By John Alechenu
Abuja—With barely three months to the 2023 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto, Mohammed Abubakar Sa’ad lII, and a former Director of Kenyan Anti-Corruption Agency, Prof. Patrick Lumumba, are seeking an end to ethno-religious politics.
They also harped on the need for Nigerians to chose wisely during the forthcoming polls.
The three spoke at the 10th Dr. Abubakar Olusola Saraki Memorial Anniversary Lecture, held in Abuja yesterday.
Buhari who spoke through the Borno State governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, described the late Dr. Olusola Saraki, as a Nigerian statesman who played an active role in the evolution of Nigeria’s political development.
He quoted the President as saying: “He (Olusola Saraki) is one of the politicians that earned the respect of many Nigerians. We appreciate his contributions to our polity.
”I want to use this opportunity to ask my fellow politicians to take away lesson from the lecture that has been delivered with a view to moving Nigeria forward.“
Earlier, while delivering the memorial lecture, Lumumba queried the leadership recruitment process in Africa as well as the attitude of followers which he noted would continue to stifle growth if not changed.
He said: “I am suggesting that Africa is not going to grow as long as you are in position of leadership, and you have perfected the art of appealing to the stomach rather than the minds of the men and women that you lead.
“I am suggesting that Africa is not going to realize her potential as long as we continue to conduct the politics of money and money bags, not the politics of ideas.
“I am suggesting to you that Africa is never going to realize our potential as long as we are dividing our people along ethnic lines.
“ I am suggesting that as long as you were in positions of honor and privilege and you are in the business of dividing our people on the basis of the religion, Africa is not going to realize her potential.”
He equally drew attention to the evil of corruption which he noted had impoverished a majority of Africans.
Lumumba warned that poor leadership could trigger serious uprising from followers noting that “You may think that you have shortchanged their mind, but always remember that one day if you don’t do that, which is good for your fellow man, there is a day of reckoning.
“History has demonstrated that governments have been toppled and presidents have been removed on account of this in the past.”
Also speaking at the event, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar lII, who chaired the occasion, invited Nigerians to show greatest interest in happenings around them.
He said, “We are interested in what happens in our country and this is very serious period with politics dominating the space and we are talking about leadership and followership by a distinguished African.
“The topic chosen by the organizers is so apt, and important because we are into political activities and we are looking for leaders to steer the ship of State to an excellent destination, we must look at who a leader should be, what leadership should not be, what we should do as followers to ensure we have a good leader.
“I want to thank the guest lecturer for coming all the way to talk to us, he has been so blunt in telling the powers that be, what should be done as regards leadership, because he has always been the conscience of the People and if you have good leaders, you will have good followership, if you have bad followership, you will have bad leadership.”