Former chief executive officer of Newswatch Communications Limited, Ray Ekpu, has said Nigeria would not rise above poverty, ignorance and underdevelopment, which had undermined its citizens, until the country’s leadership selection process was reformed.
He said the country was heading closer to doom as it continues to rely on crude oil as the only source of revenue, insisting that Nigeria was an outstanding example of leadership failure.
He made the assertion yesterday in Lagos at the Africa Future Discourse Series organised by the Chairman, African Future, Dr. Tosin Ajayi.
Ekpu traced the nation’s history from independence and concluded that corruption and poor leadership was at the cause of its under-development, in spite of its manifest destiny for greatness.
The effect of the twin problems is evident through degraded infrastructure, poor healthcare service delivery, low quality of education and crimes that make Nigeria ones of the most dangerous places to live in the world.
Ekpu noted no Nigerian president was prepared for office, as each of them was selected by godfathers, including President Muhammadu Buhari, who, he said, never upgraded his knowledge and leadership skills since he left office in 1985.
He wondered if Buhari was repeating the ineptitude of former President Shehu Shagari while he was in office.
Quoting the French General, Charles de Gaulle, he said: “Men are of no importance. What counts is who commands,” adding that the greatness of a nation or lack of it depended on its leadership.
He also blamed Nigerians for political apathy, which he described as “failure of followership”.
He doubted the possibility of a youth becoming president in 2019, adding: “Nigerian youths have the number, but do they know how to get their own into the office?” he asked.