Lagos â€”Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Emeka Anyaoku yesterday said that today’s governorship election in Anambra would be a test case for the 2011 elections.
Anyaoku said this Lagos at the 7th Annual Lecture organised by the Centre for Values in Leadership to commemorate Prof. Pat Utomiâ€™s 54th birthday.
He said that the Anambra election and the subsequent ones should be used to redeem the countryâ€™s battered image.
Anyaoku stressed the need for those seeking elective offices in the country to possess good leadership qualities.
He said that the leadership factor was imperative in moves to promote good governance and development in the country.
â€œThose values that our society needs for its development are critical because so far, the affairs of this country are not as bright as they should be.
â€œThe values required by our leadership are well represented in the story of Prof. Pat Utomi.
â€œThe values of integrity, commitment to public service and love for the country are inherent in Utomi,â€ he said.
Anyaoku warned that the electoral malpractices and violence recorded during the 2007 elections must not be repeated if Nigeria was to make any meaningful progress.
He urged the citizens to prevail on the legislative, judiciary and executive arms of government to live up to their expectations to ensure the smooth conduct of future elections.
â€œThe eyes of Nigerians, the eyes of the world of democracy are on these institutions to see how far they live up to their responsibilities,â€ he said.
Also speaking, Gov. Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State said that leadership was about the ability to step into a situation and turn it around for the good and benefit of the people.
Fashola, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, said that good leadership qualities entailed the ability to positively affect peopleâ€™s lives.
â€œThose of us in leadership positions must come up with home_grown solutions and cost_effective strategies that would stem the effects of global crisis and enhance productivity,â€ he said.
Two books: â€œKeeping Faith: A biography of Utomiâ€, written by Mr Kola Olutimehin, andÂ â€œBusiness Angel as a Missionaryâ€, written by Utomi, were presented at the occasion.