Prof. Attahiru Jega
A former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has stated that good leaders in the country are in short supply because the democratic institutions are not strong.
Jega expressed concerns that since 1999 when democratic rule was adopted in Nigeria, the so-called dividends of democracy have not yet been desirable for the majority of the citizens.
According to him, this has been due to bad leadership. “Not that there are no good leaders in the country, but they are in short supply while the Democratic institutions are also weak,” Jega said on Monday while delivering a paper at the retreat organized by the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) in Ilorin, Kwara state.
The former INEC boss said: “Nigeria has been on a trajectory of liberal democratic development continuously for 23 years, since 1999 when the military returned to the barracks, While every four years we have routinely elected representatives into the legislative and executive arms of government, there is consensus that these elements of liberal democratic development have not yet translated into substantive socioeconomic development that satisfies the needs and aspirations of the overwhelming majority of citizens.
“In general, leadership at all tiers of the Nigerian federation has not been good; it has been essential bad and undemocratic, characterized by bad, rather than good, democratic governance.
“Many national organizations and institutions have been afflicted/affected by this tendency towards bad governance.”
Jega noted that the basic things required in good governance are good leaders that can be transformational and transitional if the citizens must truly enjoy good dividends of democracy.
The Professor of Political Science, Bayero University, Kano, whose paper was titled: “Importance of Personal Leadership Competencies in an Organization in Transition”, said that key qualities of leadership in a democratic context stated that the country needs a leader with good representation, responsible and responsiveness, integrity and honesty adding that such a leader must have cognate experience and competence who understands democratic governance and must be a leader who can inspire and motivate the followership.
“We also need institutions that can inspire good governance”, Jega added