voice for democracy

– Re: The Challenge of Democracy in AfricaTHISDAYLIVE – THISDAY Newspapers

Dear Editor,
Salam Alaikum.
Your submissions are outstanding.
The raid on Hon. Justice Mary Peter-Odili is hare-brained brigandage, and condemnable.
You raised very valid and convincing arguments. However, prospects of a constitutional conference or even a referendum to resolve these issues, as proposed by some, is dim, as the election season is imminent. People should hold the contesting parties and candidates to a commitment on these issues, as a determinant of who to vote for. Fragile as it is, we must strive to strengthen our democratic institutions. Other important issues include the reduction in cost of governance; do we need a full time bicameral legislature? State Police, fiscal Federalism etc. Will the ongoing constitutional amendment process, adequately address these issues? The thesis of the inevitability of instability in African developing countries as propounded by Prof James O’Connell, hinges essentially upon constitutional settlement and economic challenges. The current unprecedented failure of State security in the South East and wide parts of the North is alarming, and a clear and present danger to the stability of the State. Add the restless burgeoning unemployed and unemployable youth demographic to the mix, and we have a perfect storm. Let the State act with speed, decisiveness, inclusiveness, fairness and justice.
A.A.R.
Dear Editor,
Re: Ikoyi Building Collapse: Picking the Pieces
Dear Editor,
An insightful review. The availability of substandard materials in the market across all industries is unlikely to be seriously tackled until we have comprehensive benchmarking, and both import licences and trade licences are at stake, as well as uncompromising building site inspections.
A.A.
Dear Editor,
Great points made, but unfortunately, I, and most Nigerians no longer have faith in the system. As you have cited time and time again, the guilty go scot free. However, the poor man with no Godfather commits a small crime, and will experience the full weight of the law. What a nation!
T.A.
UK
Dear Editor,
I have been looking forward to the Lawyer’s perspective from you.
As an Architect, it is not prudent for me to throw in my thoughts until the investigation is over. However, I will say that the dreamy nature of Nigerians and failure to be accountable may be part of the problem.
My Church is constructing a school building, proposing three floors. I told the Chairman of the Building Committee to tell the Structural Engineer to design for five floors, in case tomorrow after we’re all gone, some Faithful decides they want to go up more floors. What baffles me is the lack of faith to believe God for finances to do a good foundation, yet plenty of faith to believe God that the foundation designed to take four floors will take an extra 15 floors!
Honestly until people are held accountable for their criminal (albeit) wishful thinking, these kind of scenarios will continue to play out.
Zanzan Uji a renowned Professor of Architecture and a learned person like you are (he studied Law after Architecture School like late Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme), said in his inaugural lecture that building collapse is a sign of the collapse of values in Nigeria. I agree.
E.A.G.
Dear Editor,
I totally agree with your last paragraph here.
It needs to be an independent panel of inquiry, and as a matter of fact, the panel of inquiry report on SCOAN is still gathering dust. From each collapse, should be a lesson learnt.
The Governor talked about manifest. How many sites indeed have manifest? Not one. How many have site meetings notes, signed off by each professional engaged? Is there a mandate for an independent Building Surveyor to inspect at each stage? So many questions.
The system needs trust right now. Though the high rise segment of the industry is not in trouble as those involved have been more serious than the regulators, but now with fly by night developers coming on board, it is time to wake up.
G.I.,
Lagos
Dear Editor,
You have said it all …..both the regulator and the regulated are 100% culpable …sheer hypocrisy to be declaring three days of mourning …..more bloodshed in a land on which the blood of the innocent is already flowing…
D.A.,
Lagos
Dear Editor,
I always enjoy your articles, this one included. I just want to add that the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) should be more effective, with regard to inferior building materials and other fake products being imported into Nigeria.
S. A. Sofolahan

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