Deputy President of the Senate, Chief Ike Ekweremadu, has lamented the low quality of leaders in the country.
He frowned on the educational quality of some National Assembly members, saying they can barely write their names.
Ekweremadu stated this in Awka, the Anambra State capital on Monday while delivering the 2012 Zik Lecture Series organised by the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. The lecture was entitled, ‘True Federalism and the Political Ideology of the Great Zik’.
He said it was still a surprise to him that as educationally advanced as the South-East “we still send to the National Assembly some people who can barely write their names”.
Ekweremadu, who described the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe as a knowledgeable leader, said without knowledgeable leadership, the country was heading nowhere.
According to the lawmaker, the country needs leaders that are patriotic, selfless, knowledgeable, incorruptible, who have a lot of integrity and who will always put country first.
He said, “For Nigeria’s, particularly, low development or rather lack of it has been variously traced to successive national leadership.”
Ekweremadu said though a proper federal structure and an error-free constitution were desirable, without purposeful and transformational leadership, they would not help the situation in the country .
He said, “Even the best constitution or federal structure in the world cannot yield the best of democracy dividends or drive the lofty dreams of a nation unless there is a general commitment by the leadership and citizens alike to live by the principles and letters of that constitution and the norms that promote development.”
Ekweremadu added that Nigerian leaders had often mistaken stubbornness and arrogance as principles in politics, saying “this hasrobbed Nigerians of great opportunities of linking up with modernity and technology”.
He added, “Leaders who cannot think beyond their immediate environment have nothing new to offer their people.”
Ekweremadu urged Nigerian leaders to adopt sound principles like Azikiwe did in his days so that they could lead the country into the elite corps of nations.
First son of Azikiwe and Owelle of Onitsha, Chief Chukwuma Azikiwe, said for any leadership to have meaning it must identify with the downtrodden.
He said, “If our farmers and the have-nots are empowered, then they will impact our economy and themselves.”