The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Matthew Hassan Kukah has said that there is a very high tendency for any Nigerian President to be irresponsible due to the extent of power he wields.
He stated this in his address during the annual lecture at the Ulefunta/Oyemekun festival in Akure, the Ondo State capital, last Friday. According to Kukah, no President in the world could boast of the kind of power available to the Nigerian President.
In his words: “No President in the world has the kind of power the Nigerian president has and as such, no President in the world can be as irresponsible as the Nigerian President. His power is so much that he can give oil bloc to his girlfriend and many others.
You thus can’t be a man of honour and live in a country like Nigeria and not be angry. What is the problem? It is the dilemma of leadership. In America, there are basic expectations of what a President should be. For instance, he must have gone through Harvard as an institution, he must have language and track record, not even wealth.
You can’t surprise the system. Here in Nigeria, a local government Chairman wants to be Governor; the Governor wants to be President and the President doesn’t want to go! Many states have two governors representing them at the National Assembly.
Governors have control and monopoly of resources of state and they use same resources to oppress them.”
The bishop also lamented the lack of loyalty on the part of citizens, saying: “In Nigeria, it is not a question of looking for trouble because trouble is already here. The Nigerian state has no capacity to protect itself and there is no loyalty to Nigeria from its citizens but to those who help individuals to get to positions in the system.”
He, however, cited two leaders he thinks are models for good leadership. He said: “Awolowo, for his major quintessential evidence as somebody who already figured out what he would do with power if he got it. He understood the building blocks for an egalitarian society. Aminu Kano single-handedly took on the feudal class in northern society and had a deep understanding of society, even as he textually talked about a free society in a way and manner that didn’t offend religion”.
“We have to understand the building blocks of society which is not too different from the rules of building a house. A good society is not different from the building blocks of society. When a building collapses, it didn’t collapse in a day. It began to collapse a long time ago. For us to build a good society, we have to have eyes that monitor the needs, growth and development and feelings of that society. Then you can be sure of the quality of that society.”