The National Director of Publicity and Advocacy of the No#rthern Elders Forum, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed has opined that Nigerians need well-prepared leaders, not a personality like President Muhammadu Buhari.
He made this remark during an interview with Sunday Punch when making an assessment of the country’s development 62 years after independence.
“We must find a way to create hope among our young people. This is the most important task for any leader who wants to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari. We must have a leader who can inspire hope and confidence and a nation to work harder. We need one who can exploit our economic resources and build our values of honesty, hard work and tolerance. These things are very critical. Nigeria has not had it too badly either; we have survived for over 100 years since amalgamation in 1914. So, we have done well, but we can do a lot better,” he said.
When questioned about the things the country should do differently moving forward, Baba-Ahmed said “In 2023, I hope that we will elect a leader who genuinely has the capacity to turn this country’s fortunes around, not just because he said so. We need someone who has the understanding and personal quality and mental and physical capacity, integrity to inspire Nigerians to work harder and follow.
“Nigerians need to see all these qualities in him so they can trust him. We need to produce good leaders who will serve as examples and produce good citizens. This country should produce good citizens. We are devoutly religious people. Ninety-five per cent of Nigerians believe in God and they know what is right and wrong in doing things. They know that cheating, stealing and embezzlement are bad, yet they go ahead and do them. These ills have become a part of us. Something has gone wrong.
“We need to rediscover our values as a nation, but we can only do that when we have the right set of leaders in that direction. We need leaders who can rebuild institutions and reunite this country. We really need to reunite.
“There is no reason why the Hausa/Fulani man should be fighting the Igbo or Yoruba man. We have nothing to fight over. God has given us everything to live on. We don’t need to fight for anything. No part of Nigeria is so poor that it has to fight another part of the country for food or resources. If we don’t get it right in 2023, I am afraid that we cannot just hope that in another four or eight years we will be lucky enough to survive this decline in every index of national life. I don’t think we can survive another decade together if we continue to go the same way we have been under Buhari,” he added.