By Gabriel Alonta
A public policy expert and the People’s Democratic Party’s candidate in the November 18, 2017 Anambra state governorship election, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, has said Nigerians cannot afford to shy away from debates on public policy and governance issues if Nigeria must advance. Obaze stated this at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, during the public presentation of his public policy book titled, “Prime Witness Change and Policy Challenges in Buhari’s Nigeria”. Obaze said that Nigerians
were obligated to speak up on matters of national interest and during public policy discussions which are far too important to be left to only elected or appointed policymakers. He argued that the contribution and role of an informed citizenry to public policy-making remains one of the enduring hallmarks of a well-functioning democracy. The former secretary to Anambra state government explained that, though he never set out to write a book on the incumbent administration, his role as a member of the attentive public, and his curiosity, observations and commitment to staying engaged and adding value in the public policy debate in Nigeria orchestrated the book. According to him, the book sought to analyse evolving policies from the very onset of the Buhari administration; focusing on lessons learned, missed opportunities and choices before Nigeria. He expressed the hope that the book would help in resetting the modalities for formulating and implementing public policymaking.
In his review of the book, Prof. Emeka Aniagolu said Obaze’s seminal work interrogated “the policy context, content and consequences of the Buhari administration. He expressed worries that President Buhari appears to have more of abstract aspirations rather than concrete policies.” Aniagolu encouraged citizens, especially those that see to the formulation and implementation of public policies, to pick up and read the book as it offers recommendations to various challenges facing Nigeria.
The senator representing Kaduna Central in the Eighth Senate, Sen. Shehu Sani, in his remarks, extolled Obaze’s courage and vibrancy of mind. He challenged citizens to speak truth to power at all times. Sani said the government of President Buhari had failed Nigerians. He decried the high spate of killings and kidnappings going on in the country. According to him, “while the value of crude oil is going up, the value of human lives is going down.”
The book presentation event was chaired by Eze Chukwuemeka Ike, a renowned author and the traditional ruler of Ndikelionwu. It was attended by several eminent Nigerians, including Dr. Tom Adaba, Mallam Wada Maida, Engr. Ebele Okeke, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Amb. Uche Okeke, Prof. Epiphany Azinge (SAN) Senator Uche Ekwunife, Segun Adeniyi, and Iyom Josephine Anenih, among others.
Credit: Orient News Daily