Yakubu Dogara, the Speaker of the 8th House of Representatives has said contrary to believe in some quarters that corruption is the major problem facing the country, the lack of leadership is to be blamed for the country’s woes.
Mr Dogara stated this on Tuesday while addressing participants at a conference organised by the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Movement.
President Muhammadu Buhari has often emphasized on the need to rid the country of corrupt elements, saying they are the major problems of the country.
Mr Buhari’s war against corruption is said to be selective mainly targeted at opposition politicians.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, recently accused the president of promoting corruption in the country by refusing to probe his allies alleged to be corrupt.
“Nigeria’s real disease is lack of leadership; I disagree with all those who say our major national disease is financial corruption; rather, the real disease has been the absence of true leadership,” Dogara said.
The speaker also said lack of direction by leaders in the country encouraged fraudulent conduct.
“This in turn breeds moral corruption and wickedness. Get a true leader that solves moral corruption and wickedness; when that happens, you will search for financial corruption to no avail.
“Unfortunately, the leadership model we have practised so far is the kind of leadership that produces sycophants who are expected to serve their political godfathers and not the people,” he said.
The lawmaker also blamed godfatherism for some of the conduct of those elected into positions in the country.
“Our so-called leaders have mastered the art of political witchcraft so much so that if you are independent minded, you are automatically disqualified.
“If for any reason you are picked, then you have to surrender your soul for them to eat in small bites until you become their worshiper.
“In the midst of this pandemic sycophancy, the so-called godfathers expect the children to fit in and not to stand up to be counted or make a difference.
“For you, trailblazers who carry the burden and the promises of a generation that must not fail, if you are ever going to get there, it must be on the wings of discipline that produces character.
“This is because without character, you cannot be men and women of influence and without influence, you cannot change anything. Character means that you cannot be separated from your word — a quality no godfather in history has ever possessed,” he said.
To overcome the challenges, Dogara charged the youths to apply an all-inclusive politics because politics means reaching out to all and not to lose sight of the long-term goal of representing their people, state and country.