for Nigeria. This is because logically, both divides mean well for the nation only that their perceptions differ. And again, while spirited attempts, largely motivated by multi-dimensional sentiments, are made to externally influence the choices of the legislators-elect, the decision as to who would become their presiding officers begins and ends with them. Whether by consensus or merit, they are the ones that make the choices in the final analysis. It is within their exclusive rights and privileges and also, the election is a process that has strict conventions. So the outcome, like the two sides of a coin, coincides or is at variance with the wishes of the outsiders, once again, depending on whether their interests are broad or narrow.
Therefore as the 10th national assembly comes on stream, the basic public expectation is a sustainable dispensation of good governance delivered by a legislature that is people-oriented and under a leadership that is defined by dexterity, creativity and absolute loyalty to the people. For emphasis, Nigerians today deserve a responsive parliament driven by a deliberate commitment to regular citizens’ engagement.
Granted, these aspirations are as non-negotiable as they are core dividends of democracy. Yet, they are not automatic. They can only happen with the active involvement of a vigilant citizenry as researches show that strong democracies the world over are characterized by robust citizen participation. In other words, there can never be effective leadership without effective followership. This is the reason every well-meaning Nigerian should urgently pause and ponder on the prevailing sorry state of the country.
This is imperative because except for ignorance or mischief, it is glaring that we cannot hand over to our children, the same country that we inherited from our fathers. The signs are there yet we seem indifferent. Or, are we not alarmed by the grim prospects of losing things and persons very dear to us, including innocent children, if Nigeria fails? What about the mental agony of losing personal liberties and becoming captives in our own land, irrespective of status? Are the masses not yet seeing the damning consequences of their age-long prejudice and hostility towards the national assembly? Are we not yet persuaded that certain things should either not have happened in the first place or should have happened differently if only we were actively involved in the goings-on in the national assembly since 1999? Could we have been this mercilessly impoverished and short-changed sequel to leadership deficit? Truly, every heart should bleed over Nigeria’s precarious situation because when it rains, no roof is spared.
However, there is good news. There is a ray of hope. A new beginning is possible. Nigeria can still work. But once again, it is a function of our actions now. Yes, our future is in our hands. Before us right now is an opportunity, possibly the last, to act, lest Nigeria slides into absolute failure.
So, if what informs our concerns and interests regarding the choice of the presiding officers are really borne out of patriotic and nationalistic ideals, despite the eventual outcomes, then we are morally liable for the success or failure of the 10th national assembly. Yes, what it becomes depends on what we do or fail to do now.
Hence if we wish not to bungle this last chance, then we should right away stand up and be counted. We must embrace this 10th national assembly as truly our own. We should seek to be fully abreast of its scheme of things. We have to accord it all the necessary support and cooperation for it to excel. It is no longer about short-term benefits but about what unites us and aids our journey to nationhood. Everyone should immediately remove their togas of ethnicity, religion and partisanship and think Nigeria first! The media, civil society organizations, professional bodies, labour unions, youth, women and community-based groups, the political class, as well as the clergy, should put on garments of activism in championing a legislature that derives its legitimacy and relevance from the people. Every mouth should loudly speak against bad governance whenever and wherever it occurs.
With an open mind, we should pay attention to how the legislature supervises the other arms, especially the executive. Specifically, we should demand explanations from the 10th national assembly as to why the country’s refineries are not operational and what they hope to achieve in the face of Nigeria’s dire situations, particularly the raging petroleum subsidy questions, poverty index, youth unemployment, insecurity, rising debt profile, health, education and power sectors, budget performance, federal character principle and then, why the federal executive council is awarding contracts without the public procurement council in place. We should clamour for legislative agenda with timelines and whose deliverables can translate to tangibles in the immediate, instead of high-sounding achievements that would exist only on paper and make no meaningful impacts in the lives of the people in the long run.
Then dispassionately, in pursuing these programmes of action, we should be seen to be fair, right and just always. We should be considerably articulate, skilful, objective and law-abiding. We should be alert, probing and listening and then be guided by reciprocal respect for these leaders. We should reject every form of confrontation, rumour-mongering, mutual suspicion and hate.
Equally, we should vehemently resist the divisive instrumentalities of religion, tribe and politics. We should seek to build social bridges always by being at the right places, saying the right things and then doing the right things at all times. We should commend and condemn when necessary. Where we stood before the election and subsequent inauguration of the assembly should not matter to us again. Rather, we should be anxious to see the 10th national assembly succeed by working through our representatives for issue-based engagements with the institution towards the attainment of a Nigeria where democracy and good governance reign supreme.
Using our periodic interactive sessions or town hall meetings with them, and their feedback channels, we should consistently demand accountability from the individual representatives while also availing them of useful information. Any lawmaker that is not accessible, principally through their functional constituency offices, should be called out respectfully. And while we keep records of our engagements with them for future reference, we must not distract or blackmail them with self-serving burdens of demand.
For the umpteenth time, if we live above board in our conduct this national assembly would always reflect the truism that “to whom much is given, much is expected” and also that as leaders, they are merely fellow citizens elected by loyal citizens and entrusted with the popular mandate. Also, the legislators would demonstrate indeed that they are agents and trustees of the people, and as such should always embody our wishes and desires. Furthermore, through our sustained advocacy, they would always draw a line between politics and governance in their actions.
Then above all and because equity demands clean hands, the first step in achieving all these is to have a fair knowledge of the workings and core mandates of the legislature. It is important also that we understand some operational challenges being faced by the national assembly. For instance, the 1999 constitution is not reasonably protective of the legislature, especially in its supervisory roles on the executive. Serially, there are no definite consequences for acts of disregard for the powers of the legislature by the executive. The former apparently exists at the mercy of the latter. Even more pathetic is the case of the state governors. But in the interim, it is only when we operate from an informed perspective that we can be factual and objective in our expectations and engagements with lawmakers.
And so in conclusion, this is just an early warning! The occasion calls for rapid and decisive actions. This is the last chance to redirect the ship of the country from the brink of collapse following the failure of governance, insecurity, corruption, unemployment and poverty.
As such, we the people, as the ultimate owners should immediately rise and take back the legislature. And in this, we have to let enthusiasm, patriotism, resilience and diligence guide us, so that “the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain”.
Egbo is a public relations practitioner and can be reached at email@example.com
NEW TIMES CULTURE
TB Joshua: Remembering Exit Of A World Changer
Toyin Falola: A Lifetime Achievement Honour For A Colossus
Tinubu Appoints Akume As SGF, Confirms Gbajabiamila As COS
Why GOFAMINT General Overseer Demoted His Deputy
BREAKING: UK Suspends Work, Study, Family Visas For Nigerians Over Ukraine War
BREAKING: First Nigerian Female Vice Chancellor Alele-Williams Is Dead
Opinion2 days ago
Remembering The Aworeni Clan Of Ile Ife: Connecting Educational Experiment And A Philanthropic Spirit
Opinion4 days ago
Buhari: Four Unforgivable Sins
Latest News3 days ago
Toyin Falola Honoured In Canada For Contribution To African Studies
Latest News4 days ago
BREAKING: Court Okays Death Sentence For Hilton Hotel Owner Adedoyin For Murder Of OAU Student Adegoke
Opinion2 days ago