The former Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, has lamented the worsening insecurity and economic situation in Nigeria, saying the current state of the country is worse than what it was in 2015 when the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) took over power.
Sanusi said this on Thursday while speaking at Chapter 7 of the Akinjide Adeosun Foundation (AAF) Leadership Colloquium and Awards.
The theme of the event was ‘Are Good Leaders Scarce in Nigeria?’
According to Sanusi, 2023 will be worse compared to what Nigerians experienced in 2015, when many Nigerians, through protest votes against then-President Goodluck Jonathan, brought in Muhammadu Buhari.
According to a report by The Sun, the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), lambasted the present President Buhari-led administration, saying that in spite of the current mess, the present leadership expects to be rewarded with appreciation after leaving office.
Sanusi, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the physical and virtual event that was held in Lagos said that “The levels of poverty, levels of insecurity, the rate of inflation, the unstable exchange rate, the lack of power should worry anybody.
“This is the only oil-producing country that is grieving at the moment when oil prices have gone up as a result of the Russia/Ukraine war. Our total revenue is not able to service our debt and if anybody does not understand that we are in a complete mess, we are.
“We were in a deep hole in 2015 and between 2015 and now, we have been digging ourselves into a deeper hole. We thought we had a big problem in 2015 but 2015 is nothing, compared to what will happen in 2023.
“We have terrorism, banditry, inflation, unstable exchange rate, and the worst thing is that those in leadership actually think we are going to thank them when they leave office. There is no change. There is no sense of urgency. If you are running a company and your sales revenue cannot pay interest, you know you’re bankrupt.
“When the total revenue of the federal government cannot service debt? These are the kinds of questions we need to ask and the reality is that there are so many Nigerians, who, given the opportunity will do well but they simply cannot contest in that space.”
The former Emir noted that Nigeria’s challenges are caused by the lack of vision of some leaders; saying, “What is our vision for Nigeria? Do we have a vision of one country? Do we have a vision of one united country, that lives peacefully with itself – diverse, multicultural, multi-religious but one? And these things are not self-contradictory. Where did we get it wrong?
“Leaders after leaders, most of those who have ruled did not have a vision for a united Nigeria. How would you like to be remembered after eight years as a President, governor, minister, eight years as governor of CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria)? How would you like history to remember you? They have not thought about it. The vast majority of those in office have a vision that is limited to the next election. It is to win. And when you’ve won, you’ve reached a destination, not a journey.”
Speaking on the controversy over a Muslim/Muslim ticket by the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, Sanusi said, “We are going into an election, what are we talking about? North and South, Muslim and Christian? Is that really what we are concerned about? Does it matter if you have a government made up of 100% incompetent Muslims or 100% incompetent Christians? Will that government work? Yes, we must think of diversity and we must begin to think of fairness in this country and balance, not create any tensions.
“How many people can go to a political party and bring out tens of millions of dollars to pay delegates? Where are you going to get the money and when you get the money, assuming you raise it from people, how are you going to look at the people when you are in office and do the right thing? You’re already finished; you’ve already sold your conscience to get there. Or when a nation is ready to sell itself; when the poor people on the streets are ready to be given N5,000, N2,000, and cast a vote for N2,000 today and give up education, give up healthcare and give up security for the next four years? Then, maybe we understand what Chief Awolowo meant when he said a nation gets the leadership it deserves. We, as Nigerians, need to ask these questions.”
Published By Odoh Dominic Chukwuemeka
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