A member of the House of Representative, Nicholas Ossai, said on Wednesday in Lagos that Nigeria lacks good leaders. He said effective leadership remains the basic tool for national transformation.
"Nigeria has not got to its destination because some of our leaders lack what it takes to achieve the set goals of the country. Leadership should have listening ear to the people’s needs and desires. It is imperative for Nigerians to pay more attention to the oil sector where the country’s revenue is derived," Mr. Ossai said.
Mr. Ossai, who represents Ndokwa Federal Constituency in Delta, made the appeal in a keynote address at the first year anniversary and inaugural lecture of the January 9 Collective, J9C, a pressure group. "The House through its committee investigations and probes discovered that there is a lot of corruption in the oil sector. For the nation’s economy to grow optimally, professionals must beam their searchlight on that sector and make their findings known to the leadership through recommendations. Nigeria is getting close to the needed transformation, and urged the government at all levels to embark on vigorous education and enlightenment on government policies. Making the people understand the issues of government is germane to healthy democracy. National transformation is not a tea party. It goes beyond mere rhetoric," he said.
Mr. Ossai urged Nigerians to take more interest in nation building, insisting that the few entrusted with leadership could not do it alone for the entire country. A former Lagos governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje, in a lecture on "Elite, Leadership and National Transformation", called for honest and transparent leaders in the country. Mr. Agbaje, the 2007 governorship candidate of the Democratic People’s Alliance in Lagos, said the country required a sound educational sector and change in moral values to achieve the desired national development.
"Our education and morals are in shambles. Education and moral values will play key roles for the nation to change. For Nigeria to be the true giant of Africa, there was need to transform from the mentality of sharing the national cake to baking a larger one for all," he said. Earlier, Percy Ademokun, the J9C Chairman, harped on the need for Nigeria to be better. Mr. Ademokun explained that the group was formed after the January 2012 fuel subsidy protests, to contribute to nation building. "Our major objective is to checkmate activities of government that would in turn transform into a better Nigeria," he said. The lecture, which held at the Sheraton Hotels, Ikeja, was also attended by the Lagos Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa; Save Nigeria Group spokesman, Yinka Odumakin; and Yerimma Shettimma, the President of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum.