By Obeten Godfrey
For Nigeria to grow as a country and compete internationally, citizens must realize that leadership is ordained for a certain class of people and not for everyone. Her leaders must also learn to separate emotions and religion from governance, said Senator George Sekibo at the South South Nigeria’s Emerging Political Leaders Forum held last weekend in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
Mr. Sekibo who was sacked by the Appeal Court in August spoke on the topic; “Building Strong Political Structures” where he warned youths about the adverse effect of joining politics based on the prevailing sentiments and political events in the country as a lack of ideology will mean a lost cause.
“For us to grow as a nation, we must learn to separate emotions and religion from governance. We must rise above ethnic and religious sentiments; we must encourage nationality above individual differences. We are the body and content of this great nation, if Nigeria does not grow, we all will not grow; if Nigeria is bad, then we are all bad,: Sekibo said and maintained that if corrupt practices are not tamed, Nigeria may cease to exist.
He cautioned the youths against aspiring for immediate gratification when venturing into politics which may lead to discouragement and disappointment; a situation he posited has caused “political insanity” which has gradually gained weight in the Nigerian political system.
“Don’t see cash leadership above exemplary leadership. Awolowo was not a rich man, Azikiwe was not a rich man, but history will never forget them because they fought for the unity, growth and development of the country, they did not join politics to amass quick wealth, they join politics to change Nigeria,” he said and called for mind reformation and attitudinal change of existing and aspiring political leaders to be able to drive the country in the right and positive direction.
He said that: “Why will a Nigerian go to South Africa and join the queue, but would not do so in his own country? We need people with the right mindset, we all as Nigerians, especially the youths must change our attitude towards politics and governance, we need attitudinal change.”
Also, he advised the youths to shun cultism and other social vices that may impair their leadership dreams, and urged them to imbibe the spirit of patriotism, even as he noted that “leadership is ordained and reserved for certain persons and not for all.”
He challenged them to dare the impossible by making their way into politics, as it is the only way change can be effected.
The South-South Nigeria’s Emerging Political Leaders Forum is powered by The Gleehd Foundation and this year’s theme for the event was; “2019 Election And Youth Participation In Political Leadership in Nigeria: Winning Against The Run Of Play.”
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