From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Public administration practitioners and university professors withdrew from the political science association they were and formed their own disciplinary association called the Public Administration Theories and Practice Forum.
Public administrators said they were tired of being treated with less dignity and respect by people in the discipline of political science, hence the decision to come together to form a formidable association that would defend the cause of the transformation of the discipline and a better lot for practitioners.
Speaking at the association’s first national conference in Abuja on Thursday, the Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Professor Olufemi Peters, praised the desire of public administration practitioners to set up a body which would see to the improvement of the discipline and its practitioners.
Professor Peters, represented by Professor Samson Osoba, Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences, NOUN, challenged public administrators to mobilize their colleagues and resources inside and outside universities to strengthen the association so that they can mobilize, speak out and defend a cause. for the good of the people.
Dr Nwamaka Patricia Ibeme of the Faculty of Public Administration, NOUN, in her welcome speech, described the association as an answered prayer, as it was the desire of public administrators and lecturers to ensure their freedom to political science association and discuss a new course for their discipline.
She said: “The desire for this association arose when some academics of public administration in Nigeria decided to carve out a place for themselves outside the traditional space of political science.
“The reason was to allow us to make our impact felt in the affairs of the public sector administration of Nigeria. “
She explained that the mission of the association is to unify academics of public administration in universities and the interests of other research institutions in critical thinking and a better understanding of governance and development in the sector. public.
She added, “We also hope that the association will facilitate academic cooperation and collaboration between public administration and policy specialists in Nigeria, as well as a related discipline and international organization for political and economic development in Africa and beyond.
“It is also our dream that the association becomes pan-African and ultimately global, as we take our rightful place in the space of public administration, and by defining the way in which problems and challenges related to the public are dealt with. for the benefit of our institutions and our government. “
Meanwhile, a professor of public administration and political economy, Akongbowa Amadasun, admitted in his remarks that the discipline of public administration not only strives for its independence from political science, but also seeks to change the governance discourse in Nigeria.
He was optimistic that the association will serve as a place of interface for research and sustained practice with stakeholders in Nigerian state governance in all its ramifications.
“In addition to this, it will provide a valuable opportunity for the exchange of knowledge and experiences in public management, and will also mark a new start in the transformation of public administration as a discipline and practice in Nigeria”, a- he added.