Why Nigeria’s progress is slow, by Falana - THE GUARDIAN
By Gbenga Salau
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, has blamed the underdevelopment of the country on the lack of ideological leaders and poverty.
He made the comment in a paper titled ‘Leadership and ideology: The role and significance of ideology in administering the nation-state, Nigeria’ which he delivered, yesterday, at the maiden edition of Lagos State Public Service Development Centre (PSSDC) leadership for good governance series.
Falana described Nigeria as a wonderful country, saying if its politics could be redefined, the sky would be the nation’s limit.
“It is surprising that in Nigeria, the issue of ideology is not discussed. That is the way Nigeria is being run and it is the reason the country is not making progress in almost every endeavours of life.”
According to him, the world is expecting Nigeria to lead, not to follow, but unfortunately, the country is not living up to this billing, despite the fact that the nation is hugely blessed with human and material resources to take the lead.
Falana condemned the southern and northern governors’ fora for seeking to produce the next president from their regions, describing it as rubbish talk because it is not ideological.
He said the calls by the governors’ fora were meant to deceive Nigerians so that they would not ask critical and ideological questions from those being pushed forward by the governors. He lamented that “nobody is talking about the policies and programmes but where the candidate comes from and the religion.”
The human rights lawyer implored Nigerians not to join the calls by the governors, but to push for an ideological leader that would lead by example and be responsible as well as disciplined.
To him, political leaders who travel abroad for medical trips are not leading by example and have not exhibited leadership qualities.
According to him, if leaders are indisciplined and irresponsible, others will follow, the reason the issue of leadership is critical in a nation.
The Director-General of PSSDC, Dr. Senukon Olufemi Ajose-Harrison, said to be truly transformational and sustainable, leadership must have a clear ideological basis for development.
“Our world today is undergoing a leadership crisis. This has made experts in both academia and industry re-examine the need for appropriate and right leadership actions to address good governance and ensure that sustainable and stable societies and organisations evolve and become going concerns. The need for strong and progressive leadership led the management of the centre to moot the idea of a leadership programme,” he said.