Prof. Adepoju Tejumaiye of the Department of Mass Communications, University of Lagos says there is huge strength in Nigeria being together as a country as against its dismemberment.
Prof. Tejumaiye made the assertion at the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Lagos State Council Public Lecture.
The lecture had the theme: “Nigeria and Nation Building: Overcoming The Challenges Of Security, Restructuring and Self Determination For Progressive Development.”
According to Tejumaiye, Nigeria does not need disintegration but devolution of power to return the country to the pathway of growth and development.
He said: “This country belongs to everyone of us.
“I am not someone that subscribes to the dismemberment of Nigeria.
“There is a big strength, huge strength in unity.
“Let us be together.
“We are going to achieve our goals, but let there be sense of belonging for everybody.
“Population should not be used to share the national revenues.
“Let revenues be shared on equal percentages and we will see that things will change.”
Tejumaiye, Professor of Media Studies and Political Communications, said the present system was breeding indolence because it doesn’t allow people to use their initiatives.
He said: “Every state in this country has resources, huge.
“There is no reason why Nigeria should be in debt.
“That is the truth.
“What can solve it is devolution of powers.
“Decentralisation is the best way to go.
“Anything outside that will make this country to remain as it is.
“There is an urgent need for the devolution of powers to the respective federating units.
“Decentralisation of everything: The Police, Tax System, Revenue System, etc need to be decentralised.
“If we can get that done, then Nigeria is going to change for better.”
Tejumaiye said the system in operation before the first coup in Nigeria, where different parts of the country were developing at their pace, is the best.
He said the country needs to go back to that system because it would solve most of the problems confronting it.
“There is need for serious rethinking and this is in our hands. This is the time to get things right,” he said.
Earlier, Adeleye Ajayi, the Chairman, NUJ, Lagos State Council, said Nigeria has raised the stakes, especially in tackling the incidents of economic-induced kidnappings and other crimes.
According to Ajayi, security remains a major challenge in Nigeria but unlike what obtained in the pre-independence period, security problems escalated partly due to the diverse nature of the country.
He said: “The trends leading to this situation are reversible, if serious proactive and sustained measures could be adopted by the government.
“The implication of this is that policy makers have the duty to arrest this drift through social justice and development.”
The NUJ boss said if Nigeria is to develop, there must be leaders who were broadminded enough to campaign for justice, equity and fairness beyond narrow group interests.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the lecture was delivered by Segun Adeniyi, Chairman, Editorial Board, This Day Newspapers, and the occasion was chaired by Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye.
The panel of discussants included Prof. Adepoju Tejumaiye, Head of Department, Mass Communications, University of Lagos; and Dr. Jide Johnson of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism.
The press week, which started on Media with a news conference to unfold lined up activities, witnessed novelty matches on Tuesday, while Thursday is slated for Chapels’ Rendezvous.
A Jumaat Service at the Lagos State Secretariat Mosque and a Gala /Award Night at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja are slated to hold on Friday.
The council would pay a visit to the Little Saints Orphanage, Abule Egba and Regina Mundi Old Peoples’ Home, Mushin on Saturday, while a Thanksgiving Service at the Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, Ikeja is billed for Sunday.