Home Governance Going Back to Basics: The Past as Prologue By: Mallam Adamu Fika,...

Going Back to Basics: The Past as Prologue By: Mallam Adamu Fika, CFR Wazirin Fika PART 1


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”As we can see, the Nigerian problem is not in the economy; it is not in the politics or in the society—it is in us. And it will not change until we ourselves change. In order for us to begin the process of change, the future of this nation must be entrusted, as it was in the past, into the hands of people—politicians and civil servants—who will, in word and deed, and through self-sacrifice, lead us by example; and who will always exercise the leadership function in the public interest and for the public good.” We must therefore first bring about a most fundamental change in the way we do everything; and the first step in this long journey is to look back into our past and take what we will need; for, we must begin in the past—and go on to the future.”   — Mallam Adamu Fika There can be no auspicious time that now to publish this paper presented by a retired bureaucrat, Mallam Adamu Fika, one of the officers trained by the first generation of public officers who took up the mantle of leadership from the colonialists when they exited in 1960. The paper, which addresses several issues plaguing the Nigerian polity and provides workable solutions is divided into two parts. The first part is being presented today. Enjoy your day and reflect on the issues addressed. It is a ”MUST READ for all public officers and public servants, particularly those engaged in policy making,  formulation and implementation. It contains lots of thought provoking issues and opinions. Introduction: The theme of my speech today is based on an observation made by Chief S.O. Adebo on the value of learning from our past and respecting our past leaders. He observed that: “From my experience of public affairs and my recent dealings with government officials, there is a high level of ignorance of seemingly educated men about past events in this country. On any major issue many public officers behave as if there had never been a past and that we must copy new fangled ideas and procedures which are then labelled as progressive reforms. This applies to virtually every aspect or facet of our national life and activity. Needless to say that anything that is new becomes old in the course of time, and if we get into this tendentious habit of disowning not only our past but also our…

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