By Daud Olatunji
ABEOKUTA – Former Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole, yesterday, blamed politicians for the country’s woes, saying if Nigerian leaders had adopted the standards and achievements of the previous years, when competent leaders held sway, the country would have made tremendous breakthroughs.
Bankole spoke as a guest lecturer at the commencement lecture of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, FUNAB, in Alabata, Abeokuta. He spoke on Mentoring and the challenge of leadership in Africa.
Bankole, who spoke in the presence of eminent persons, including Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, Editor-in-Chief/GM, Publication, Vanguard newspaper, and President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, insisted that democracy would survive if mentoring of upcoming leaders was taken seriously.
He said: “These leaders failed to mentor those that are to take over from them and what we have instead are sit-tight leaders, who decide to die in office. Nigeria will only be placed on the path of progress, growth and development when we start to prepare our youths for leadership.
“Proper tutelage is indispensable for success in any vocation and Nigeria must urgently start the process of disallowing untutored and untested persons from mounting the saddle of eadership.”
While proffering solution to the problems facing the country, the former speaker suggested three proposals on which he hinged total stability of the country.
Bankole said: “I wish to propose that we give further thought to ensuring that the choice of deputies is underlined by the requirement of competence and a modicum of collective enlightened self-interest.
“Another is the development of the agricultural sector. Studies have shown that our farming population across the country is ageing fast. We must seek to build a system that enables us make creative use of people, who have occupied leading positions in our national life to gain useful experience.”
Former Head of Service of the Federation, Prof. Oladapo Afolabi, who chaired the occasion, and the Vice Chancellor of FUNAB, Prof. Olusola Oyewole agreed with Bankole’s position.