The 2022 Nigeria Social Cohesion Survey Report was launched in Abuja by the Africa Polling Institute (API) on the 6th of October, 2022. I was a stakeholder at the event. The launching of the report was preceded by a Keynote speech titled: 'Bridging the fault-lines in the quest for social cohesion', ably delivered by Prof. Kingsley Moghalu. This was followed by a robust panel discussion on the subject matter of social cohesion.
Some of the participants are:
*Prof. Kingsley Moghalu - Keynote Speaker/Founder & President, Institute of Governance & Economic Transformation (IGET)/Former Presidential Candidate/Former Deputy Governor, CNN
*Prof. Bell Ihua - ED, API/Professor of Practice in Opinion Research, Coal City University, Enugu
*Dr. Olugbenga Ogunmefun - Director of Research & Institutional Strengthening, API
*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Conflict Transformation Strategist/Gender Specialist & Former Director, Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Abuja
*Hajia Saudatu Mahdi, MFR - Secretary-General, Women's Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative (WRAPA)
*Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan - Head, Media Relations, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC)
*Mrs. Aisha Yesufu - President, Citizens Hub
*Ms. Yemi Adamolekun - ED Enough is Enough (EiE)
*Soji Adeniyi - Board Member, API
*Prof. Hauwa Yusuf - Researcher, API/Sociologist & Director, Centre for Gender Studies, Kaduna State University
In my intervention, I reiterated the fact that gender equity should be a prelude to desired gender equality in Nigeria. Therefore, affirmative action is a prerequisite for gender equity in a patriarchal society like Nigeria. I also congratulated API for being the viable answer to US based 'fact-tanks' like the 'Pew Research Centre' (PRC). PRC describes itself as a 'non-partisan fact-tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. PRC conducts research, media content analysis and other empirical social research,...' (PRC's website). It's heart-warming that API's vision is 'to become a leading opinion research think-tank in Africa, championing good governance by promoting access to credible data to support state and non-state actors.' (Source API's website). With three published surveys so far, since 2018, the sky is just their beginning.
Pof. Moghalu identified the following as some of the pre-requisites for sustainable social cohesion: Rotational presidency, economic competence of leaders at all levels, solution to youth unemployment via public-private partnership (PPP), reform of the education sector in order to retain 'brain capital' and make education more skill oriented, health sector reform, etc.
The panel discussion was a bit of an inter-generational dialogue, where the younger elements were advised to channel their youthful energy 'positively' in order to produce 'tangible results'. Activism should be managed for positive outcomes. The citizens should always hold their leaders accountable in order to keep them on their toes. There should be a bottom-up approach to governance. The dignity of the human person needs to be preserved via various government interventions...
There were 13 parameters employed for the assessment of social cohesion by the researchers: Identity, Trust, Social justice, Participation & patriotism, Natural resource governance, Gender equity, Impunity, Corruption, Peace-building, Polarisation, Coping strategies (resilience), Self worth & Future expectations...The social cohesion index for 2022 is 39.6%, which remains below the average SC index of 50%. This implies a weakening state of social cohesion in Nigeria, occasioned by the deepening fault-lines and increasing polarisation along ethnic, religious, economic and political lines. A number of recommendations were made to make things right in the country (See pp. 22-24 of the #NSCS2022 Report - Executive Summary).
A high point of the event was the investiture of Prof. Bell Ihua, ED API, as an Ambassador of the National Population Commission (NPC). Kudos to the API team for this report. I look forward to an update next year...