Leadership (Abuja)

22 November 2012

Nigeria Has Witnessed Fundamental Changes Since 1999 - Labaran Maku

The Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, said on Thursday that Nigeria had witnessed fundamental changes since the country returned to democracy in 1999.

Maku made the statement at the public presentation and launching of two books written by Dr. Otive Igbuzor, Executive Director, African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development in Abuja.

"Nigeria is a good country; we are living in a different country now compared to the situation before 1999. Citizens can express their views, and nobody will arrest them because they criticise government.

He observed that all those occupying elected and public offices in the country today had definite time to leave unlike before 1999, when government was being over thrown through coup.

"It does not mean that all our problems as a nation have been solved; we are now in a democratic society, we have a president that is doing thing different entirely.

"Look at the electoral process for instance; look at what it was before President Goodluck Jonathan came in and what is it today. Elections are getting better, powerful people are been defeated in elections," he said.

Maku added that the nation had also witnessed considerable changes in the economy, saying, "we are seeing efforts in the economy, things are been done differently."

The minister said that in the past, one could not set up an electricity company in Nigeria, adding that things had started taking shape for the better.

According to him, the development is due to improvement in the supply of electricity.

Maku noted that the nation's economy was passing through "a fundamental shift since the inception of the present administration."

The minister said that though "we have not reached there; there is indication that things would change."

He called on the people using religion to destroy society to shun such act in the interest of peace and tranquility of the country.

Maku, who expressed optimism that the country was on the path to positive change, however, called for "all hands to be on deck" for the realisation of such noble goal.

The reviewer of the two books, Prof. Eghosa Osaghae, said one of them entitled:" Overcoming the Challenges of Transformation" is very topical and timely.

He said the book proffered suggestion on ways to effectively transform the country.

Osaghae also described it as a welcome contribution to the President Goodluck Jonathon's transformation agenda and recommended it for policy makers, politicians and students.

For the second book, " National Security and Policing in Nigeria," the reviewer said it proffered solution aimed at ensuring peace and security of the nation.

He added that the books would add value to education, strategic-oriented policing and effective civilian oversight of the Police.

Osaghae noted that "National Security and Policy in Nigeria" examines the nature and character of the Nigerian state and how it has affected the nature and pattern of the threat to national security in Nigeria.

According to him, transforming Nigeria requires dynamic and visionary leadership, appropriate development strategy with correct development approach and relevant knowledge.

All these virtues, he added, were contained in the two books for the people to read and digest and impact them to the collective efforts to develop the country.

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