By Ismail Afolabi and Ismail Balogun

Founder of Centre for Values in Leadership, Professor Pat Utomi has said that Nigeria is in dire need of strong institutions rather than strong personalities.

He spoke at Ilesa, Osun State during the BusinessWorld newspaper Award presentation to the Governor Rauf Aregbesola as the Most Innovative Nigerian Governor in First Term.

Utomi, who was a Guest Speaker at the event observed that what the nation need are strong institutions and not strong men, saying only a strong institution can provide good governance for the people of the country.

The Don, who titled his speech: “Innovation in Governance: Regarding Good Government”, said until government serves the interest of the common man, it is not a good government. He pointed out that the kind of government the country need to progress is what Aregbesola is offering Osun people.

According to him: “What Africa and indeed Nigeria need are strong institutions and not strong men. A strong institution has the capacity to provide good governance for the people. Lack of strong institution is what is contributing to the stagnation of the nation’s fortune both politically and economically.

“Therefore our country is in bad shape because our leaders are not told the truth they need to know about their performance in government. Government has a primary duty of creating conducive and enabling environment for the realisation of people’s dreams and aspirations.

“Government that fails in this regard has no business being in power and it doesn’t deserve to be honoured to continue in power,” Prof Utomi stressed.

In his own remarks, National Chairman of All Progressives Congress who was the Chairman of the occasion, Chief Bisi Akande, said that the Award actually demonstrated that Aregbesola is one of the best governors in the country.

Earlier in his address, the Chairman of BusinessWorld Newspaper, Mr. Daisi Omidiji, pointed out that a total of 12 states were considered in the innovation Award Initiative, two states in each of the six geo-political Zones of the country were closely examined over a period of three months.

Omidiji added that it was from this effort that the Osun emerged as the overall winner, saying some of the factors that enhanced the decision was the turn-around projects embarked upon by the Aregbesola.

In his remarks, Aregbesola charged people in authority to create jobs for youths as the only sure way of ending insurgency and terrorism currently unleashed on the nation by Boko Haram.

The governor said power is meaningful only when it is used to change the life of the people, adding that power is nothing but responsibility.

Aregbesola added that the award will serve as elixir for his government to do more for the people of his state.


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