Nigeria can be great again only if… – Prof. Patrick Lumumba

    • cautions lawmakers,govt officials on self aggrandisement

    By Lanre Adesanya

    Nigerian politicians, especially lawmakers have been advised  to tone down on their greed and needless craze for wealth acquisition,as they are called to serve the people not otherwise.

    They were also cautioned that the country  would be great if they accept that the occupation of public office was not to acquire bodyguards or limousine.

    Speaking as a guest speaker during the special parliamentary session for Lagos at 50 and second anniversary  of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday,  the Director of the Kenyan School of Law, Nairobi,  Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba stressed that the legislature occupies a unique position in the country.

    Lumumba, who spoke on the topic,  “The Importance of the Legislature In Democratic Governance,” emphasised that the nation or state could survive a bad executive, bad judiciary, but not a bad legislature.

    “Beyond your important titles,  how are you serving Lagos, how have you served Lagos.  What would  be said of you,  when you are gone or even as you are alive.

    “You are never successful until you go down into the grave with success. Those,  who acquire power must exercise it with humility. Before you drink the gin of political power, you must have a foundation of integrity,” he said.

    According to him, if Africa was to be great, Nigeria must be great,  adding that Nigeria started on a sound footing before the government was, as he said,  crudely disrupted by coup-de-tats and went through a civil war.

    The scholar said further that it should be noted that Nigeria adopted democracy in 1979, but that the democracy the country is practising was not home-grown and that it is Euro-centric.

    He said that the nation’s democracy could be customized to achieve the aspirations of the country, saying that the relationship among the legislative,  executive and the judiciary must be symbiotic.

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    The legislature, he stated represents the people and that it is a privilege to honour and represent the people.

    “Those, who steal public funds abuse the power given to them by the people.  The legislature is the heart of the people.  On a mere allegation of corruption, the legislature brought down the government of South Korea and the same thing happened in Brazil.

    “But here in Nigeria and Africa,  does the legislature bring thieves down. If Nigeria is to be great,  you legislators must make solemn vow that you would make laws that would benefit the people.  Make laws that would serve the people and the country.

    “Nigeria can be great if you make a solemn vow that you would be greater than Dubai and Singapore, ” he said.

    Also speaking at the event,  Mr. Bismarck Rewane of Financial Derivatives Company Limited praised Lagos for being the financial headquarters of Nigeria.

    Speaking on the topic,  “Economic Development- The Role of The Legislature,” Rewane revealed that Lagos State contributes 22% to the economy of Nigeria and the it has a GDP of $131 Billion.

    He stated that if Lagos was taken away from Nigeria the country would fall to the third position in Africa,  while Lagos would be number seven in Africa, and that the state is bigger than Kenya,  Togo,  and Cote DeVoire economically.