Former Anambra SSG, Obaze blames elite for national problems

From left: Obaze Oseloka, HRH, Eze Chukwuemeka Ike and Prof. Ibrahim Gambari at the public presentation of the book `Prime Witness’ in Abuja

Mr Oseloka Obaze, a former Secretary to the Anambra State Government (SSG), has blamed the elite for the numerous problems confronting the country.

Obaze, who was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the Nov. 18, 2017 Anambra Governorship election, spoke at the public presentation of his book titled` `Prime Witness-Change and Policy Challenges in Buhari’s Nigeria,’’ on Thursday in Abuja.

Obaze said the book was a public policy interrogation and not about criticisms of the Buhari administration.

He said the book contained a modicum of commendation, recommendations, solutions and possible remedial measures.

“I believe that many of us here represent a national class the national elite of which I am a member.

“I also believe that the numerous problems we face nationally are self-inflicted and of our own making; if our public policies and governance efforts are weak, it is because our institutions are weak.

“If our institutions are weak, it is because we prefer them that way; policy challenges do not happen in a vacuum, and they are not always externally induced as they are products of domestic and partisan considerations.

“It behooves on us, therefore, especially those in the academia, think tanks, the media and policy consultancies, to continue evaluating policies as they evolve,’’ he said.

He said the book was not a political book even though he belonged to the political class as he had started writing the book before he decided to run for the Anambra election.

Obaze said the strength of government at any juncture in Nigeria’s democracy would hinge on sustaining the building blocks of democracy through the rule of law, power sharing, proper representation, checks and balances, leadership and elite accountability among others.

Reviewing the book, Prof. Emeka Aniagolu, Author and Executive Director, Research, Innovation and Development Fides Et Ratio, Limited, Abuja, said book meandered from criticism and sympathetic hearing.

Aniagolu said the book was not for an average Nigerian for the intellectual.

“It is too intellectually tasking; it will be most useful for intellectual scholars and those in policy formulation,’’ he said.

Mr Segun Adeniyi, Author and Chairman Editorial Board of ThisDay Newspapers, who also reviewed the book, said the book chronicled how Nigeria had been mismanaged over the years.

He said the author presented a broad analysis of issues in Buhari’s first year and provoked pertinent questions of how far the president had gone after three years in office.

The book was presented by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, former Minister of External Affairs and former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations (USG) for the Department of Political Affairs (DPA).

Gambari extolled Obaze for his sterling qualities exhibited in the Nigerian foreign service and the United Nations as a diplomat, administrator and strategic policy adviser among others.

NAN

Hassan Usman Author

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