Nigerians have been advised to carefully select those they will vote into office as leaders of the country in the 2019 general election.
Rasheed Adegbenro, Senior Vice President, Centre for Value in Leadership, who gave this advice at the Ripples Nigerian Dialogue titled, “Rebuilding trust in a Divided Nigeria,” held at The Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos said the choice of Nigerians in 2019 will determine the fate of the country.
He noted that the problems confronting the country can be largely attributed to a failure of the leadership over the years.
He said: "I believed that trust does not exist in a vacuum, I refer to what we call emotional bank account. Before one can trust someone, we must be willing to go along with that person, it's like a marriage. So, what has been the error in the Nigerian environment where trust is missing and more than a hundred years we are still talking about missing unity? If a child is grown up to be 15 years and still crawling, what should have been done in the period of 9 months to a year the child will be called an imbecile.
“Nigeria’s amalgamation took place for more than a hundred years ago and we are still in search of unity which has eluded us for more than one hundred years something basically must be wrong and it's our hope that this platform will be contributing both from the audience and the panels and green light will come forth to show us the missing links in the unity of Nigeria. Because of the work of Centre for Values and Leadership where I came from, we have identified strongly that the major challenge we have in our environment is a question of leadership, failed leadership. There was strong hope at independence based on the population of Nigeria and the natural endowment that Nigeria was going to be a very big and robust economy. But the leadership that evolves after independence was not able to keep up with this aspiration so we ended up with failed leadership.
"The crisis was compounded by the entry of the military into the environment which was not able to allow Nigeria political structures to grow. Till today we are unable to point to a strong structure of a political party to drive towards democracy. Without such institution, we will just be grooving in the dark. What we need in 2019 is a leader that is uncompromising concerning service and commitment to transparency and the one that has a broad global outlook, known for cosmopolitan orientation that can easily see the dimension of international and local issues and policies. Beyond the passion to lead, we need people with knowledge. It's not only about passion, the skillset has to be intact.
"The followers need to sit back and examine ourselves, we have our voices and our votes. Are we able to use the voices and the votes to effect that change that will happen in our environment? In Nigeria, we elect our people into offices and go to sleep without monitoring and evaluation on what they do. We need a leader that is capable of seeing tomorrow today and will be able to open the eyes of others to the way of tomorrow. A good leader should be able to drive national debates on the part of growth and development".