Twenty four hours after former President Olusegun Obasanjo told President Muhammadu Buhari to stop giving excuses and fix the ailing economy, another ex-Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, yesterday, declared that the country is facing the worst economic recession in history. General Gowon, who spoke in Abuja at a one-day public lecture, organised by the Centre for Democratic Governance in Africa (CDGA), called on Nigerians to support President Buhari’s bid to fathom a way out of the recession.
He blamed past mal-administration for the country’s current economic problems, and said “the drop in the flow of oil money into the economy triggered an avalanche of imported consumer goods which have virtually killed domestic production.” Represented by his younger brother, Mr. Dauda Gowon, the former military leader also added: “I believe the troubles we have gone through, over the past few years, have helped Nigerians to see more clearly the difference between a self-sustaining economy and one that relies totally on a wasting asset such as oil.
“As we speak, we have on our hands one of the deepest and most troubling economic recessions ever to plaque Nigeria. We have also seen the extent to which corruption has made good governance virtually impossible. It has rendered public institutions, including regulatory and judicial agencies sterile.”
One of the guest speakers, Chief Mike Ozekhome, said separation of the Judiciary from the Executive arm of government will make administration of justice more effective in the country.
“If separation of the judiciary from the executive was to be completed and the proposed policy implemented, the judiciary would be more efficient and effective in playing its role. “Consequently, the rule of law, human rights, fair and transparent justice would be anchored by the judiciary and in turn, this would be helpful in ensuring good governance in Nigeria,” he said.
Director-General of the centre, Dr. Dafe Akpocha, urged governments at all levels to protect the interest and rights of Nigerians.