Governor Peter Obi task Nigerians both at home and abroad to hold government at all levels accountable.
The conference which took place at the Portcullis House, British Parliament was organised by BEN Television.
Governor Obi shared his electoral travails of how he was denied the governorship election which he won in 2003, and that he resorted to the courts, which not only returned his mandate, set the precedent of defining when tenures of governors starts (from the day an oath of office is taken) and also introduced “staggered elections”. .
He narrated how he was impeached three months into office and that by coincidence, two other governors, Dariye and Fayose were also impeached, that whilst both fled, he stayed the course by again using the courts, who found in his favour.
Governor Obi credited President Goodluck Jonathan with taking a bold decision by removal of fuel decision, and that President Jonathan included opposition governors in the economic management team. He also said that multi national firms like Diageo, British Airways were making huge profits in Nigeria and therefore urged Nigerians to take up the opportunities available for investments.
David Lammy MP representing Tottenham told the audience, that the role of opposition transcends mere criticism, but that the opposition should have articulate policies that will attract voters.
He urged politicians to act like statesmen, citing his refusal to blame the police for the unfortunate incidence that led to the Tottenham riots of 2011, even though it could have been politically expedient to do so.
He also said politicians should seek new method of connecting with the electorate, via twitter, facebook and other social media. He remarked on the newly released UK censors and that British citizens/residents of Nigerian descent can no longer be ignored due to their population.
The speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, said his party, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). was the main opposition party in Nigeria and that his party has been very active in checking the “excess of the ruling party.” Mr Ikuforiji urged state governors to give “State Legislature, a free hand in the running of the State Houses of Assemblies..
In response to a question posed to Mr Ikuforiji about giving an honest response to the performance of some governors in the ruling party, by Nigeria Magazine, the speaker acknowledged that Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State was “performing well”, he also stated that Lagos State Government was gender sensitive in appointments and of the 56 Permanent Secretaries in the State, 32 were women, he further stated that the Deputy Governor of the State was female.
Rt Hon Simon Hughes MP, Deputy Leaders of the Liberal Democrats advised opposition politicians in Nigeria to stay the course and remain focused.
He suggested that a parliamentary body for countries with federal systems in the Commonwealth be set up. He said this would indentify young people, with the aim of preparing them for future political roles