Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
By Seriki Adinoyi and Odionu Florence
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has decried politics of ethnicity and region, identifying it as the bane of economic development and true democracy in Nigeria.
Sanusi stated this while delivering a lecture titled: Nigeria Economic Development Aspiration and the Leadership Question: Is there a Nexus? to mark the 78th birthday of the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) on Friday.
He said political class in Nigeria has failed to realise the danger of building their political empire on the basis of ethnicity and tribal associations, adding that they no longer think of competent hands to steer the affairs of the nation, but all they think is which part of the country produce the next president.
"It is irresponsible to frame election on ethnicity, but the political class has failed to realise the consequences of this. The ethnic and socio-cultural associations like Arewa Consultative Forum, Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum South-South Forum, Christian Association of Nigeria, Ja’amatu Nasir Islam among others are created by the political class to champion their interest.
"How do you grow a nation on ethnicity and expect it to grow without problems? Cultural organisations have become political institutions; I am of the opinion that they should be abolished, if it is not possible, there should be law banning public office holders from being part of such organisations. The activities of such cultural organisations are diversionary" he warned.
According to him, any nation wishing to develop and catch up with other developing countries should not saddle itself with the question of which section or part of the country produce the next president.
"If we believe in turn by turn or a president should come from a particular section of the country, it means we are promoting mediocrity. This is the time for us to re-trace our steps and ask ourselves fundamental questions, what kind of leaders we want. We need to promote transparency and credible election; it is not just free and fair voting but also free and fair election.
To address these malaise, Sanusi said there should be reinvigoration of the Civil Society Group charged with the responsibility of using their intellects to bring about the desired change, adding that the group and all those outside government need to ask those in government some fundamental questions and tell them they deserve better treatment.