Viddawood ran into one of the under celebrated African fighters of Social freedom… Perhaps he’s under celebrated because he‘s an icon of rural development.
Christian Okororie, the founder of Center for Rural Economic & Social Development (CRESOD) had a brief chat with our correspondents, and the experience unveiled a handful of insightful revelations.
Choosing a career in social development might be an upheaval task to many, but to a few, passion and destiny.
Fighting for democracy and good governance in Nigeria where leaders are unruly, corrupt, and undemocratic may seam a death-trap, but Chris Okororie has demystified the popular opinion.
Okororie speaking during the chat with our correspondents, poured his heart on paper:
“What drives me as a development worker is the abundance of human and material resources in Nigeria and yet we are underdeveloped due to mismanagement of resources .
Nigeria is yet a democracy. But democracy can grow if stakeholders take part, under a just and fair atmosphere . Rule of Law is absent where governments refuse to obey court orders and elected officials behave like tin gods.
The CSOs are part of the Nigerian system. We have good and patriotic CSOs, and "bad-eggs”, but overall, the good ones are in the majority. This portends hope for a greater Nigeria .
Our greatest challenge is access to donor agencies and funders for young CSOs especially the rural based o se
But, one major success story is helping to bring the hazards of gas flaring to national and international front burner and advocating for gas flaring to power generation in oil and gas for host communities like Oguta.
For over 50 years AGIP flared gas in Oguta, without supplying electricity to the citizens. It has come to a stop. They‘re processing gas powered plants to supply Oguta with 24/7 electric power. This was started through our advocacy effort .
Yes we are on a learning path, as democracy is gradually growing in Nigeria, but the citizens are realising their elective powers, and the politicians are realising it’s no longer business as usual.
The umpire (INEC) are becoming more proactive and innovative too, though the “Nigerian "factor” is still a huge challenge.
I am highly optimistic that in 5 years time, we’d have grown higher in democratic practices.”