A former governor of Imo State, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, has joined other erudite Nigerians such as late Professor Chinua Achebe, to place Nigeria’s challenge on poor leadership.
Ohakim made the remark while delivering the University of Ibadan, Imo State branch Alumni public lecture and award series in Owerri entitled: “Nigeria: The Leadership Question”.
The former governor said that despite the abundance of human resources, Nigeria could not make any meaningful development because the fate of the country is “determined and defined by individuals that are obvious square pegs in round holes”.
He reeled out scary statistics showing that the country has over 40million unemployed youths, 30% increase in divorce rate with rapid desert encroachment affecting fifteen states of the federation.
He said the unitary system as being practised in Nigeria cannot develop the country.
He called for a new structure that will unleash the potentials of Nigerians to face the challenges of the 21st century, because according to him, “the behemoth called Nigeria Federal Government has shown that Nigeria cannot be developed from Abuja.
He pointed out that in discussing leadership, the family, the church and community and others at various helm of affairs must be scrutinized.
Ohakim noted that leadership is usually a thankless job with heavy price to pay. To be a good leader, however, he said a leader must be courageous, tenacious, and selfless.
The Chairman of Imo State Branch of the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, Mr. Richmond Amechi, said the choice of the topic is apt given that Nigeria is faced with leadership question.
He thanked the past lecturer, Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso and promised that the lecture will contribute to nation building.
Awards of honour were also given to distinguished personalities such as Governor Emeka Ihedioha, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Mr. Godwin Obaseki and Chief Ikedi Okakim.
Others are Mrs. Betty Akeredolu, Sen. George Akume, Sen. Theodore Orji and Barr. Allen Ifeanyichuku Onyema.
The event which was chaired by Chief Mike Okiro was graced by prominent scholars and traditional rulers.