2023: Nigeria Needs Inclusive Leadership for Good Governance, Says Ighodalo

Ugo Aliogo

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the President of Rebuild Nigeria Initiative, (RNI), Pastor Ituah Ighodalo, has stated that the country needs inclusive leadership to promote good governance in the 2023, noting that the process of leadership has been hijacked by a group for their own selfish interest.

According to him, it is  very important that a country as diverse as Nigeria, ensures that people from different parts  are included  in the discussions around the governance, leadership, economy, and  what the people want.

Ighodalo, who stated this in Lagos yesterday at the Dialogue with Corporate Nigerians for Peace, Stability and Economic Growth event organised by the RNI, said there should be a roadmap of needs and aspirations of every Nigerian put together and a leadership that would try its best to provide in the quickest possible time the best possible price.

He also stated that one of the problems of leadership is that people impose themselves as leaders of Nigeria, noting that from 1966 to date, the country has not had a proper process of electing leaders from the foundation, “often times, they have been imposed on us largely by the military.”

He explained that the military came and imposed themselves on Nigerians, adding that they were not the best kind of leaders, because they were not prepared for leadership.

According to him, the military  just took over power without being prepared for leadership without understanding the fundamentals of doing things rights, “they were not groomed to be leaders.”

He said:  “Nigeria is at a crossroads. Its fortunes have continued to decline with negative impact on its citizens’ lives. Decades of poor governance and endemic corruption have worsened the standard of living of Nigerians. Agitations from all sections of the country are escalating with worsening economic and human development indicators. These situations threaten previous progress in building national cohesion, maintaining political stability, the emergence of the middle class, and sustaining economic development.

“Unless the current slippery slide is checked, the future of our country is imperilled. Recognising that there is a sense of urgency to act if the collapse of our great nation is to be averted. In May of this year, after a couple of years of planning, several concerned Nigerians around the world, came together in Abuja to formally launch RNI. This group emerged with a mission to ‘accelerate progress towards a new Nigeria where the rights and wellbeing of its citizens are upheld’.

“We have a bold vision for ‘A New Nigeria, United, Equitable, Just and Inclusive – A Nation at Peace’. We firmly believe that a fair just and equitable society is central to creating shared values and a sense of belonging for all Nigerians irrespective of ethnicity, tribe, or religion; and that these values are a recipe for a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria. We believe that Nigeria can be restored or even surpass its original glory and that our vision for the country is achievable, if we all play our part, no matter how small, to help solve the problems.”

The Founder, Centre for Values in Leadership,  Prof. Pat Utomi, who spoke virtually, said there is policy inconsistency which is actually the bane of investments especially the manufacturing industries, adding that there is need for more commitments from the government because private sector is critical to growth.

He also noted that the reason Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) has not reached its full potential is because government has been allowed to take over as the sole dominant partner, noting that government is a co-equal partner in terms of the advancement of the wellbeing of all, “unfortunately, we didn’t manage that process well.”

 In his words: “Progress is going to be very hard if we don’t recognise that the environment of business needs a certain conducive concept and progress for the people requires that. As a leading chief executive officer of a multi-national company, I was on the street marching in 1994/95 and I survived assassination attempts, because I thought it was for the common good, and I could stay in my comfort zone and enjoy the moment because I knew that ultimately, the environment will be ineffective for the good of everyone. Through the years as an academic watching these things, I watched Ghana being taken more serious. When the Japanese wants to invest they go to Ghana, because they saw that government could be replaced without rancour in the polity. Sustainability is important for business and progress.” 

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