A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, has berated African politicians, saying they are responsible for the “miserable situation that is not worthy of the young people that hold them responsible for their fate.”
The ex-presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria in the February 2019 general election also discussed the problem of xenophobic violence between African communities and the damage that it will have on economies if not remedied.
Ezekwesili, who was a panelist at the ongoing World Economic Forum on Africa, blamed political elites for failing to improve social problems such as unemployment.
The World Economic Forum on Africa is taking place in South Africa between Wednesday, September 4 and Friday, the 6th.
It was reported that the Nigerian Government had shunned the Forum in protest against xenophobic attacks against Nigerians resident in South Africa.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Personal Assistant on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, tweeted that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was to represent Nigeria at the WEF, but “he had called it off in reaction to these gruesome attacks on Nigerians.”
According to the information gathered on the website of the World Economic Forum on Africa, Ezekwesili said, “Our politicians need to be put in a room and told they have produced a miserable situation that is not worthy of the young people that hold them responsible for their fate.”
Ethiopia’s President Sahlework Zewd agreed, saying, “There is a huge mismatch between policies, commitments and actions on the ground and I agree with what Oby has said.
“We have an issue of leadership, governance, and this type of serious issue can’t be used for political expediency.”
Meanwhile, Ezekwesili’s participation at the World Economic Forum on Africa has received mixed reactions on Twitter.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Personal Assistant on New Media, Bashir Ahmad @BashirAhmaad, set the tone when he criticised Ezekwesili’s attendance at the Forum.
He had tweeted, “Surprised to see some Nigerian experts in everything governance who spend most of their time lecturing the Government on empathy and the art of prioritizing national interest over individual benefits still went ahead to attend the summit.”
His comment quickly drew comments about the human rights activist’s decision to be at the Forum.
See the reactions:
“Madam @obyezeks should quickly address this and explain to Nigerians why she should be attending the WEF in South Africa when are people are senselessly been killed there.
The FG should “advice her” against going there in support of Nigeria and other countries pulling out” —D @Udoh_D
“@obyezeks and @wef Despite the travel advisory warning Nigerians that SA is unsafe for now.” —David Atta @the_davidatta
“Na we tell government to boycott o. These guys were busy playing draft until it got messy. Now forming advisory. Something that started on Sunday. Abeg make we hear word.” —Daniel Ukoha @UkohaDaniel
“@obyezeks is right to attend. The woman is a nationalist. I know she has a valid reason of going. She’s unafraid, uncowed, unbossed! Kudos ma.” —John Chudi! @capacitychudi
Ezekwesili has not tweeted about the event as of the time of filing this report.