Former Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Ghali Umar Na’Abba, has described all Nigerian presidents from 1999 till date as accidental leaders going by the process of their emergence.
The former lawmaker said the faulty process of their emergence was responsible for the leadership problem facing Nigeria.
He made these remarks at the 2016/2017 Matriculation and Fellowship Endowment Ceremony of the National Institute for Legislative Studies (NILS) in Abuja.
Na’Abba said accidental leadership brings about trial and error in governance, which he said had been Nigeria’s experience since 1999 till date.
Claiming that the leadership recruitment process in the country has been hijacked by a few politicians, Na’Abba called for regular ‘tutorials’ for political leaders at all levels.
He urged more Nigerians to participate in politics with a view to opening up the political space.
According to Na’Abba, “Circumstances at hand or situations on ground have to a large extent over the years determined who and who was elected into office in Nigeria as President since 1999 as against level of preparedness on the part of the leaders in terms of clear vision and programmes obtainable in most democracies of the world culminating in accidental leadership for the country.
“I believe that not just the Legislature, every arm of government that is serving the purpose of governance must invest in exposing democracy to the people. It is a sad commentary on our political life that today recruitment into leadership has been subverted by a few politicians because they deny Nigerians opportunity to contest elections and achieve their aspirations through the systematic appropriation of political parties to themselves.
“These politicians have stopped the growth of democracy. And it is true that unless democracy is allowed to grow, we cannot achieve the desired political growth, we cannot achieve the desired economic growth and we can also not achieve the desired social growth in our country. And that is why we are still in political, economic and social duldrums. We have been having successive accidental leaders since 1999.
“It is time for us to begin to understand that the more participation Nigerians enjoy in politics, the more political development we attain. And consequently economic and social development.
“We have been advocating that tutorials must be taking place on a continuous basis for stakeholders in democracy from the local governments to the states. Every stakeholder particularly party executives because what is sad today is that most of those who hold positions at the executive level on our political parties cannot distinguish the duties, functions and distinction between and among our political institutions. So, with this lack of knowledge it is almost impossible for them to understand the kind of people that should serve at various levels”.