The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Dr Matthew Kukah, on Friday said no president of any country in the world could be as irresponsible in the usage of power as a Nigerian president.
The cleric said among other things, an average Nigerian president emerged out of circumstances and not out of competence or leadership capacity.
According to Punch, Kukah stated this in Akure, the Ondo State capital, while delivering a lecture at the annual Ulefunta/Oyemekun Festival, titled, “Building blocks for a good society.”
The event was held at the Francis Idibiye Lecture Hall of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, a statement said.
Kukah noted the structure of the Nigerian presidential office made its holders extremely powerful, so much that he could deploy power the way he wanted.
He said, “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 said from the first Nigerian Prime Minister, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, to President Muhammadu Buhari, virtually all Nigerian presidents were dragged into the office, unlike the presidency of some countries like the United States, where the president does not emerge by sheer circumstances.
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.”