A political economist, Professor Pat Utomi, has blamed members of the civil society groups in Nigeria for failing to discharge their duties, which has given the government room to introduce bad policies.
Utomi made the assertion when he briefed the press in his office, Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) in Victoria Island, Lagos on the forthcoming 8th public lecture for Goddy Jidenma Foundation, with the topic: “Governance, insecurity, poverty and socioeconomic development in contemporary Nigeria and Africa” which will be delivered by Professor Benedict Oramah.
Professor Utomi, who is the chairman of the foundation, said the public lecture is designed to create a market avenue for generating ideas on how to better run the government.
He said people may not be considered to be articulate enough not to have alternative positions.
“Those are the kind of policy or decisions we are about to make or things that are about to be taken for granted. I believe in the view expressed clearly by my contemporary German philosopher Jurgen Habermas about the nature of democracy and modality, centrally democracy is irrational conversation, where you have to have a marketplace of ideas.”
Utomi said things have gone bad in Nigeria because members of the civil society organizations have shirked from their responsibilities, and they are not as vibrant as they were in the 70s and 80s.
“Civil society groups have not been as active as they used to be in Nigeria and civil society being active makes the huge difference, because they have not been as active somehow makes those in power to continue to assume as if they are doing the right thing because there is no pressure from the civil society to behave differently.”