Ex-NLC scribe, varsity don seek new leadership recruitment process
Nigeria must create innovative ways of ensuring the emergence of credible and selfless leaders that are committed to improved welfare of the people.
A former General Secretary of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), John Odah and Dung Pam Sha, a Professor of Political Economy and Development Studies, Directorate of Research, National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, stated this in Abuja at the 1st Francis Olabode Johnson Memorial Lecture/Colloquium organized by the Francis Olabode Johnson Foundation.
They pointed out that the cost of bad leadership on the continent has been huge.
“Leaders are expected to provide the enabling environment for development and for the welfare of citizens. However, the occupation of political offices in Africa by authoritarian leaders prevents this objective from being realized. This pattern of leadership produces poor governance, which results in corruption and weakens the delivery of social services to citizens. Africa generally experienced the same low levels of governance between 2015 and 2018,” Odah stated.
On his part, Sha alleged that African leaders use their positions to build up their images, accumulate wealth, create power bases and establish themselves in power to the exclusion of the young population and well-meaning citizens of the continent.
He maintained that such leaders are unable to solve societal challenges such as state-building and nation-building, adding that in some cases, some of the leaders manage their economies to produce high economic growth using authoritarian methods.
Sha also lamented that most leaders are unable to tackle insecurity, unemployment, poverty, poor health, electricity shortages, primary, tertiary and secondary education enrolments and successful completion rates, inadequate potable water while engaging in covert and glaring corruption.
For Africa to engender a process that will lead to credible, compassionate and efficient leaders, Prof Sha said socialization processes at family, religious and community levels must be revived and strengthened through mandatory and cultural practices that pay attention to behavioural change from adolescent to adulthood.
He also pointed out that recruitment patterns in public offices must change in favour of equal opportunity and fairness and citizens must be allowed to participate in elections that produce free and transparent leaders of their choice.
“They must also be engaged in the protection of electoral mandate and be able to change regimes through electoral means and any other means accepted by the law of the land. There is a need to reduce the influence of money in politics and governance. Training of leaders and their retraining in problem-solving skills is also essential. There is also the need to restore hope in electoral processes and the construction of a democratic polity.”
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