Cabal controlling leadership will do nothing to save Nigeria – Dogara
Story from Ahmad SAKA, Bauchi
Former Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has explained that it is obvious that the cabal that controls power at all levels of leadership in Nigeria will do nothing to save Nigeria and Nigerians, stressing “We must be ingenious”.
A statement from Dogara’s media aide, Turaki Hassan, which was distributed to reporters in Bauchi said Dogara stated this when he delivered a keynote address at the national mentoring and coaching conference on the topic “Governance and Political Mentorship: Imperative for National Development” held at Rock View Hotel, Abuja.
He said, “One can say much more on the subject matter of the need for a new leadership agenda for our country, but suffices for the purpose of this address.
“In the absence of true political leaders that can provide political mentorship, it won’t be too much to suggest that political parties in collaboration with professional institutes like the CIMCN step in to provide coaching and mentorship across the board to those in political positions and would-be leaders.
“In the UK, for example, the conservatives under the leadership of David Cameron embraced the idea of, ‘sponsored mobility’ which was thought to be good for the country because it will help prevent politics from polarizing along racial lines.
“Just within over a decade, MPs who are beneficiaries of the policy have occupied all the four most important political offices in the UK and of course that includes Rishi Sunak who is the serving Prime Minister. This is the surest way to go and we can replicate it here with the cooperation of political parties and actors.
“Only true leaders can provide good governance and effective political mentoring for national development and advancement. Our failure in raising true leaders at all levels is staggering.
“Sadly, nothing will change in our fortunes in Nigeria except we deliberately set out to raise true leaders. The successes being recorded in Rwanda are a rebuke to every discerning Nigerian.”
According to the former speaker, “Rwanda mirrors how far we can go if we succeed in putting just one or two true leaders in the right offices. The present set-up in Nigeria is just a sham and would further keep reinforcing our present dystopian state unless true leaders emerge and dismantle it.
Speaking further, Dogara noted, “No doubt, we have a long way to go to rein in good governance and political mentorship as catalysts for nation-building but today’s event gives me hope that we will get there if we do not give in or give up.
“I need neither remind us that our inabilities to build a nation-state coupled with challenges posed by underdevelopment are major drivers to all the societal ills afflicting our dear country today.
“Although the faltering national security is a subject matter on the lips of all Nigerians, now that insecurity is a thorn in the flesh of government both at the national as well as sub-national tiers; however, that is just the symptom of a deeper problem, not the real ailment,” he added.
Dogara said, “Our major national malaise is the absence of ‘true leadership’, not insecurity or financial corruption as often touted. My view is further reinforced by the realisation of the organisers of this conference, that governance and political mentorship are crucial to the transformation of our dear nation.
“That to me speaks to true leadership without which our search for national transformation and advancement would continue to be a farcical illusion. Let us, therefore, attempt to address the fundamental thematic concepts briefly as we engage the issues further,” he stressed.
The former Speaker lamented that since independence, there have not been any conscious efforts to train Nigerian leaders beyond their ethical and religious appeals to imbibe the concept of nation-building.
“What we have today is winner takes all and wins at all cost. Elected officials and government workers feel they have a right to a share of government revenues, and they use them to benefit supporters, co-religionists and members of their ethnic groups.
“Our youths have been recruited as political thugs and have assumed positions without those ideals. To get out of this and archive good governance, we need a lot of political mentorships which some of us have struggled over the years to propagate.
“No mentorship takes place when we don’t push people to become who they really are but choose to operate in an uninspiring atmosphere full of threats, intimidation and blackmail. That is why it’s difficult if not impossible to raise true leaders in Nigeria whose impact will last for generations.
“The problem is further exacerbated when an individual is deep. His colleagues will interpret that as arrogance while the boss concludes that he is too independent and dangerous, a sin that may lead to his being cancelled,” he said.
Dogara revealed that “Godfathers don’t develop people much less a nation, they use them instead. If progress must be made, we need a pool of true leaders who will lead us to build a nation and serve others not godfathers who demand that we always run to them to kiss the ring. Godfathers always see the masses around them as objects to be manipulated for their own empowerment and often sadistic entertainment”.