By Aluu Vincent
The Senator-Elect for Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District, Dr. Ekong Sampson, has identified proper management of diversity and effective leadership as keys to Nigeria’s progress. He also absolved Lord Lugard of any blame to the nation’s current woes. Sampson made this disclosure during the May edition of the Uyo Book Club session which was held at the Lugard Terrace, WatBridge Hotels, on Saturday, May 27, 2023.
Ekong who went down memory lane to highlight the contributions of Lugard to the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Protectorate and development of Nigeria, noted that blaming a man who died decades ago for Nigeria’s present woes amounts to lamenting over spilled milk.
“We cannot continue to blame Lord Lugard who died in decades ago and his Mistress Flora Shaw, for our present woes. There is need for proper management of diversity and effective leadership to propel Nigeria’s progress. Rather than whining and resigning to a cocoon of helplessness, we should begin to look inward and come up with pragmatic steps to move this nation forward. We need to begin the next tribe as we see ourselves and promote policies that will engender unity, peace, development and inclusiveness .” Ekong said.
The Advisor of WatBridge Hospitality outfit, said Lugard colonised India same as Nigeria but noted that India has since risen from the shackles of colonialism to become one of the greatest nations on planet earth. He urged political leaders to devolve power from the centre give more powers to the regions, make the federal government less attractive, ensure inclusiveness and optimal use of resources to ensure development.
“See I am a strong believer of regional integration. Each region should harness resources their zones for development purposes. We should stop whining over foreign principles. Montesquieu, A V Dicey, and the rest have since died. We should begin to attempt a design of our homegrown democratic and development principles peculiar to us that will work for us. We should stop whining and blaming the dead. They won’t come from the grave to help us. Allow the dead to rest in peace”. Ekong concluded.
The event which was tagged Open House with the theme, “Lord Lugard – Hero or Villain : A paradigm on Nigeria’s post-inauguration democracy, had Rt. Hon. Ekong Sampson, PhD, Dr Udeme Nana , Founder, Uyo Book Club, Miss Imaobong Akpan Akpan, Dr Martin’s Akpan, Dr Etim Frank and Dr Emmanuel AkpanObong as speakers.
A Communique was issued at the end of the event with the Open House identifying the missing link in Nigeria’s democracy to be the absence of such democratic values as freedom, trust, rule of law, compromise, tolerance, and equity among others.
It urged Nigerian leaders to manage Nigeria’s diversity more objectively, with an abundant mentality and large-heartedness, as narrow-mindedness, bigotry, and clannishness were antithetical to effective nation-building. It also urged Nigerians everywhere to have a common national identity using post-genocide Rwanda as an example of different ethnic groups who have now accepted to live as one people, urged Nigerian leaders to embrace the culture of reading to enable them become good leaders as leadership skills were embedded in books and learn to intentionally take responsibility for their actions.