Africa and the dilemma of proper leadership was a topic explored by the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr. Matthew Kukah, on Friday when he said no president of any country in the world could be as irresponsible in the usage of power as a Nigerian president.
‘An average Nigerian president emerged out of circumstances and not competence or leadership capacity,’ he said.
Kukah stated this in a lecture titled ‘Building blocks for a good society’ which he delivered in Ondo State, Akure at the annual Ulefunta/Oyemekun Festival
The event was held at the Francis Idibiye Lecture Hall of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, a statement said.
Kukah noted the Office of the President in Nigerian conferred too much power on one man and commented that ‘no president in the world has the kind of power the Nigerian president has and as such, no president in the world can be as irresponsible as the Nigerian president.’
‘His power is so much that he can give an oil bloc to his girlfriend and many others. Thus, you can’t be a man of honour and live in a country like Nigeria and not be angry.’
The cleric also shared thoughts on how many presidents over the country’s history have attained office, stating it was often always never earned through meritorious and willfully directed effort, but a result of sheer circumstance.
He asked, ‘What is the problem? It is the dilemma of leadership. In America, there are basic expectations of what a president should be. For instance, he must have gone through Harvard as an institution, he must have language and track records, not even wealth. You can’t surprise the system.
‘Here in Nigeria, a local government area chairman wants to be the governor; the governor wants to be the president and the president doesn’t want to go! Many states have two ex-governors representing them at the National Assembly. Governors have control and monopoly of resources of their states and they use the same resources to oppress the people.’
Kukah, however, singled two former Nigerian leaders out of the leadership rot, namely Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Alhaji Aminu Kano, whom he described as the ‘architects of a good society.’