Don preaches character, dignity for national development

Professor Adebayo Olukoshi

Don preaches character, dignity for national development

By Aluta News
January 25, 2023

Prof. Adebayo Olukoshi of Wits School of Governance, South Africa, on Tuesday said in Zaria that the rediscovery of character and collective dignity would reset Nigeria and propelled its national growth and development.

Olukoshi made this known during a pre-convocation lecture organised by the Department of Political Science and International Studies in collaboration with the International Studies Alumni Association of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

The lecture was themed: “Nigeria: Character Builds a Nation, Dignity Transforms It’’.

The professor said it was one of the concerns among public intellectuals about the making and unmaking of nations.

He said at the heart of the debates among public intellectuals was the question of the basic factors that account for why some nations achieve and/or sustain greatness and others fail to do so.

Olukoshi asserted that while character was important for building a nation, dignity transforms it.

He argued that no nation has achieved greatness which has not discovered the public purpose around which politics and policy can be organised.

“The commitment to and diligent pursuit of the public purpose as the overarching framework for the national interest requires citizens, whether as governors or the governed.

“The citizens are imbued with the sense of character on the basis of which a system of reciprocal accountability can be established.

“Beyond this, to take the nation on to the path of greatness, character must produce a thirst for collective dignity,’’ he said.

He cited England as the first case of national transformation in recent history; it was under an absolute monarch like much of Europe and the monarchy thrived on levying of taxes, among others.

He explained that it was a campaign driven from above but which had a broad-based popular appeal for rights of citizenship; it was also a call for accountability and it was a demand for participation.

He added that out of the campaign, the present system of a constitutional monarchy was established and core political powers of legislation and decision-making transferee to the House of Commons.

He said major reforms of the monarchical system were called for and the organising principle for the reforms was captured under the slogan: “No taxation without representation” .

Olukoshi however noted with dismay over the inability among the leadership cadres to build a consensus anchored on a collective determination that says `enough is enough’.

On the 2023 general election, the don expressed optimism that the election would serve as one of the national turning points with high level of awareness and consciousness.

Alhaji Muntari Kaita, the President of the International Studies Alumni, commended the university for giving the association the opportunity to participate in the 42nd convocation.

Kaita said the association has donated books to the department of political science and international studies and it has also pledged to upgrade the departments’ digital library.

Similarly, Prof. Kabiru Bala, the Vice-Chancellor of ABU, commended the alumni for giving back to its alma mater, urging other alumni associations to contribute to the ABU endownment fund to augment government’s efforts on funding.