By RAZAQ BAMIDELE
An activist and Democratic Peoples Alliance (DPA), governorship candidate in the 2007 general election, Mr. Jimi Agbaje has asserted that, “reformation of Nigeria to make her better in the current generation is feasible and possible.” The trained pharmacist cum politician made the assertion yesterday in Lagos as a guest lecturer at the inaugural lecture of the January 9 Collective, a pressure group formed after last January 9 fuel subsidy protest organized by the civil society code named: Occupy Nigeria.
Speaking on the topic: ‘Elite, leadership and national transformation,’ Agbaje averred that if a country like Indonesia, which, he said, was also in turbulence like Nigeria could be reformed, “definitely, the Nigeria’s case is not beyond redemption.” While he was of strong conviction that the Nigeria’s project was not an easy task, the treasurer of the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG), reminded that no government the world over wants to do well, saying: “It is the efforts of some pressure groups like this J9 Collective that always compel them to do the right thing for the people.”
And to make Nigeria greater and be among the 20 world biggest economy by the year 2020, Agbaje said: “We need greater percentage of educated people, who will be more agile and economically effective. A situation where we have 70 percent of the populace to be uneducated would bug the country down.” Against this backdrop, the DPA chieftain asserted “if we want Nigeria to be truly transformed, everybody must be treated with respect and dignity while corruption must be curtailed.
We should always transform from a people interested in sharing the national cake only to a people interested in baking bigger cake that can go round when shared.” Empowering the youth to be capable of participating in the baking of bigger cake, according to him, would help in moving the country forward, insisting that “the bigger the cake for us to share will make us enjoy better.”
He lamented that “the problem of the country is that the ability to bake bigger cake is diminishing by the day,” regretting that “life thus becomes more difficult because a larger percentage of the populace not capable of contributing in the baking of larger cake.”
He called for the education of youth, as well as the national value that would focus the energy of the youth towards progress, growth and national transformation for the common goal and economy of the country, just as he harped on the development of sense of purpose and accountability.
While concluding, Agbaje laid emphasis on the imperativeness of effective and transformational leadership.