The vice chancellor (VC) of the University of Abuja (UniAbuja), Prof. Àbdul-Rasheed Na-Allah, has scored Nigerian politicians and democracy very poor both in human capital development and the provision of infrastructural gains and materials that constitute the dividends of democracy.
Na-Allah said that the present democratic dispensation had not lived up to public expectations while “the crisis of public governance and leadership has had telling consequences on all development sectors including the fiscal, material, political and psychosocial areas.”
The VC who spoke during the inaugural retreat of the newly established AUJA Leadership Centre, a TETFund Centre of Excellence in Public Governance and Leadership, said Nigeria has moved several years backward under the present crop of politicians, who have also not shown any desire to improve on their performance.
Na-Allah said although the crisis of governance and leadership had been pervasive across Africa, the case with Nigeria draws pity as the nation wallows in political instability, growing insecurity, militant agitations, state failure and brutality that may someday be translated as genocide.
He said the subversion of democracy by the political elite has become a common practice and has affected institutions like political parties, the judiciary, electoral systems, law and security systems, civil society and fiscal management platforms, among others, which have become dangerously corrupt.
“The concept of public governance has been bastardised. The evidence of the failure of leadership abounds at all levels. The failure spans the communal through the ethnic to the tribal and the religious. The consequences of the failure and dearth of leadership across the board cannot be more devastating.”
Na-Allah said the Abuja Leadership Centre was established to proffer solutions to the problems of governance adding that in real-life challenges, the centre will institute critical interrogation of the enfeebled foundation of our society with a view to proffering solutions and recommendations on how to tackle the problems.
Earlier, the Director of the centre, Prof. Ademolà Araoye commended TETFund for financing the centre assuring that it would be used to harvest good practical ideas on how to solve the nation’s numerous problems. “Every age, every generation must grapple with the paradoxes in perpetuity in its continuous search for the ultimate truth about how to improve humanity.
“The search for excellence is the force motorising the evolution to and the advancement of the human spirit and the constant refinement of the integrated and collective essences of the raceless humanity in its timelessness,” he stated.