Policy Briefs

News Track:   Nigerian youths have proven they’re lazy —Obaze 

By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA—FORMER Secretary to the Anambra State Government, SSG, and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in last year’s governorship election in Anambra State, Mr. Oseloka Obaze has said that Nigerian youths had proved that they are lazy as credited to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Speaking with reporters as part of preparations for the forthcoming presentation of his latest book titled ‘Prime Witness: Change And Policy Challenges in Buhari’s Nigeria’, Obaze said if the nation’s youths were not indeed lazy, they would have proved the President wrong by protesting and telling the whole world how serious they have been working to make ends meet under harsh government economic and social policies.
He said: “I agree with President Buhari. If the youths did not agree with him, they would have shut down the country immediately the president’s statement was made public.”

He said the statement was enough to cause disquiet in many markets, offices, and other places where youths hustle everyday to be able to eat and make ends meet.

According to him, there exists an alarming weakness and gaping loopholes in the nation’s governance infrastructure as it pertains to public policy-making, implementation and policy validity, noting that Nigeria’s fifty-five year- old political landscape which Buhari inherited had some dubious characteristics.

He added: “As Nigeria’s nascent democracy evolves, it is evident that the nation has arrived at the critical juncture where identifiable governance pitfalls, challenges as institutional and infrastructural failings compel urgent directional change.

“Political promises and decisions tend to induce public trust. Yet, a promise undelivered is no promise at all, and good intentions espoused, but not concretized, remain a fluke with immense undermining capacity.

“As such, any unfocused leadership will falter, regardless of its abiding expression of good intentions. When that faltering happens, vexation, agitation and ennui are natural responses, as is now the case in Nigeria.

He argued that President Buhari seemed fixated with retrospective politicking by making his predecessor’s failings and policies his governance plank, rather than governing, adding that it later became evident that the ‘change’ mantra was all about words and exhortation, but hardly about concrete mobilization.

“Beyond debate, Nigerians understood fully that only good leaders could resolve its seemingly endemic problems such as greed, corruption, nepotism, absence of patriotism; disequilibria, social injustice, indiscipline and the ascendancy of mediocrity over meritocracy.

‘The crux of the problem is that every ethnic jigsaw component of Nigeria feels sufficiently aggrieved marginalized and therefore, seeks equity via restructuring.

“Since the civil war, Nigeria has never been as polarized as it is now. Restructuring Nigeria is therefore, naturally compelling for reasons, which may include the desire to tweak management, ownership and operational or administrative modalities, with a view to achieving equity and efficiency.

“Nigeria in its present state is analogous to a dysfunctional computer. In both instances, there is evident systemic failure arising from non-responsive applications and institutions not operating as intended. Such instances require a reboot in order to overcome the redundancies.

“Nigeria is at risk unless it finds the courage to restructure. A nation in dire straits, Nigeria has a choice, to restructure by plan or by default. A default restructuring, will happen, certainly not by choice, but definitely like an uncontrolled experiment with attendant risks and indefinite outcome.

“Restructuring sometimes arises from crisis situations or the need to preempt political catastrophe. The latter is a core premise for Nigeria. Regardless of what opponents of restructuring think, Nigeria must restructure or risk self-destruction,” Obaze further said.


Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Oseloka Obaze, MD & CEO

Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.

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