Ezekwesili urges Africans to unite, change leadership style

Nigeria’s former Minister of Education, Obiageli Ezekwesili, has stressed the need for Africans to unite and change leadership style on the continent.

Ezekwesili, at the third graduation of the School of Politics, Policy and Governance in Abuja, recently, said it was generally accepted that leadership is the basic challenge of the continent.

The ex-Vice President for the World Bank’s Africa Region stressed, “If we succeed in correcting the leadership anomaly that we have on our continent, one thing is certain; Africa will claim the 21st century. 

“Africa’s problem is poor public leadership; we have said it so often as a continent. SPPG is our response to that problem. We are saying that it is not our destiny to be governed by the worst among us. If you reject a situation, then you must act to correct it.”

Ezekwesili, who is the founder of the SPPG, said the school was borne out of the need to groom leaders with integrity to saturate the political and business sectors, to cause positive change. 

She urged the graduands to always be of good character and uphold the values of character, competence and capacity preached by the school, warning that the certificate issued to them would be retrieved if they were found wanting in character or competence in any public office.

In his keynote address, a Zimbabwean lawmaker, Gift Siziba, noted education as the best tool for attitudinal change. 

According to him, education should be free for all Africans, as the continent is in need of ideas, which education can birth. 

The parliamentarian urged African citizens not to lose hope in the continent, expressing confidence for a better future.

He said, “If we cannot run, we will walk; if we cannot walk, we will crawl; if we cannot, we will keep moving on.

“A day will come when we will get into power, make the required changes and make life better for our people. All of us here, I have no doubt in my mind that, one day, we will join hands to tell the success story of Africa.”

Vice Chancellor of the school, Mrs Alero Ayida-Otobo, said 184 students graduated in the 2023 set.

She referred to the graduands as custodians of Africa’s future, urging them to uphold integrity, excellence, resilience, be tireless, be angry for good and never to negotiate values.

The VC commended the team of faculties and partners for their support and commended the graduates for making themselves available for learning. 

For Kenyan activist, Boniface Mwangi, Africa’s biggest problem is leadership and that has to be fixed, noting that too much concentration on religion contributed to the continent’s underdevelopment, which must be addressed.

Mwangi stressed the need for young people to take over power from the older class, which has not helped the continent but are mere neocolonial stooges, as African stolen wealth is stashed in advanced countries.

“Africa’s biggest problem is its leadership and we have to fix that. Driving from Abuja Airport to the hotel, I saw the biggest buildings, and very magnificent ones were neither schools nor good homes, but churches. There lies our problem. We focus a lot on religion and we need to fix that. 

“Our leaders have copied the whiteman’s ways. When the whiteman colonised our continent, he took our lands, our minerals and everything. When we kicked them out, we took the bad habits. Our continent was communal, but now, we have become very Western in our ideals. So, we have 10 billionaires and a billion poor in Africa and that needs to be fixed.”

He asserted that Africa needs young people to take over power, adding, “That can’t happen when we spend more time praying than politicking; making politics our way of life, because that is the reason you don’t have a job, security and medicine in hospitals.

“The biggest mistake the young people have made in this continent is to serve the old people. The old people of yesteryears, who fought for Independence did not collaborate with the white men; why are we collaborating with criminals and thugs?

“So, we need to think about having, across Africa, a pan-African movement to fix our leadership because if we don’t fix our leadership, we will be doomed. The people we have in power are neocolonial stooges, they work for the whiteman. The money that is stolen in our continent goes abroad.”

Get in Touch


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles