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By Joseph Erunke

ABUJA–Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Abuja, has taken a swipe at governments in Africa over what he described as their failure to address the yearnings of the masses in the continent.

This was as he said Nigeria’s democratic structure and institutions have been compromised, noting that a sterling leadership was imperative for development in the country.

Speaking Tuesday at the inaugural annual retreat of the Abuja Leadership Center, a TETFund centre of excellence in public governance and leadership in Abuja, through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academics, Prof. Clement Alawa, he noted that the crisis of public governance and leadership was pervasive across Nigeria and Africa.

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He regretted that the African continent was bedeviled with matters of political instability arising from civil and militant agitations, insurgencies, military interventions in governance, state failures, wars, and genocides, which he noted, have wreaked significant human and material damage in the continent.

“Democracy has been variously instrumentalized to cause extraneous to the public good and public value. In this subversion of democratic principles, the structures and institutions of democracy, including the political party system, legislative processes, the judiciary, gender mainstreaming, electoral system, the ethics and value system, security and law and order, fiscal management, civil society among others, are all compromised,” he said.

He spoke: “In this setting, leadership has often been mobilized on principles that deviate from the ethics and tenets of a substantive democracy.

“In Nigeria today the nation is virtually blanketed in an avalanche of uncivil discourse that threatens the foundations of the fundamentals of constructive and mutually engaging citizenship. Harmonious intercommunal living across societies and communities that was taken for granted until only recently have morphed into a dangerous enterprise.

“The truth is that since the institution of colonial leadership on Nigeria and different parts of Africa till date public governance has never been responsive to the yearnings of ordinary people of Africa. The concept of public governance has been bastardized.

“The evidence of the failure of leadership at all levels abound. The failure spans the communal through the ethnic to the tribal to the religious. The consequences of the death of leadership across the board could not be more devastating in this anarchic environment replicated across the continent.”


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