Prof. Aloysius-Michaels Okolie, President, Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA), has urged elected officials to always incorporate the advice of academic associations in their decision-making processes, to achieve good governance.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Thursday, Okolie said: “it is actually the political class that don’t heed and hardly consult us for advice.
“All communiqués of conferences and other policy briefs of the NPSA that will help to advance national development we never fail to submit to relevant government officials.
“Elected persons at all levels and across the arms of government that accuse scholarly groups of not making enough contribution to advance Nigeria’s development are just being economical with the truth.”
According to Okolie, antagonism, instead of cooperation, is what most officials in the executive and legislative arms mete out to groups such as the NPSA for criticizing bad policies or harmful actions.
“It is today the norm in Nigeria for elected persons to have disdain for constructive criticism and hate groups or persons that speak truth to power.
“Unfortunately, this tendency is the bane of good governance of the nation as the best form to govern is to always seek the opinion of those with technical competence, before taking policy decisions.
“The truth is that the political class cannot be absolved of ignoring academic associations like mine”, the NPSA president said.
Reacting to the allegation that some political scientists were culpable in the rot being experienced in Nigeria’s electoral system, the NPSA President said such a view was borne out of ignorance.
“Even if the electoral commission boss is a political scientist, Nigerians should know that the real decision about election conduct does not lie with the commission’s head.
“Those with the real power to determine electoral credibility in the country are the elected legislators whose professional and academic backgrounds vary,’’ he said.
Okolie added that the present situation of insecurity in Nigeria called for greater collaboration on policy actions between the federal government and academic associations, so as to swiftly overcome the problem. (NAN)
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