Hon. Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker of the National House of Representatives, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, said that Nigeria need leaders who would not need godfathers approvals to serve the people.
According to Dogara, Nigeria’s major challenge is not corruption, “rather, the real disease has been the absence of true leadership which in turn breads moral corruption and wickedness.”
Dogara who spoke during a programme organized for youthful legislators-elect by YIAGA Africa with support from UKAid and #NotTooYoungToRun, advised the legislators-elect to shun abuse of power and nepotism.
He further advised the lawmakers-elect to stand firm “for the truth regardless of who is for or against it or even when the consequences are dire.”
“Nigeria’s real disease is lack of leadership. I disagree with all those who say our major national disease is financial corruption; rather, the real disease has been the absence of true leadership which in turn breads moral corruption and wickedness. Get a true leader that solves moral corruption and wickedness; when that happens, you will search for financial corruption to no avail.
“Unfortunately, the leadership model we have practised so far is the kind of leadership that produces sycophants who are expected to serve their political godfathers and not the people. Our so-called leaders have mastered the art of political witchcraft so much that if you are independent-minded you are automatically disqualified and if for any reason you are picked, then you have to surrender your soul for them to eat in small bites until you become their worshipper.
“In the midst of this pandemic sycophancy, our so-called godfathers expect us to fit in and not to stand up to be counted or make a difference. We need leaders who will lead us to build a nation and serve others, not godfathers who demand that we worship and serve them rather than serve the people.”
“If you are ever going to get there, it must be on the wings of discipline that produces character. This is because without character, you cannot be men and women of influence and without influence you cannot change anything.
“Character means that you cannot be separated from your word, a quality no godfather in history has ever possessed. Character is not only that your word is your bond but that you are actually what you pretend to be.
“While godfathers always pretend to be something other than who they really are, leaders do not. Imagine where we will be as a nation if all these godfathers that litter the political landscape become what or who they pretend to be?”
“Stand for the truth regardless of who is for or against it or even when the consequences are dire.”
“You must be prepared to afflict yourselves in order to bring comfort to our broken people. You must be reminded that true greatness only comes while serving others and not when serving yourself or godfathers,” he said.
He also reminded them that one out of 3 Nigerians go to bed hungry at night and “Nigeria remains the third most dangerous country in the world to live in after Afghanistan and Syria,” Dogara said.
He urged them to work hard and be determined to make impact not for themselves, but for their constituents who they represent.
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.