A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega, has taken a swipe at Nigerian leaders saying they lack the intellectual capacity to be classified as leaders.
He stated this on Monday while speaking at the Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture Series, organised by the Students Wing of Coalition of Northern Groups (SW-CNG), in Katsina State.
The former INEC boss attributed the security and economic challenges affecting the country to bad leadership.
He said although the youths had personal challenges and agonies, it would not be in their interests and that of Nigeria if they stayed aloof while the country was not being run properly.
According to him, Nigeria had the misfortunes of being run by leaders, some of whom were selfish, narrow-minded, and without the necessary academic cum intellectual capability to lead.
Jega insisted that what Nigeria lacked was good leadership, declaring that it was time for the youths to come to the rescue of the country.
He said, “The fundamental basis of all the crises we have in Nigeria be it social, political or economic is a crisis of leadership. These days, we have leaders who are selfish, narrow-minded and those who lack the intellectual capacity to lead Nigeria.
“But you as youths of Nigeria have the responsibility of coming together and realise that Nigeria actually belongs to you. I know some of you are facing disappointments and agonies while some of you are even tired of hearing that you are the future leaders of Nigeria,” he said.
The guest speaker at the occasion, Mutaka Rabe, in his presentation, traced some of the sociopolitical problems in the northern part of Nigeria to porous borders.
On its part, the Coalition of Northern Groups said the North has lost the energy and some of the courage to take up issues that were once the major focus of its leaders and its community.
The spokesperson of the group, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman said, “Our North at present is led by people poorly-prepared and ill-equipped to lead except for their ambitions for power and ill-acquisition of fantastic wealth, leaving our people at the mercy of armed crime and unforgivable poverty.
“Many of those who pose as our leaders today are people who will prefer to leave the bulk of Northerners in poverty, fighting each other so that they can continue to manipulate us during elections.
“Only the North can solve its problems, but as should be obvious by now, not all Northern leaders are committed enough to work to solve our basic socio-cultural problems, our regressing economy or address our precarious future.”
SaharaReporters, New York