Jega, Ezekwesili Laments over Nigerian Leaders

Ahead of the coming General Election, the former chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission, INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega, and the Chief Missioner of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society Worldwide, Shaykh Ahmad Abdur-Rahman, have drawn the attention of Nigerians to have relevant criteria while selecting its leaders.

The duo made the call Tuesday at the pre-Ramadan lecture organized by the University of Lagos Muslim Alumni, UMA, with the theme: ‘Leadership Recruitment–The Missing Anchor in Our National Development’, held at the main auditorium of the institution in Akoka, Lagos.

Prof. Jega noted during his keynote address that the dispositions of politicians, who dominate and control governance and political processes, have run the country beyond redemption.

His words: “It is not too late now to do so; we must pick up the gauntlet, as we are indeed running out of time. We must contribute to the development of criteria to be used to mobilize citizens for good leadership recruitment for the 2023 general elections and beyond. This is a task that must be done.

“We must develop an overwhelming consensus that political leadership cannot remain the only job for which no qualification appears necessary except to have a lot of money, usually stolen money. It is clear that for as long as the current pattern of leadership recruitment continues, our troubles will continue. It is for this reason that we must find a way to bring relevant criteria to bear on the selection of leadership. We have to find a way of making character, competence, and capacity to determine who leads.

“Nigerians belong to the category of the unfortunate citizens of the world in whose leadership, though in the context of a civil democratic dispensation, leaves much to be desired in terms of a sustainable vision for our country’s development, selflessness in elective public leadership positions, competence and capacity to lead a country in the 21st century, and in terms of having an enlightened self-interest to galvanize and forge elite consensus on how to reposition, stabilize and develop the country on a sustainable basis.”

On her part, the former Minister of Education, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, said Nigeria lacks the right leadership, stressing that the country produces leaders who are at peace with compromising public goods for personal interest and subverting the common goods.

She said: “A country can be said to move in the right direction if it carries out the right policies and adheres to the rule of law. Adherence to the rule of law means impunity cannot be tolerated.”

Similarly, the Chief Missioner of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society Worldwide, Shaykh AbdurRahman Ahmad, has urged Nigerians to regularly assess its leaders and do away with those not performing.

 He noted that there should be a mechanism to make leaders accountable and called on religious leaders to be truthful as they play vital roles in fixing the government.

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