The widening disconnect between the elected and appointed government officials and the people they represent has been singled out as the bane of governance in the country.
Delivering 2017 Justice Mustapha Akanbi lecture marking the 85th, birthday anniversary of Hon. Justice Mustapha, Akanbi CFR, PCA (Rtd) Wakili of Ilory, the pioneer Chairman of ICPC in Ilorin on Monday, NEC member of NLC, Comrade Issa Aremu in his paper titled “Nation Building in Africa: The Role of African Leaders” copy which was made available to the media in Kaduna observed that the crisis of leadership in Nigeria will not be resolved through discovering “better new leaders”, but through what he called “a new relationship between elected leaders and the mass of people they claim to represent”.
According to him, past leaders of Nigeria and Africa such as late Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Aminu Kano, Amical Cabral, Sekou Toure, Leopold Senghon, Samora Machel, Augustine Neto represented the aspirations of their peoples while most present day leaders are “self-Indulgent” and “self-absorbing”.
The labour leader said Nigeria was not short of good leaders who were rooted in their communities compared to those he called the “present day dealers”, adding that such good leaders as retired Justice Mustapha Akanbi must be celebrated while alive. He decried “fading national consciousness among elected and appointed leaders” urging Nigerians to demand accountability from those representing them. He hailed Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos for what he observed as…”, all inclusive celebration of Lagos state at 50 in a number of creative mass participatory ways” compared to other states where he accused state government officials of “state captures” through exclusive and cultist approach to governance.
Comrade Aremu disclosed that as part of the 2017 independence anniversary NLC “as a pan- Nigerian organization,” would hold rallies “for a united Nigeria for Good governance on October 1st with Nigerian flags” insisting that “nation building is too important to be left alone with the increasingly unpatriotic political elite”.
“Nigerians” the labour leader said “should reject the low key mentality of their self serving leaders and take the challenges of national development into their hands”.
He advised Nigerian leaders to observe important land mark days such as Independence Day as it is the case in countries like India, Pakistan, China or Ghana adding that “Statesmen and stateswomen who often block public roads and airspace to mark their birthdays and weddings of their sons and daughters and birthdays of their wives have no excuse to do less for the states and public space they occupy. “ he said.