Dogara Says Leadership Bane Of Nigeria’s Development | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Dogara Says Leadership Bane Of Nigeria’s Development

Posted: Jul 12, 2016 at 6:20 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Ahmed Musa

Abuja – Yakubu Dogara, Speaker, House of Representatives, has lamented that lack of credible leadership has been the bane of Nigeria’s development.

Dogara, who was honoured with the prestigious Zik’s Leadership Award for Public Service in recognition of his contribution to the political stability of Nigeria in Lagos Sunday night, noted that with patriotic leadership, Nigeria would overcome its challenges.

In a statement issued by his spokesman, Turaki Hassan, on Monday, the speaker maintained that Nigeria’s founding fathers wanted to be seen as people who were not just leaders, but leaders of a country that had the needed population and resources.

He added that “they fought for the unity of this country. We may never be like them but we can strive to ensure that the ideals for which they fought and gave everything are replicated and sustained.

“What has been the problem with Nigeria is lack of leadership. If we have credible leadership that speaks to the challenges we face as a nation, there is no way that in spite of our challenges, we won’t make progress”.

The speaker pointed out that there are so many nations that are as diverse as Nigeria and used their diversity positively, wondering “why is it that they are making progress and we are not? If our founding fathers had gone back on their resolve to fight for us, we wouldn’t have had the nation that we call Nigeria today.”

According to him, “Our leadership must be such that leads us to always overcome our fears and not yield to them, and that what will be at the centre of that leadership is justice because justice is needed in building a civil society, and we must understand the workings of justice which is necessary in democracy. And then we have equality”.

“If we establish both principles, there is no way Nigeria will not have progress. I don’t believe that the variety within Nigeria is a mistake, just as Nigeria is not a mistake. In a place where you find variety, God dwells there, so we don’t have any problem in this save for leadership. Unfortunately, we have been pursuing everything as a people except training leaders”.

The speaker further lamented that “our education system in Nigeria wasn’t established by the colonialists to train leaders, rather it was for training a workforce, for training people who would work to make them rich.

“The only way we can grow in this nation is for our own ivory towers to begin to establish centres and institutes of leadership that will ingrain the culture of leadership in our young people”, he added.

He called on the present crop of leaders to rise to the challenges and build a generation that will take over from them, sustain and even surpass their legacies.

To achieve this, Dogara said: “Our ivory towers must establish leadership centres. I would like to dedicate this award to my colleagues who trusted me enough to make me the speaker and for their constant support, and to my immediate family for their support and tolerance, for having to endure an almost non-resident father”.

The speaker, who extolled the virtues of the late Zik, described him as “pan-African, and a nationalist that the world referred to ‘not as Zik of Nigeria, but as Zik of Africa, and that is the man we celebrate today”.

“From the lessons we have learned concerning the kind of leadership that speaks to the challenges that we are having as a nation at the moment, the idea that they struggled not for the independence of their regions but for the independence of Nigeria; they wanted something bigger than themselves, which could give them prestige anywhere they stand”, he noted.

In his remarks, according to the statement, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, urged leaders to invest in the youths and equip them to take up the challenges of providing quality leadership.

The statement also quoted the chairman of the occasion, Major General Ike Nwachukwu (rtd) as saying that “Zik was a selfless leader who devoted his time for the development of not only Nigeria but African continent”.

Other dignitaries who received prizes included former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Governors Willie Obiano of Anambra and Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun states.