AUN, Gotel Town Hall Awakens the Sleeping Giant

AUN, Gotel Town Hall Awakens the Sleeping Giant

A wise saying goes, “Let the sleeping dog lie.” This is however not the case for the sleeping giant Nigeria as far as TVGotel and AUN are concerned.

On Friday, November 23, 2018, the library auditorium was packed full of guests from different walks of life. The occasion was the first joint town hall between Gotel Communications, operators of  Radio Gotel AM/FM and TV Gotel,in collaboration with AUN. It was one part of events leading up to the 13th AUN Founder’s Day held on November 24 and the 10th anniversary of Gotel’s forays into broadcasting.            

Anchorman of the event, Abdullahi Ahmed, said the town hall meeting was designed to stimulate meaningful conversations among people in Adamawa State and beyond.

“The whole idea of making this a town hall meeting is to get everyone talking. That is why we have civil society organizations, NGOs, labor unions, National Union of Teachers, different trade associations, professional groups, and parastatals represented.”

Through the course of history, Nigeria tells many stories--one of hope and despair, opportunities and misfortunes, progression and retrogression. However, we still persevere.The live production was deliberately designed for Nigerians to attempt to unlock the opportunity of common ground despite divergent viewpoints.

Nigeria is not where it should be. After passing through two systems of government, a brutal civil war to maintain its unity, Nigeria has become a ‘sleeping giant.’

Issues that were highlighted during the town hall include poor governance, corruption, failure to industrialize, over-reliance on oil, insecurity, poor human development, and a failing public school system. All of these have slowed down the progress of Nigeria, and continue to cause a widespread clamor for the restructuring of Nigeria.

Unity and peace of Nigeria have over time been threatened. As diverse a country as it is, mutual mistrust, agitations and threats of violence have taken center stage, and it is clear that these factors or evils in the society were gradually caused by unfairness, inequity, selfishness, injustice, nepotism, and tribalism.

At the end of the discussions and deliberations, the four panelists--Joshua Abu, Professor Abdullahi Liman Tukur, Jidere Musa, and Leader Leneke--who are all experts in their various fields, agreed that fixing Nigeria is a task that would involve substantial investment in human capital, power, security, peace, purposeful leadership, reform of the education sector and a return to the rule of law, reward of hard work in addition to economic development that focuses on diversification of Nigeria’s economy. There was a call on the older generation of politicians to allow youths, who make up the bulk of the nation’s population, to get involved in politics and governance of Nigeria instead of indoctrinating and using them to perpetrate evil and violence.

Vice President for University Relations, Dr. Abubakar Abba Tahir, who gave the vote of thanks, noted that beyond the issues that were brought to the fore for discussion, there was a more fundamental problem, which is the lack of common humanity.

“The fundamental problem is that we have lost a sense of common humanity. We must look back, look around, and look ahead. This is a wakeup call to reclaim our common humanity.”

The respondent, H. E. Atiku Abubakar who was represented by Halilu Hamman, said he was excited about the theme of the town hall meeting, Nigeria at 58: Reconfiguring the Sleeping Giant.

“There is no doubt Nigeria is the giant of Africa due to its importance as a regional power. Nevertheless, Nigeria is often referred to as a sleeping giant, perhaps due to its failure to meet up to the expected giant strides in socioeconomic development.

The education patron H.E. Atiku Abubakar was described as a man who understands the three Cs of courage, capacity, and character. The Founder assured he would remain committed to Nigeria by restructuring it along mutually defined lines by all sections of Nigeria, and not as being speculated as sections or sectorial positions by some – an important task that can only be done in an atmosphere of dialogue, democracy, and freedom of the press.

Reported by Togor Passa