Obasanjo said this in his keynote address during the maiden event of the Justice Oputa Annual Conference with the theme: Governance, law and Development.
The Justice Oputa Foundation (JOAC) was established in 2010 and registered as a non profit and non-governmental association founded in honour of one of Nigeria’s most distinguished legal minds, the late Supreme Court Judge, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa.
“The Justice Oputa Foundation was established to
He said that without good governance, a society cannot develop and neither will its people reach full potential or arrive safely at their destination.
He maintained that at this critical period of our national life, we must ensure that we have the right perspective, making the right decision as a people.
“This will clarify where we want to go and how we intend to get there.
“If we have no clear picture of our destination, we may not even know when we are lost,’’ Obasanjo said.
The former president who spoke on the topic, Governance, Accountability and democracy delivery said that it is his mission to promote causes that will bring about good governance and dividends of democracy.
He noted that the challenges facing every society is the ability to strengthen institutions, processes and mechanisms that enable smooth participation of citizens in setting agenda for sustainable development.
“Good governance is also based on a conviction that a system placing sovereignty in the hands of people is more likely to invest in people.
He said that the expectations of every good government is to channel public resources to basic needs of education, healthcare, employment, security, fundamental rights and social services.
According to the former president, “without such investments, poverty cannot be eliminated and sustainable development cannot be achieved.’’
He said upholding the rule of law in order to bring security, stability and predictability to social, political and economic affair is the corner stone of good governance.
Obasanjo, who is the grand patron of the JOAC, listed the seven characteristics of good governance which he said includes legitimacy, participation, accountability, ethical conduct etc.
He said these are all indispensable to good governance.
He eulogised the late Justice Oputa as a dogged fighter of democratic ideals and the rule of law.
His son, Charles Oputa said that democracy and the rule of law are the hall mark of a true government.
He said that leaders need to adhere to the rule of law and imbible its precepts for effective administration which will ensure justice, equity and fairness.
Highlight of the event included the book presentation titled; Judicial Footprints and Seven Classical Books of the late Hon. Justice Chukwudifu Akunne Oputa JSC, CFR. With reports by NAN