Nigeria’s former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, has described the country as great in potential, but lacking in a good leadership system.
Ezekwesili, who spoke at the 2022 graduation ceremony of the School of Politics, Policy and Governance (SPPG) in Abuja Weekend, blamed the leadership woes on what she described as distortions in the political culture.
According to her, until political leaders shun egotism and adopt a new leadership mindset, the socio-political and economic growth within the country would continue to be hindered.
Besides, the ex-presidential candidate said true leadership should be viewed from the perception of rendering services to the people rather than turning the citizens into victims of servitude.
She said, “According to research on ‘FixPolitics’, what we found is that not just Nigeria but across Africa, there is a political culture that is distorted. It is the political culture where those who are in public leadership subordinate the public good i.e. the common good for their personal and narrow interests.
“And so what it means is that the common good is not served by people who should be serving. Therefore, in order to correct that, you have to basically customise a new leadership mindset.”
However, the ex-Federal Executive Council (FEC) member noted that the training which the 2022 SPPG graduates had received, possessed the content to reset the mindset of those who wish to lead in public settings.
In the same vein, the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard, urged Nigerians to thoroughly interrogate the programmes of those running for political offices in 2023.
“I hope Nigeria’s voters take your inspiration i.e. the idea that they should be telling the people who solicit their vote, what matters to them, what it is that they want, how they believe that Nigeria should be,” she told the SPPG graduands.
Above all, Beth-Leonard canvassed holding the new set of political leaders that will emerge after the 2023 polls accountable as a solution to Nigeria’s leadership challenges.
“So may Nigeria’s voters take over your mantle of empowered idealism as they go towards the elections and to remember to hold those leaders accountable, once they whoever may emerge,” the US Envoy added.