Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Mathew Hassan Kukah, has frowned at the accidental emergence of past Nigerian leaders at virtually all levels of government who are apparently lacking in vision and clear plans on how to transform and move Nigeria from the comity of developing countries to the comity of developed countries.
To this end, the Bishop encouraged Nigerians to aspire and work assiduously to have visionary leaders who can transform the country, rather than having mere office holders who are zero in knowledge and capacity to exercise the functions of the exalted office they occupy.
Presenting a paper at the 10th edition of The Platform, a programme organised by Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos yesterday, the clergy said, “There is no way you can lead when you don’t have what you represent which people can follow and appreciate.
“The accidental nature of Nigerian leadership does not suggest that we can go beyond merely saying we can have office holders and not leaders.
“There is a classical distinction between holding office and being a leader. Not all leaders are in office, and not all those in office are leaders. There are people who have no offices but they will have a lot of influence. After all, most Nigerians are more educated and experienced than the current political leaders.
“It is obvious that Nigeria has not placed premium on human capacity and experience as well as quality of our supposed leaders, and we are paying dearly for it. The primary responsibility of the government is to provide necessary atmosphere for ordinary Nigerians to compete with their contemporaries locally or internationally,” he said.
He identified the importance of leaders who have the capacity to take drastic decisions that would change the lives of the people.
The religious leader, however, told the President to be equal to the task of piloting the affairs of Nigeria, so as not to lose the trust and goodwill of Nigerians who rode their motorcycle to death celebrating his emergence as the President.
“President Buhari must know that we would not fold our arms and hope that a nation that is intellectually lazy simply wishes to have a messiah. Nigeria has two major religions, Islam and Christianity but there is need to have experience from previous prophesies about the expected Messiah.”
He said that the previous governments, including President Buhari during his military regime tried to fight corruption but have consistently left Nigeria worst than they met it in terms of corruption and infrastructural decadence.
“Every government requires opposition and it is not only political parties as are widely believed by some people. We have to set minimum standard of human behaviour that is widely acceptable to all Nigerians.
“The fight against corruption, whether trial or imprisonment, Buhari has an opportunity to make the required changes he had hitherto promised during the campaign,” he said.
Several other key speakers, including Pat Utomi, Pastor Poju of the Covenant Christian Centre asked for improvement in the value system of Nigeria.

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