A former member of the House of Representatives, Usman Bugaje, has advocated the replication of Rwandan model of national integration in addressing socio-political crisis in Nigeria.
He said the elite consensus introduced by the Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, which reconciled Hutus and Tutsis is required to salvage Nigeria.
Mr. Bugaje stated this on Tuesday at 17th Annual Symposium to mark the 35th Memorial Anniversary of Aminu Kano organised by Aminu Kano Centre for Democratic Research and Training, Bayero University, Kano.
He explained that Rwanda went through the worst genocide in the world but rose to become the safest country with the fastest growing economy in Africa within twenty years.
“I am confident Nigeria and other countries can escape crisis. And What gives me this confidence is Rwanda. I am not a fan of Paul Kagame because he has his shortcomings. He is human.
“What Paul Kagame does is elite consensus. Today if you go to Rwanda you cannot know who is a Tutsi, who is a Hutu. If you ask them, you will never get an answer. They will just smile. Because they agreed that, they will not go back to that thing that divides them. And they succeed. This is what we require to salvage our country,” he said.
The politician lamented lack of internal democracy in the Nigeria’s political parties which he said has negatively affected the principles of democracy and good governance.
He recalled that NEPU and PRP under Aminu Kano were funded by ordinary people who contributed money to support their party.
Mr. Bugaje said that gave the people the mandate to jealousy guard their party, determine who leads them, what direction they take and the kind of governance suitable to them.
“The first mistake was parties were not formed by ordinary people. They were founded by people in political offices. And when you start getting people to fund the party, the party changes character and becomes owned not by the people who are members of the party, but by those who are beneficiaries of the party.
“Now parties are no longer known by their manifesto, content or identity. We started naming the party by the names of those who funded them. This is Tinubu’s party. This is Atiku’s party. This is Falae’s Party. Nobody identified party in terms of its content. We move away from big ideas to big men,” he lamented.
In his presentation, the Publisher of PREMIUM TIMES, Dapo Olorunyomi, stressed the need to form parties that will promote and sustain democratic governance in the country.
He said parties should be designed to serve people through innovative party financing that empowers members and not money bags.
Mr. Olorunyomi emphasised that without addressing money politics, it will be difficult to address problems of inequality, poverty, street children, failing schools and foreign exchange allocation.
The publisher proposed a virile, investigative, professional and very ethical media and courageous judiciary as bedrock of democratic governance.
He lamented that the 1999 constitution is authoritative with a caricature of a democratic legal order which makes it “incapable of generating or ushering new democratic governance, to the extent that it leads to inclusive participation or even allows citizens to live safely and peacefully.”
In his address, the Acting Vice chancellor of Bayero University, Kano, Sagir Abbas, said the university invited national icons to discuss party ideology and governance as part of its contribution to the remembrance of the late Aminu Kano
Other dignitaries who graced the occasion include governors of Bauchi and Oyo states, Muhammad Abubakar and Isiaka Ajimobi, and representative of Kano Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, Usman Alhaji.
Others are former governors of Kaduna and Jigawa states, Balarabe Musa and Sule Lamido.
Aminu Kano memorial lecture is an annual event organised in memory of late Aminu Kano. Since its establishment, the centre has organised 17 annual lectures every April 17 to commemorate the death of Aminu Kano.
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