Interviews

2023: Buhari least of our problems; leaders Nigeria need critically are at the lowest levels of governance – Ransome-Kuti

In this interview, former Senatorial Aspirant and member of Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Ms Yemisi Ransome-Kuti, explains to Bright Ewulu the unfolding scenarios as Nigeria move towards another federal elections, airing her views on what needs to be done economically, politically and developmentally to make Nigeria and the world a better place. Excepts:

You went for one of the Senate seats in Lagos and since then you have been politically silent? And yet the ladies are whining that none of the pro-gender bills was passed at the on-going constitution review effort at the National Assembly?

There are other ways in developmental efforts than being in politics. Even if you are not in politics there are other systems of engaging those who are there to make the system better.That is by developing programmes and projects that can bring about progress.And my belief is that younger people should step up while we support them.I have not given up hope on Nigeria.

And I know that you did a lot of work to take  Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) strategies to the grassroots, how far so far?

We have advanced it even more effectively since that time.We have been working with the office of sustainable development in Lagos State.We have an organisation-Lagos Island Connect-which we are using as a pilot project. We have done a needs assessment survey of the local government to find out the causes of all kinds of developmental problems we face. We are looking at youths and training them as well as on psychological issues – drugs, lack of parental care etc. Also, we have executed the first of its kind economic summit for Lagos Island.So,we have done a lot ans its our belief that if we get it right at the grassroots,there would be hope for Nigeria.
Nigeria at a point of its democratic experiment was growing at 9%. Then suddenly every place seems to be at war?What happened?

There are various factors.I don’t know if the state of war has been in our recent history.Since the Hadza tribe of Tanzania (the oldest history of man) till today what have caused conflicts are usually scarcity of material resources. This could be caused by environmental factors. This is usually economic factors that lead to conflicts. I will like Nigerians to read the book ‘Demon Lover’ by Robbin Morgan. Thus, to avoid conflicts and wars, we have to know how to socialize with each other or rather evolve better ways to settle conflicts.

We are back to debt trap. How do you think we can swim out of this? Any hope?I don’t think debt is a problem,its how you manage the money that is the problem.United States owe huge debts but have a productive economy.

We are here again before another federal election early 2023,what sort of man do you want to be the elected President?

For me, the President is the least of our problems. The leaders we need are at the lowest levels – councilors, local government chairmen, State Assembly members, State Governors. If this levels are okay then the issues of Presidency will take care of it self. Nigerians must demand accountability from our elected leaders at the grass-roots if we want this country to change for better. We have to do the work of ensuring that there is good governance instead of going to the Church and mosque to pray. We must do the work.

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