From Felix Ikem, Nsukka
Sen Anyim Pius Anyim, former President of the Senate and Secretary Government of Federation (SFG) has said that it was fear of losing influence that makes political leaders to be afraid of having successors.
Anyim said this in Nsukka on Tuesday at University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) while presenting the maiden lecture organized by faculty of Social Science titled; “Political Succession and Nation Building in Nigeria; Problems and Challenges.”
He said it was the fear to lose influence, dominion and authority the leaders once wielded that made them reluctant to willingly hand over to a successor.
“They fear to lose the influence, dominion and authority they
once wielded. this makes them reluctant to hand over to successor, especially if the successor is not their chosen candidate.
This situation of not having influence over the affairs of a State or office they once occupied gives them a sense of apprehension and leads to the dethronement of a successor,” he said.
He added that some leaders want a person who would do their bidding at any point in time against the collective interest of the people.
“This is the reason why
god-fatherism still holds sway in virtually all facets of our nation,” he noted.
The former SFG urged leaders to lead the people with justice and fear of God so that people would be be committed to nation-building and there would no cause to fear during time to leave office at the end of their tenure.
“If leaders lead with fairness, equity, and sense of belonging they will not be afraid of any successor,” he said.
“Good leadership will enable leaders to address the socio-economic needs of the people with available resources at their disposal.
“Fear of political succession leads to corruption, creates instability and insecurity.
“It erodes fundamental freedoms and liberties such as right to equal
opportunity to participate in government, freedom of association and the right of the people to freely choose their own leadership,” he said.
He expressed appreciation to the faculty for finding him worthy to deliver the first lecture of the faculty.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Charles Igwe, who thanked the gust lecturer for his numerous support to the institution, described him as “a critical friend of the University.
“The university community is pleased with your numerous achievements both as as President of the Senate an the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, and we look forward to benefiting from the fountain of your vast knowledge on the the lecture topic,” he said.
The Dean of the Faculty, Prof. Aloysious Okolie in his welcome address said that “the faculty is driven by unending desire to Restore the Dignity of Man through persistent ethical research, collaborations and promoting cutting-edge research in social sciences related issues as well as in exploring the nexus and linkage among spheres.”
Okolie who announced that the Faculty was recently ranked among the best Faculties of the Social Sciences in the World as a result of the quality of her researchers and research out put, however, appealed for support tackle fund and infrastructural challenges facing the faculty.
He enumerated fine of the faculty needs to include; Provision of Faculty Lecture Halls/Physical/Library, Construction of 50 Self-contained Professional Office with critical infrastructure. Provision of 500 seats in the Lecture Hall among others.
Earlier in his opening remarks, Chief Jude Ozah the chairman of the occasion and traditional ruler of Ogwuashi-Ukwu Kindom in Delta State said that the faculty lecture was timely and appropriate given the difficulties and challenges the country has been passing through.
“This public lecture is not only appropriate but timely. Nigeria has been passing through difficult and excruciating times over years.
“Indeed, the basic problem hindering national development is rooted on distrust and mutual suspicion. Efforts made by successive leaderships on Nigeria to stem the tide of national disunity appear not to be yielding desirable results,” he said.