Air Peace Chairman Demands Government Commitment To Democratic Governance Principles
The Chairman of Air Peace, Barrister Allen Onyema, has said that the government must be ready to adopt a hardline commitment to the principles of democratic governance, even in the face of reactionary pressures arising from the entrenched vested interests if the polity is to witness a paradigm shift in terms of development.
Speaking in the address he delivered on August 28, 2023, at the Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association held in Abuja, Onyema said: “They (government) inherited a massive governance burden, and the government needs forthrightness, sincerity of purpose, and a radical political will. The government must be decisive enough to confront the entrenched vested interests in the polity. It must do everything to dismantle those interests. Public servants must be statesmen who must be committed to the principles of democratic governance. If this is not done, we are in for a serious problem.
The government must be ready to adopt a hardline commitment to the principles of democratic governance, even in the face of reactionary pressures arising from the entrenched vested interests. All hands must be on deck to make this country work”
He noted that the Nigerian economy is low-ebbed and that with political will, significant progress can be made, while urging Nigerians to give this current government time and benefit of doubt.
Onyema further said the practice of ethnic nationalism has slowed Nigeria’s development while also stressing that the country’s ease of doing business is poor. The Air Peace CEO harped on the issue of regional and tribal nationalism as one of the major banes besetting the Nigerian state and remarked that attaining nationhood with that kind of mindset is impossible.
“It is only when we start fighting for each other that we can have a nation. What we are doing now is fighting against each other which is the bane that has stunted our development. It is not good. Nigerians are fighting against each other instead of fighting for one another. Until we fight for one other, there may never be nationhood. We need to fight for one another”, he maintained.
Stressing the need to embrace broad nationalism and eschew tribal sentiments that have snailpaced the nation’s development across various economic fronts, the aviation cognoscente and lawyer said the Tinubu-led Government should imperatively come up with policies and action plans to unite the country.
On nationhood and development in insecurity, he cited the myriads of insecurity challenges which have bedevilled the country over time, emphasizing that no nation develops in an atmosphere of rancour and insecurity, adding that until these security issues are tackled, the country will continue to grapple with economic problems.
“The issue of Boko Haram insurgency, famers-herdsmen clashes in the North, ritual killings and gangsterism in the South West, separatist violence with the attendant criminal opportunism in the South East, piracy and oil theft in the South South. So, you have a nation where insecurity is the order of the day. Unless this is surmounted, we are going to have economic problems. No country develops in an atmosphere of rancour and insecurity.
“The insurgency has led to the death of thousands of Nigerians. Also, you cannot build nationhood in an environment of insecurity. In the South East, people are hiding under the cloak of being marginalized to commit serious crimes”, he asserted.