Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday, at the National Summit on Unity, said harmony could not endure, where inequity, marginalisation and injustice thrive.
Fayemi was special guest at the National Summit on Unity organised by the National Prosperity Movement with the theme “Nigeria: The Imperative of Unity”
in his key note address Fayemi said, “To be sure, unity cannot endure where injustice, exclusion, inequity and marginalisation are embedded in the practice of governance. That is why as leaders, we must pay attention at all times to ensure that as we work to deliver on our mandate, fairness and equity are made our watchwords at all times. Our commitment to these values must not simply be minimalist – doing only the barest minimum required of us by the constitution – or token – just for the sake of playing to the gallery – or even rhetorical – through the paying of lip service.
Our commitment must be robust, consistent, and demonstrable so that citizens have absolutely no doubt about the important place they occupy in our policy and political priorities. As leaders, we must not only embody the ideals of national unity, but also be seen to be their active torch bearers at all times. This way, we build popular trust in our actions and erase doubts about our intentions,” he explained.
Fayemi noted that, “In the face of some of our recent challenges, I have often shuddered at the spectacle, whereby some among us, who have been entrusted with leadership responsibility very easily slide into the role of ethno-regional champions, xenophobes, and zealots.
“While it is normal that leaders must have their ears to the ground and feel the pulse of the people, who have elected them – imbibing, reproducing, and spilling out raw and crude bile and pushing scorched earth solutions, crosses the line of representation to become an exercise in the shirking of responsibility.
“Unlike the bulk of their followers, leaders are positioned and privileged to know that in matters of nation and state-building, the world is far more complex than the simple and many atimes, simplistic binary divisions that are frequently deployed to oppose black and white.”
The Ekiti governor, therefore, said, “Leaders must truly lead by using the broader, more complex, and better nuanced understanding they have to help moderate and modulate seasons of deep division in the polity, rather than becoming the ones, who add fuel to a raging fire.”