Monday, 29 July 2019

Gambari Tasks Stakeholders On Empowerment Of Women, Youth For National Growth




Some members of the Board of Fellows of the Pharmaceuticals Society of Nigeria (BOF-PSN) during dinner\ awardnight held by BOF-PSN in Lagos recently.

As BOF For Pharmacists Holds First Public Lecture


CHIOMA UMEHA
Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, former Ambassador and Nigeria’s Permanent Representatives to the United Nations (UN), has said that there is need for Nigeria to empower its huge population of women and youth if the nation’s quest for growth would be meaningful.
Gambari, who spoke at the first public lecture of the Board of Fellows of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (BOF- PSN), in Lagos recently, urged stakeholders to invest immensely towards the growth of women and youth to enable them contribute to national development.
The Eminent scholar and Diplomat reasoned that if Nigeria empowers her vast youth population and women they will be able to make invaluable contribution that will help save the nation.
Professor Gambari who spoke on the topic; ‘Rebirth of Nigeria: Harnessing the Great Potentials’ however enjoined women and youth to accept the responsibility to compete and take over leadership positions, observing that nobody willingly gives out power.
Speaking further, Prof. Gambari explained that the most important factor in any political organisation is governance which depends largely on the personalities elected into political offices. 
According to him, there can be no rebirth for the country without good governance and taking personal and collective responsibility for making Nigeria a better country for all.
He said, every Nigerian must rise to the challenge of the times and citizens must not relent in demanding only the best from those at the helm of governance.
To this end, he called for the appointment of competent leaders with vision from all parts of the country who will work in unity to take Nigeria out of the woods. Besides, he stressed that the importance of collective leadership in carrying out effective governance that will move the country forward.
To this end, he called for the appointment of competent leaders with vision from all parts of the country who will work in unity to take Nigeria out of the woods. Besides, he stressed that the importance of collective leadership in carrying out effective governance that will move the country forward.
He decried the standards and processes for recruitment and the performance of our leaders over the years, noting that this has left much to be desired across all the three levels of government.
Prof. Gambari also said that the civil society, NGOs, youths, traditional leaders have a critical role in taking the country back from the grip of visionless leadership anchored in faulty leadership selection process.
While calling for the institution of good governance, Gambari lamented that Nigerians have been following a dangerous narrative of going from one election to another, for instance, going from 2015 to 2019, etc. 
The Diplomat noted that the nation has paid the price in divided societies, persistent poverty, growing inequality, massive corruption, flagrant and pre-mediated abuse of power and office, wastage of public institutions, high level of urban violence, a disaffected youth and marginalised women.
On the issue of economic recession, he said; “Another problem is poverty; if we don’t address these problems of Nigeria, people will link the country with Somalia, Yugoslavia and similar countries in such categories.”
The former Ambassador further condemned the deployment of military to the highways as part of strategies to watch flash points on the roads, noting that it was not part of the work of the military as defined by the constitution.
Gambari therefore, advised the federal government to seek help from the international community in finding lasting solutions to the numerous challenges currently facing the country including the Boko Haram and other forms of terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, among others.  
The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said the federal government would engage the military to watch flashpoints on Nigeria roads, when he visited Pa Reuben Fasoranti, the leader of Afenifere group, to condole with him over the killing of his daughter, Mrs. Olufunke Olakunrin along Benin-Ore Highway at about 2pm on last Friday.
However, Gambari said; “We should not be afraid to ask for help in tackling terrorism, the BokoHaram menace, banditary, kidnapping, among other vices plaguing the nation.”
According to Gambari, there will not be Sierra Leone, and South Africa today, without the assistance Nigeria and other nations provided those countries during their trial period.
Arising from this premise, he advised; “We should be free to ask for help. We should not pigeon-hole ourselves in fighting the numerous challenges facing currently facing us.”
According to Gambari who is Founder, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Developnment, “Nation building is a continuous process.”
Going back to the contributions of the founding fathers of the country, Gambari said they strengthened the regions which resulted in harnessing the competitive spirit of the various regions.
Sadly, he noted that the central government has currently become over-strengthened, while the regional governments have become weak.
On the political structure that the nation should adopt in addressing the problem, Gambari called for continuous national conversations to enable the nation agree on the way forward.
According to him, Nigeria should not be afraid to amend its constitution, citing the example of the United States (US), which has amended its constitution 27 times.
He also said, the country must tackle the several enemies of the nation including poverty, ethnic and religious divisions, corruption, lack of delivery of social services, which are part of the factors making the health, transportation systems and others unworkable.
He further tasked stakeholders to ensure that the Federal structure in the country is adjusted to ensure good governance at all levels.
“We should be focused on good governance. While giving our leaders the free hands, nation-building must be based on solid foundation and there must be a continuum.”
The Chairman of the occasion, Osaretin Afusat Demuren who is Chairman of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc, lamented the challenge that drug abuse among youths have imposed on the country and called of measures to ensure the non-prescriptive medicines should not be got from over the counter without doctor’s prescription.
In her welcome remarks, Prof. Mbang Femi-Oyewo, chairman, PSN-BOF said that the decision to have the first public lecture of the group was in fulfillment of its mandate to monitor government policies as they affect the practice of the profession and to address contemporary issues of importance within and outside the Pharmacy profession.
Prof. Femi-Oyewo noted that the theme of the lecture is quite apt and timely as Nigeria really needs a rebirth at all levels and all sectors, noting that the Pharmacy profession also needs a rebirth.
She said the Mid-Year Meeting, an annual event was aimed to monitor government policies as they affect the practice of the pharmacy profession and pharmacists
Other eminent personalities at the event were Prince Julius Adelusi-Adeluyi, president, Nigeria Academy of Pharmacy; Pharm. (Sir) Nnamdi Obi, chairman, Planning Committee and Pharm. N.A.E. Mohammmed, registrar, Pharmacists Council of Nigeria (PCN)

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