President Muhammadu Buhari and top functionaries. Including Senate President Bukola Saraki attended Democracy Day lecture in Abuja on Monday.
Prof. Attahiru Jega, former chairman, Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC), delivered the lecture with the Theme: “Peace Building and Good Governance for sustainable development”.
Jega said Nigeria had come a long way in the quest to fulfill its aspirations for democracy.
“It could have been worse than this; it can, and should have been better, but I am glad it is not worse than what we have today.
“We should just try harder to make things much better than they have been, with sustained incremental positive changes.
“This is where the theme of today’s lecture becomes pertinent, especially if posed as a question: how can Nigeria attain enduring peace, predicated on good, democratic governance and sustainable development?” he said.
Jega described the theme as a board sweep to explore the connections between, or the interconnection of, the concepts which were contemporarily, of paramount importance-in discussing the political economies of Nigeria, namely Peace building, Good (democratic) governance and sustainable development.
He said the conceptualising of peace building is a concept often used in the context of post -civil war or post -conflict situations.
“It is about addressing the factors that cause or exacerbate inequality, conflict and violence.
“It is also about mitigating risk of conflict and preventing a relapse of conflict dynamics.
“It is about transforming socio-economic environmental systems so that they sustain progress and equitable opportunity,” he said.
In conceptualising of good governance, he noted that social science concepts were often ambiguous and defiant of precise definition.
“The reality, however, is that the fragility of our systems, institutions and structures, circumscribed as they have been by bad governance, require a drastic restoration,” he said.
He, however, said that good governance is the framework and the foundation for peace building and sustainable development.
“Haven established the interconnectedness of peace building, good democratic governance and sustainable development, and having reviewed the current state of things in Nigeria presently, with recommendations for improvements.
“Given our diversity, which has historically been complicated by mutual suspicions and fears, and bedevilled by perennial conflicts, we must nurture and develop the infrastructure for peace and we must invest massively in peace building and in sustainable development.
“The major challenge of our time is how to make Nigeria more peaceful, Just and inclusive, especially for those most at risk of violence, injustice and exclusion’, and how to embark on a solid pathway to sustainable development, he said
He said that only good democratic governance can provide the appropriate framework for meeting this challenge on a sustainable basis.
According to him, this is not a manna that can fall from heaven while we all “siddon look” it is a product of concerted vigorous struggles by progressives democratic forces in our country.