GOVERNORS Kayode Fayemi and Aminu Tambuwal of Ekiti and Sokoto states are both due to speak about Nigeria’s experiences as a democratic nation at a special African seminar organised by the University of Oxford in the UK on December 6.
Titled 20 Years of Democracy in Nigeria: 1999-2019, the one-day conference is hosted by the African Studies Centre, University of Oxford. Governors Fayemi and Tambuwal, who are the respective chairman and vice chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), are expected to reflect on Nigeria’s Fourth Republic in their addresses to the international audience.
US academic, Professor Larry Diamond, the American scholar of democracy and author of Class, Ethnicity and Democracy in Nigeria: The Failure of the First Republic, will give the keynote address at the event. He will deliver a paper titled 20 years of Semi-Democracy in Nigeria: Future Challenges for Democratic Development.
Professor Wale Adebanwi, the convener of the conference, who is the director of the Oxford African Studies Centre and Rhodes professor of race relations said: “As Nigeria celebrates two decades of democracy, the structural errors of the state and the fundamental contradictions of the society that democratic governance was expected to confront or manage have deepened. The hopes invested in the country’s return to democratic rule in 1999 seem to be flagging as Nigeria is confronted with a myriad of political, economic and social crises.
“Yet, given her historical experiences, there is no better alternative to democratic governance in Nigeria.In light of this, the participants at the conference will explore the political, economic and social forces, processes, and challenges which have shaped Nigeria in the Fourth Republic.”
Others expected to present papers at the conference include Professor Eghosa Osaghae, Dr Jubrin Ibrahim, Dr Peter Lewis, Professor Adigun Agbaje, Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu, Dr Aliyu Moddibo Umar, Ms Idayat Hassan, Dr Zainab Usman, Dr Kingsley Moghalu and Professor Nic Cheeseman. Also speaking shall be Professor Rotimi Suberu, Professor Ebenezer Obadare, Dr Adam Higazi and Professor Ricardo Soares de Oliviera of Oxford University.