The Beko Rights Klub, BRK in collaboration with the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL on Friday, 10th February, 2017 held the 11th anniversary commemorations of Dr. Bekololari Ransome Kuti to memorialize the revolutionary described as ‘Bravest of the Brave’ after his demise and introspect on the state of the nation.

The event started with an awareness rally session followed with a procession from the Obalende round-about to the Ikoyi Cemetery, Lagos Island for the annual practice of offering prayers, eulogies and libation to the spirit of Beko at the grave of the departed promoter of social justice.

The programme which had the theme – Nigeria; maladministration and corruption as major encumbrances to socio-economic and political development continued with a picnic at the Beko Memorial Gardens at Anthony Oke, Lagos where different speakers spoke to the theme.

It was highlighted that poor performance at the level of governance and the continued perpetration of corruption in the system by public and elected officials in spite of the celebrated anti-corruption drive constitute the major banes to the socio-economic and political development of the country and people.

Added to this, speakers identified government’s neo-liberal fixations as the only way of addressing the economic issues of the country as being fundamentally responsible for economic crisis in the country. The Convener of BRK, Comrade Debo Adeniran asserted that it’s no gainsaying that any economic direction that will not alleviate the sufferings of the vast majority of the people will be tantamount to elevating their pains and worsening their situation of existence.

He said “It is incontrovertible that neo-liberal policies put profits over the people in terms of interests and including when lives are at serious risks of being wasted because of the social conditions of living. For neo-liberalism; it always profits first and the policies have always impoverished people wherever they imposed!. The president while fighting corruption on the one hand should also work out means to fix the economy on the other. The Federal cabinet obviously needs to be reshuffled as majority of the Ministers have failed to deliver in terms of performance.”

Corruption is a major deterrent to good governance anywhere and anytime. The President must take the fight against corruption to doorsteps of every corrupt official including members of his party. The tenure has been resilient and dogged in the war against corruption; however corrupt people are still deeply embedded in the government including the Presidency itself. The Judiciary and the legislative arms are so soaked in corruption that the many judges cannot be banked upon to birth justice or legislators to rely on to enact laws that will positively impact on socio-economic and political relations.

Participants demanded that recovered loots and properties must channeled back into the economy to help boost the economy and cushion the pains of recession. The need for transparency on recovered loots and how they are utilized was emphasized as not being compromise-able while sanctions and punitive must also be applied against all convicted corruption criminals.

The Leaders should look from the prism of making life better for the people. The Populace wants to feed well, want their children to get educated; they want good roads, good health Care, good jobs and business, security of lives and properties. The people want to be free and Bekoism teaches that Freedom should be fought for it is not given free; freedom should not be what we would beg for with our lives, participants at the event averred.

Anniversary commemoration was attended by media personalities, activists, students and youth, and members of the civil society organizations.

Wale Salami
 Media Coordinator, CACOL
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