SPPG decries political leadership gap in Nigeria

The School of Politics, Policy and Governance has bemoaned the widening leadership gap in Nigeria, asserting that the 2023 elections will be a crucial turning point in the country’s efforts to overcome its problems.

It advised Nigerians to choose only candidates they could trust with public funds.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja during the launch of SPPG alumni association, the Chief Executive Officer, Alero Ayida-Otobo, highlighted character, competency and ability deficits as major hindrances to the nation’s advancement in terms of leadership.

Nigerians, according to her, must resolve  to reject money politics and support only credible and capable candidates, if they want good leaders to emerge.

She said, “The most important thing, right now, is based on three criteria: Can the person solve the problems on the ground? Are they knowledgeable? Can people trust them with money?”

Governance, she noted, is about using state’s resources judiciously, adding, “We should ask if the person has the track record to use resources judiciously and implement projects that will benefit the people.

“If we look at the current situation, something seems to be changing. People are being activated. Today, they can be ‘Obi-dient’ or any other name. What that movement is saying is, ‘we have had enough’ and we better have enough. Many times, I wonder how people even survive. We have to push the ‘enough is enough’ and ‘we are tired’ narratives.”

Speaking at the 2022 graduation of SPPG recently, the founder, Dr Obiageli Ezekwesili, asserted that character, competence and capacity were the missing pieces in Africa’s leadership puzzle.

She said, “What we found is that across Africa, there is a distorted political culture. It’s the political culture where those in public leadership subordinate the public good for their personal and narrow interests. So, what it means is that the common good is not served by people who should be serving. To correct that, you have to customise a new leadership mindset.

“So, the training we give at SPPG is one that has the content to reset the mindset of those who wish to lead in public service.”

The root of Africa’s leadership problems, she added, is the distortion of its political culture whereby leaders place personal interests above public good. 

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