* Blames poor leadership for nationâ€™s woes
Alex Enumah in Abuja
Former Nigerian High Commissioner to Canada and Mexico, Ambassador Iyorwuese Hagher, has decried the poor security situation in the country, just as he slammed the fedral government for failing to secure the release of the only Christian Dapchi school girl, Leah Sharibu, held by Boko Haram.
The former ambassador also urged Nigerians to do away with those he termed â€˜go slow leadersâ€™ in the next election, noting that the country cannot afford to mortgage its future in the hands of such leaders.
Hagher, who was speaking with a group of young African students, said Nigeria and indeed Africa would continue to face all sorts of problems because of its poor leadership.
The students under the auspice of the League of African Development Students were on a visit to confer the LEADS Merit Award of Africaâ€™s Patriotic Personality for 2018 on the former ambassador for his immense contribution towards Africa’s development.
He berated the federal government for paying ransom to terrorists, as such gesture, according to him, only empowers them to acquire more weapons and continue to perpetuate their dastardly act.
â€œLeah Sharibu was among the Dapchi school girls adopted from their school by the dreaded Boko Haram and the government within one month quickly negotiated their release, paid huge ransom. We do not know the figures in which the ransom was paid, but this was a terrible mistake according to me. Giving money to these religious extremists and terrorists means they now have money to buy more weapons,â€ he said.
While noting that this further compounded the security situation in the country, he stated that if the government was sincere, it would have guaranteed the release of Miss Sharibu.
â€œMoney was given to them and they released all the girls that were adopted from Dapchi except one that is Leah Sharibu.
â€œWhy didnâ€™t our government say no way, you canâ€™t keep her or charge us another sum of money or give us another Boko Haram person to meet so that Leah can join her mates to leave?â€ He queried.
He lamented that because of the poor leadership in the African continent, Africaâ€™s best have become the building block of development in western countries to the detriment of the continent.
The leader of the group, Gabriel Morgan, a student of professional studies, Medina, Accra, Ghana, disclosed that Hagher was selected based on his invaluable contributions towards the development of Africa, adding that the award was to encourage him and his likes to intervene and save the country from her leadership problem.
â€œAfrica is lacking in terms of leadership and we see that leadership quality in him. So if the opportunity is there, we want him to seize it, let him do so and get to the apex of leadership in this country and beyond. Africa actually needs individuals like him to get to the next level, he has what it takes, and his antecedents speak for him.
â€œWe should be far gone from mediocrity, where competent individuals sit behind and watch incompetent persons come to take the front seat ofÂ leadership and at the end of the day Nigeria is not better for it, AfricaÂ is not better for it,â€ he said.