Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the February 2023 presidential election has said that a person must be honest and honourable about his past to be a great leader insisting that having the best educational qualifications isn’t the best credential for leadership.
During an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday, the former governor of Anambra State discussed his visit to Princeton University, emphasising the importance of political office holders having a distinct identity and authentic credentials.
He also highlighted that being a leader doesn’t necessarily require the best qualifications; rather, it’s essential to be honest about one’s background.
Obi said, “On issue of qualification, I never said anything with regard to improving the degree or doing this. The issue of qualification is the issue of leaders making statements, doing things that are honest and truthful. This is an issue of honour and integrity. It is the foundation on which you build society.
“If you look at what is happening in Nigeria today, there is so many issues of certification, age, all sorts of, one falsification or the other, all over within the leaders.
“There is no way people can be doing this and be able to do the right things, because that means they are living a falsified life, and that is not good morally and a sign it should be giving to the society.”
The LP candidate then cited several quotes from great world leaders and innovators who had bad educational backgrounds, no formal education, or were even school dropouts, emphasising, “You don’t necessarily need to have all the degrees in the world to be great, but you need to be honorable about your past so we can know where exactly you are and everything. The world abounds with great people who had a poor past and no education, and that formed part of their greatness.”
However, when Obi was questioned about his willingness to collaborate with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration for nation-building, he responded, “We are at a point where we are challenging the process, these are part of what makes a nation. The process through which people come into office or assume or achieve anything is far more fundamental than what they do thereafter. It is important that people come through the right door and not just jump in through the window.”
“As far as I am concerned, again, when it comes to issue of working, even opposition is part of building the process of having the proper government. What is important is that we challenge the process through which this government came into being, and that challenge is still there.”