By Etop Ekanem
LAGOSâ€”GOVERNOR Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has said that leadership in Nigeria is characterised by culture of indiscipline, indecency and corruption among other vices, adding that the country will never achieve its full potentials in terms of human and material resources until the nationâ€™s leaders return to the part of integrity.
Comrade Oshiomhole spoke at the Bible Society of Nigeria, BSN, Foundersâ€™ Day celebration second annual lecture entitled: Raising leaders of integrity, in Lagos, yesterday.
Oshiomhole, who was represented by the Secretary to the Edo State Government, Deacon Pally Iriase, said one of the problems in Nigeria today was that there are many leaders who lack integrity.
According o him, â€œA major challenge in the country at the moment is for leaders in position of authority to deliver good governance. When leaders lack integrity, it is almost impossible to ensure good governance. Good governance entails respect for and protection of human rights (including social and economic rights) and sound public policies to solve the problems confronting the people.
He said Nigeria is far from what and where we want it to be, in terms of quality of leadership and all important development indices, adding: â€œThe reason for this is because we have for long elevated mediocres, even substandard men and methods, to position of leadership. We feel let down by integrity lapses n our leaders because we expect so much of them: we want them to improve the fundamental quality of our lives.â€
The governor noted that he approach to leadership had distinct goals and its purpose was to increase in â€œsu the love of God and neighbour with a view to realising the kingdom of God on earth. This requires the raising of the faithful and empowering them to assume leadership positions, to give example of Christian virtues.â€
He said there was an urgent need for awareness-raising campaigns that draw attention to the everyday consequences of poor leadership, adding that â€œthis increased awareness is vital for success, and the mobilisation of young people is especially crucial in this regard.
Also speaking, Acting Governor of Delta State, Prof Amos Utuama, said the topic for this yearâ€™s lecture was appropriate because of â€œour search for good leadership. Without a leader, our vision will be blurred. Without a leader, we cannot be where we want to be in year 2020.â€
Prof Utuama who represented the Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, who is on annual vacation commended the founding fathers of the BSN, saying they were men of foresight who were close to God.
The Bible Society of Nigeria used the occasion to honour the former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd) with Selfless Service to God and Humanity award. Gowon who is the Patron of the BSN, thanked the organisation for the honour bestowed on him.
On the controversy surrounding the ill-health of President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua, Gowon said Nigerians should pray for the recovery of the President so that he could come back and continue with his job.