From Okwe Obi, Abuja
A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara has attributed the slow pace of development of the country to the appointment of loyal followers into positions of authority rather than those who are competent.
Dogara, who spoke at the official unveiling of Lead Generation Initiative (LGI), yesterday, in Abuja, equally blamed lack of good leadership training on the country’s system of education which he said was structured to produce workers and not leaders.
“Before we put a person in leadership position, what comes to our mind is, “is he loyal, rather than is the person capable of doing the work? This is triumph of loyalty over competence, and the loyalty we talk about in Nigeria is actually sycophancy.”
“If we want to have competent leaders, we must restructure to bring in innovations and leadership training.
We need to remodel our education system to prioritise innovations and training of leaders who can actually serve as agents for social change and actual development.”
Meanwhile, Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, stressed that bad leadership would continue unless competent and charismatic leaders delve into politics to correct the anomalies.
“The desired leadership we need will take a while because, in 1998, when the military began the democratic process, many of the competent people, including myself, didn’t believe and stayed away; and, now, they have amassed resources and penetrated the rural areas that it has made it very difficult to remove them from the system.”
Bello advised the youths to identify with their wards or units, so that when the time comes to pick people to serve, they could be considered without strong opposition from party chieftains.
“My appeal to the youths is regardless of your religion, gender or age, do not forget forget your base as it will help the head to pick you to serve.”
Minister of Sports and Youth Development, Sunday Dare, said: “We demand our youths to be educated, disciplined and determined. Government must play its role; our youths must be ready to step into the arena and make sacrifices.”