Former Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, has attributed poor leadership, not colonialism as the bane of Africa’s development.
Obi stated this the at the 12th Zik Annual Lecture Series in Awka, the Anambra state capital.
He stressed that Nigeria, and indeed Africa cannot continuously be complaining of colonialism and alleged exploitation from the Western powers for many years without addressing challenges confronting her.
“Africa should look inward and tackle the leadership challenges contending with its development” Obi added.
Obi who explained that the problem Nigeria and by extension, Africa rests squarely on leadership and until that is tackled the continent will remain in stagnation.
According to him, the challenges being faced in most parts of Africa today, is stem from the failure of leadership that has continued to burden the continent and slow down its developmental journey.
“Yes, we were colonized many decades back, but today it is African leaders who have turned Africa into a gigantic criminal enterprise,” Obi said.
Obi restated his commitment to lead a crusade for the demand of accountable governance and ethical leadership that will lead to the emergence of a New Nigeria.
“Corruption and mindless looting of public funds, by the leaders, without caring for the welfare of the people, are part of the criminal setup that needs to be dismantled”.
“If you are employed in a university, and you work hard for several years, you will hopefully become a professor. A professor in a standard Nigerian University earns N400,000 per month. If you earn that amount for 30 years without spending a dime from it, your accumulated salary will amount to N144 million, which is not up to the amount we use to buy a car for a legislator in Nigeria. That is the problem we are facing in Nigeria” Obi added.
“Over 36 Federal Universities where we have over 10,000 professors, over 40,000 workers, and over a million students receive overhead funds of less than N4.5 billion annually. This total overhead amount is not even up to what the federal government had allocated for the acquisition of a Presidential Yacht.”
He therefore reaffirmed his determination to continue to work towards the emergence of a New Nigeria where integrity and accountability will be enthroned and public resources invested for the good of the people.
Earlier, the Former President of Malawi, Dr. Joyce Hilda Banda, who blamed Africa’s under-development on Western colonization of Africa, argued that the issue has continued till the present day through economic exploitation of Africa as being witnessed in many African countries.
Dr Banda however urged African leaders to be prudent in the handling of public resources, knowing that such resources must be used for the benefit of the people.
She urged Nigerians to always celebrate and follow the legacy of Late Nnamdi Azikiwe, whom she described as an unsung hero but yet played a critical role in the liberation of Nigeria and Africa.
Edited By Grace Namiji
Written by: Bukky Alabi
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