“Dr Ezekwesili has thus done her country well in asking some hard questions during her convocation address. People like her who insist on transparency, accountability and due process in governance are what countries like ours need. Nigerians expect her and like-minded persons to continue to raise similar questions and to raise them for every sphere and level of governance” – Dr Noel Ihebuzor
Here is the full text of Dr Ezekwesili’s Lecture at the 42nd Convocation Ceremony of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka:
Originally posted on visionvoiceandviews:
By Noel Ihebuzor
The convocation address by Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili at the 42nd convocation ceremony of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, has caused quite some traffic on social media, especially Twitter. It also provoked a response from the Federal Government, a response which then further increased the flow and ferocity of exchanges. In all the ensuing furore and twitter fire fight, sight was almost lost of the fact that apart from two poorly concealed swipes at the government in two paragraphs, the rest of Dr. Ezekwesili’s speech was a well-researched and well-argued presentation on the reasons for our current developmental stasis. The inspiration from other development scholars, especially of Acemoglu and Robinson in their seminal new book titled “The Origins of Power, Prosperity and Poverty – Why Nations fail” is evident as one reads the article. The debt to Paul Collier is also palpable.
Central to Dr Ezekwesili’s speech are the themes of restored dignity and a restoration of the dignity of labour and honestly earned wealth, two redemptive virtues we have all unfortunately strayed from so badly since the seventies. (The harp on dignity is not fortuitous as it stresses the key message in the UNN logo!) I would certainly commend the speech to any person interested in understanding why we are the way we are and also to anyone interested in understanding the phenomenon of resource curse, and the boom and doom that reliance on extractive resources can unleash on a people, on a nation.