Erstwhile chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has said the country’s leadership recruitment process is faulty, Daily Trust reports.
He said this at the 100th anniversary celebrations of Kings College, Lagos.
According to him, governance has become progressively worse since 1999; lamenting that there is currently a tremendous panacea, lack of responsibility in governance and responsiveness to the needs and aspirations of the people.
He said no country can survive if it continues to be bedevilled by self-centred leaders. “Such people will never move the country forward. What are the leadership recruitment criteria in Nigeria? You must have money and use it; you must have a godfather and you must have money bags to mobilise resources for you and ensure that either by hook or by crook you win. As such, a very narrow set of elites can ever get into politics and can ever get elected into public offices.
“So, accessing power through these criteria requires that their godfathers and money bags who have supported them have to recoup the money they invested, so even with the best of intention, those who get elected through this process fail to deliver on the promises they have made in terms of good governance, and addressing the fundamental needs and aspirations of the people and moving the country forward.
“All of us have the responsibility to address the faulty recruitment process otherwise we will continue to have our challenges and that will be terrible for the future of this country. It is an existential decision that we have to make, these criteria for leadership selection have to change and can only change if we devote our energy and attention to engage more in politics. Young people need to be actively involved in politics. We have allowed a situation in which not only are the young people disgruntled, marginalised from the political process but they are also looking for exit into other ways of livelihood, mostly criminally inspired,” he said.
The former INEC chairman said there was the need to mobilise young people to be active members of political parties as part of the drive for change. Selecting good leaders who can preside over good governance processes, he said has to do with capacity, integrity, experience and exposure.
Commenting on the theme of the colloquium, he explained that dreams cannot be actualised unless there is good governance, and good leaders in charge of the governance that can harness the resources of the country and deploys them rightly.
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