In­ac­cu­rate lead­er­ship suc­ces­sion is Nige­ria’s bane, says Bakare

The Punch - - NEWS - Oladimeji Ra­mon

The Serv­ing Overseer, Ci­tadel Global Com­mu­nity Church, for­merly known as Lat­ter Rain As­sem­bly, Pas­tor Tunde Bakare, said on Sun­day that Nige­ria has demon­strated ex­cel­lence “at cre­at­ing a suc­ces­sion pipe­line of the worst of us rul­ing over the best of us.”

he said the con­se­quence of in­ac­cu­rate lead­er­ship suc­ces­sion in Nige­ria over the years was that the ci­ti­zens had con­tin­ued to suf­fer, decades af­ter the self­less sac­ri­fices of the na­tion’s found­ing fa­thers, such as the late Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Michael Ok­para and Ah­madu Bello.

In a short ad­dress on Sun­day in his church, the cleric, how­ever, said he never asked the Pres­i­dent, Ma­jor Gen­eral Muham­madu Buhari (retd.), to pick or choose his suc­ces­sor.

Bakare said the clar­i­fi­ca­tion be­came im­por­tant fol­low­ing the con­tro­versy that trailed his na­tion­wide ad­dress on Jan­uary 5.


said con­trary to in­sin­u­a­tion or mis­un­der­stand­ing that he asked Buhari to pick his suc­ces­sor, he be­lieved firmly that ac­cu­rate suc­ces­sion, in a democ­racy, could only be achieved through free and fair elec­tions.

Bakare said, “Over the years, in­ac­cu­rate suc­ces­sion has been the bane of in­sti­tu­tional lead­er­ship in Nige­ria. Decades af­ter the self­less lead­er­ship of our found­ing fa­thers, the cit­i­zenry has re­mained dis­il­lu­sioned with the self-ag­gran­dis­e­ment of politi­cians who lack the val­ues of the found­ing fa­thers.

“In the South, th­ese politi­cians are quick to wear the cap and glasses of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, but lack the men­tal ca­pac­ity and fore­sight of the late sage. In the North, th­ese politi­cians af­fil­i­ate them­selves with the le­gacy of Sir Ah­madu Bello, but lack the heart with which the Sar­dauna worked for the progress of his peo­ple. In the east, they as­so­ci­ate them­selves with the gi­ant strides of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and Michael Ok­para, but their gov­er­nance ac­com­plish­ments are dwarfed com­pared to those of th­ese he­roes. Th­ese are signs of lead­er­ship suc­ces­sion fail­ure.”

Clar­i­fy­ing his po­si­tion on suc­ces­sion, he said, “My use of the word ‘suc­ces­sion’ has drawn cu­ri­ous re­ac­tions from var­i­ous quar­ters. Ap­par­ently, and with­out my par­tic­i­pa­tion, it has been in­ter­preted as my ask­ing Buhari to foist his choice on the na­tion in fla­grant dis­re­gard of demo­cratic prin­ci­ples. I nei­ther did this nor did I insin­u­ate at any point that Buhari should ‘pick’ or ‘choose’ his suc­ces­sor as some news out­lets have con­jured.

“Suc­ces­sion is an ex­pan­sive term that does not fo­cus on one po­si­tion alone, mind­ful as I am that no in­di­vid­ual can sin­gle­hand­edly solve Nige­ria’s prob­lems. In­stead, it fo­cuses on the in­sti­tu­tion of sys­tems of pre­dictable progress, and the sus­tain­able re­place­ment of ca­pa­ble hands with ca­pa­ble hands across the en­tire sys­tem, whether through elec­tions or ap­point­ments.”

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