ROGAN’s Roundtable on ‘Resolving the Crises in Nigeria’s Nation-building Processes’

Beyond survival: Remapping Nigeria for greatness -By Ayo Olukotun
December 6, 2017
ROGAN’s Roundtable on ‘Resolving the Crises in Nigeria’s Nation-building Processes’

Summary and photos

The roundtable on ‘Resolving the Crises in Nigeria’s Nation-building processes’ organized by ROGAN Leadership Foundation on Thursdays December 7, 2017 was a huge success. The roundtable was held at Charriot Hotel, Asokoro, Abuja.

Of the three scheduled main speakers – Hon Ghali Umar Na’Abba, former speaker of the House of Representatives – was unable to make it as he suddenly fell ill two days to the conference. But Ambassador Akin Fayomi, former Nigeria’s ambassador to France, and Dr Sam Amadi, former Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, more than lived up to the billing.

The roundtable started at 10:15 am with brief opening remarks by the following:

  • Dr Garba Abari, DG the National Orientation Agency (he was represented by Bonat Tagwai, a Director at  the Agency  because Dr  Abari  was away on official assignment).
  • Comrade Issa Aremu, member of the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Labour Congress and member of the newly inaugurated Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.
  • Mr Osita Okechuckwu, DG Voice of Nigeria
  • Prof Oshita Oshita, DG Institute for Peace and Conflict (the remark was made on his behalf by a principal officer of the Institute because the DG came late from another engagement).
  • Idayat Hassan, country director of the Centre for Democracy and Development, who was also billed to an opening remark was unavoidably absent but sent a representative

All the speakers, who gave the opening remarks, emphasized different aspects of the challenges in the country’s nation-building processes, which were explored further and interrogated during the questions, comments and answers session.

  • Ambassador Akin Fayomi, former Nigeria’s ambassador to France, spoke on ‘The Restructuring Debate: the Hopes, the Fears and the Common Grounds’
  • Dr Sam Amadi, former Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, spoke on ‘Separatist agitations in Nigeria: Causes, Trajectories and Sustainable Solutions’.

There was a 20-minute tea break after the presentations followed by very engaging conversations on the issues thrown up in the opening remarks and by the main speakers. The discussions, comments and answers session lasted for over two hours.

  • Dr Mouzayian Babatunde, editor of ROGAN’s bi-annual journal, Journal of Nation-building and Policy Studies informed the participants that the papers presented at the roundtable and the summary of the comments and questions raised on the presentations  (in a non-attributable form) will be published in the forthcoming issue of the journal  by the end of this   The papers will also be uploaded later on ROGAN’s website.
  • Professor Shuaibu Ibrahim, President of the Nigerian Political Science Association and Secretary Board of Trustees of ROGAN, in his vote of thanks expressed immense gratitude to the participants for making out time to attend – including people like Issa Aremu and Simon Kolawole who had to fly in from Lagos at their own expenses for the occasion. Prof Ibrahim, who himself came from Lokoja, Kogi State, that day expressed confidence that the quality of the conversation made the sacrifices by the participants and paper presenters worth it. He sent regards from Prof J Isawa Elaigwu, a member of ROGAN’s Board of Trustees, who was unable to make it.
  • Altogether about 35 participants took part in the roundtable, including the country directors of the NGOs – UFUK Foundation (Kamil Kemanci) and Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (Dr Babatunde Afolabi). Some government agencies including the Federal Character Commission and Revenue Mobilization Commission were represented. USAID was represented by Ms. Sannom Kings.

 

Cross section of the participants at the Dialogue

 

Simon Kolawole, Publisher of The Cable newspaper, and a member of the BOT of ROGAN, presenting a plaque to Ambassador Fayomi in appreciation of his thoughtful presentation at the roundtable

 

Simon Kolawole, Publisher of The Cable newspaper, and a member of the BOT of ROGAN, presenting a plaque to Ambassador Fayomi in appreciation of his thoughtful presentation at the roundtable

 

From left to right: Ambassador Fayomi, Dr Sam Amadi, Dr Jideofor Adibe (moderator and Executive Director of ROGAN) and Bonat Tagwai, who represented the DG, National Orientation Agency