Political stakeholders have blamed Nigeria’s electoral process for the bad leadership which has bedevilled the country in recent years, while canvassing for a more inclusive electoral process with more participation by youths.
They stated this at a good governance mentoring Boot camp organised by an advocacy group, Grassroots Project for Good Governance, (GPGG) for secondary school students and youths held Thursday, at the main auditorium of the University of Lagos (UNILAG).
They, however, expressed worry over the growing trend of youths’ apathy towards Nigeria’s electoral system in recent elections, while calling for concerted effort to solve the problem.
Delivering his keynote address at the event, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Mutiu Okunola, noted that the country had retarded since independence because of poor leadership and the faulty electoral process, while stressing that it was now obvious that bad governance was not only associated with autocratic and oligarchic systems, but with democracy also.
Okunola, who was the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Ikeja Federal Constituency in the 2019 election, warned that if proactive steps were not taken to restore good governance in the country, development may continue to elude Nigeria.
According to him, “Poverty of leadership in most of Nigeria’s 59 years of existence has not only hindered the national development but continue to threaten its peace and stability.
“While it is widely believed that bad governance is prevalence in autocracy and oligarchy systems, it is evident now that bad governance does exist much more in democracy.
“Proactive steps need to be taken for the enthronement of good governance, peace and stability and development will continue to elude Nigeria. Beyond this, the corporate existence of the nation remains threatened.
A facilitator and public policy expert at the event, Ismali Ogunbanwo, urged the nation’s youths to rise and partake more in the electoral system, stressing that leadership positions would not be given to them on a platter of gold if they don’t show interest.
According to him, “it about time the youths stood up. The apathy is worrisome, what we have noticed is that they find it difficult to do the needful when you talk of politics, but in entertainment, they are there.
“It is about time we told ourselves the truth; that we need to start talking to our leaders for us to be counted. We have to be part of every activity; the likes of Barrack Obama started small.
“The youths must be ready; nobody would come and hand over power to you on a platter of gold ; you must earn it,” Ogunbanwo said.
Speaking on the essence of the programme, Founder and Director of (GPGG), Cephas Kadiri said that the programme was initiated to educate young Nigerians on the importance of been involved in the electoral process and importance of electing the right leaders to guarantee good governance.
“Basically, one of the first things that can solve the leadership problem in the country is the selection process of the leaders, who overtime we have seen are wrong. We are desirous of training young Nigerians for a mental shift,” he said.