Mr Segun Adeniyi commenced his speech with the story of the proverbial cows he is known for sharing over the years at The Platform. This got everyone giggling to set the mood on a calm state.
He then went on to quote Acts Two verse Thirty-seven from where he got the title of his discussion: “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
He said that a realization of the fact that the road we are currently travelling as Nigerians will not work for the solution of our problems. Hence, we as Nigerians need to change the road we are travelling on, as well as accept responsibility for the change. He cited the current issues such as the lack of electricity, violent disruptions in the country’s agrarian economy, state governments using national resources, paying bandits; all run through the very fabrics of the nation.
He explained that the devolution of power in its ordinary sense means taking power and resources closer to the people at the local level. He asked if the devolution of powers is the solution to Nigeria’s problems. To those who believe that Nigeria should separate along ethnic lines, he cited several ongoing political and social discords and conflicts ongoing within several ethnic communities of the nation – Ife and Modakeke within the same Yoruba ethnic group, the Niger Delta communities within Rivers State, Boko Haram conflict in Borno State; amongst others. He noted that these conflicts are historical.
He said the attitude of the citizens goes a long way in resolving the pertinent issues of the nation and until the citizens begin to run the nation collaboratively and with a greater demand for accountability from themselves and the leaders, a lot of the issues will be left unresolved. He charged that what we make of Nigeria is up to the citizens and so, we must evolve and take responsibilities. He noted that more things need to be looked into; including capacity development for effective governance at the grassroot level so that even the people can hold their leaders more accountable. The devolution of power must also take into cognizance gender and age bias.
He ended his speech with the stories of the proverbial cows. Rather than obsessing over their losses, we as the cows should greatly consider accountability at every level, the quality of leadership and long-term plans to the capitalization of the economy.