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Nigeria’s disease is lack of leadership, not corruption, says Dogara

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Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Tuesday said Nigeria's 'disease' is the lack of leadership of the country and not corruption as opined by local and international critics.

"Nigeria’s real disease is lack of leadership. I disagree with all those who say our major national disease is financial corruption rather the real disease has been the absence of true leadership which in turn breeds moral corruption and wickedness," Dogara said at a conference organised by the #NotTooYoungToRun Movement for young lawmakers in Abuja.

"Get a true leader that solves moral corruption and wickedness, when that happens, you will search for financial corruption to no avail."

Dogara, who listed challenges of unemployment, poor infrastructure, health and economy in the country, opined that they are all symptoms of lack of leadership and not as a result of corruption by public office holders.

He explained that misinterpretation of a leadership role for an opportunity to be corrupt has made political office holders act as servants to their godfathers while disregarding the citizens they are to serve.

Dogara said, "Unfortunately, the leadership model we have practised so far is the kind of leadership that produces sycophants who are expected to serve their political godfathers and not the people."

"Our so-called leaders have mastered the art of political witchcraft so much so that if you are independent minded you are automatically disqualified and if for any reason you are picked then you have to surrender your soul for them to eat in small bites until you become their worshipper."

He, however, urged the lawmakers at state and national level not to follow such trend. Instead, they should be true servants and the mouthpiece of the masses.

Dogara charged young lawmakers to discountenance the arrogance of power and be prepared to stand for the truth regardless of who is for or against it or even when the consequences are dire.

“In your new calling, it is germane that you shun the arrogance of power. If you do not stay connected to the grassroots and those who have yielded their mandates to you, you will ultimately pay at the polls."

Dogara urged the lawmakers to be reminded that true greatness only comes while serving others and not themselves or godfathers, as the Nigerian electorates have become more aware of the power of the ballot.

“Character means that you cannot be separated from your word," Dogara said.

"Above all, what will define you as a triumph or tragedy in this journey is like I have said, discipline because everything that has ever gone down is traceable to indiscipline."


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