Group pushes for MDGs
An international students’ organization, All Nigeria United Nations Students and Youth Association (ANUNSA) in the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife held her third Mega-conference on Friday, September 7, 2011 at the Oduduwa Hall of the university. The conference was tagged, FREE AND FAIR ELECTION, A PLATFORM FOR THE REALISATION OF THE MDGs.
The Publicity Secretary of the organization, Ezeh Harrison noted that the programme drives towards national development through the realization of the MDGs. He said: “The essence of the conference is to create a platform for intellectual discussion and also ascertain the strength required in establishing a time appraisal foundation for the realization of the MDGs mostly at this time when Nigerians have the opportunity to elect their leaders”.
In his opening address, the President of the organization, Ashiru Ayoola ran through the history of the
organization. He said:
“ANUNSA was first established in the University college of Ibadan in 1958, then in the University of Ife in 1962. Since then it has influenced many lives and it is still in the business of influencing lives. In line with goal 7 of the MDG, ANUNSA will soon embark on an environmental sustainability project”.
One of the speakers, Edmund Obilo, a political analyst and Presenter, Splash FM spoke on the role of the media in the Electoral process. He said, “Don’t blame the goat for climbing the collapse wall but the wall for falling. The government and the people should be ready to bear the consequences of our actions. You were only ready to vote, but where were you when the marauders wanted to snatch the ballot boxes? ”.
Edmund further observed that the press can make and mar an election. He said, “The newsman has many stories, but he makes you hear what he wants you to hear, provided he has his facts. The Nigerian press is about the freest and most unregulated in the world. What else do you hear when the press chants free, fair and credible election?”
“If the press can fight for the independence we enjoy today from the tyranny of Gen. Sani Abacha, it should endeavour politicians are put on the spot to realize good life for the people of Nigeria”, he added.
Appraising the last election, he noted, “Jega tried but he is not there, but Jega will get there if he only allows himself to have the same footing he had in 2011. However, we will be wrong to make it a Jega thing. I don’t like Presidents. I don’t like governance but kudos to President Goodluck Jonathan for allowing free and fair election in an election where he was a candidate. This paints the picture that there is hope for Nigeria”.
Another speaker, Ms. Krystal Strong, a post-graduate student at the University of California delivered a lecture titled, The forgotten MDGs. She adduced three reasons for the failure to realize the MDGs. She said, “Despite the huge donations to MDG, it is not realized because they forgot the political terrain of the nations involved. The political terrain comprises of three aspects. Namely: Political will (do the people want those things you want to happen?), Political leadership (the government) and Youth Political participation. I get bothered each time I see nothing reported on the political terrain of nations in UN reports”.
She further called on government and organizations to encourage the youths to participate in politics.
“Educational institutions should make available some kinds of training for students to participate in leadership roles. Corporate organizations should develop a social culture of getting young form of leadership”
At an interactive session, Adeboye Matthew, part 2 Department philosophy said, “ Judging intention, the last election in Nigeria can be scored an 80%, but by action, it can be scored a 39.99%”.
The conference also featured the induction of new members into the organization. This was led by Dr. Chijioke Uwasomba, a staff adviser of the group who took the oath of induction, to which the inductees followed.
Miss Ojinnaka Chinwe, the Vice-President of the group thanked all the participants and guests for being at the event.