Founder and General Overseer of All Christian Fellowship Mission, Rev. (Dr.) Williams Okoye, has blamed Nigeria’s slow pace of progress on leadership failure, saying the country has fared badly after 59 years of freedom from colonial rule.
The former Aso Villa Chaplain, who spoke on Sunday at a special service to mark the occasion of Nigeria’s 59th Independence anniversary in Abuja, said it was painful to see the nation failing the people despite its rich potentials.
Okoye said, “Nigeria’s journey so far has been sweet and sour. It could have been worse but that is not to say we have fared well. We have not.
“To see that; 59 years after independence, we are still groping in the dark is painful. Especially, when we consider the enormous resources God has blessed this nation with.
“It is essentially the problem of deception, greed, and selfishness. We don’t have nationalistic leaders. What we have here are ethnic champions and religious bigots. As long as we have these kind of leadership, we are going nowhere.”
Okoye urged political leaders to be more nationalistic in their outlook and demonstrate higher values of love and sacrificial service.
He added: “You can’t keep people like this forever. There’s going to be a revolt. But, that’s not what we want.
“Our leaders know the right thing to do but they don’t want to do it. As long as we have mediocre and parochial leadership, we are going no where.
“We have to do a radical reorientation of Nigerians to change our mindset to understand that there are higher values like love and. sacrificial service. These are the values that drive developed nations.”
Okoye also advocated for power rotation from the North to the South in 2023 but added that the principle should cascade down to the ward levels.
He said: “In 2023, power should rotate. I am not thinking of power rotation or restructuring in the way that many politicians are thinking. I am thinking of something more fundamental than even in the ward level where power rotation will be practised in such a way that the minorities at those micro-level will have a shot at leadership.
“We need to put a structure in place where justice, fairness, and meritocracy will be promoted.”