Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, has criticised Nigerian politicians for being responsible for many problems the country is facing.According to her, many Nigerian politicians, after being elected into office, adopt a life of debauchery in public leadership at the expense of the people.
This is even as the Governor-elect of Anambra, Prof. Charles Soludo, said Nigeria and the rest of Africa need a new liberation movement given the silent agitations and complaints against the current state of affairs in the land.
They spoke at the first graduation ceremony of the School of Politics, Policy, and Governance (SPPG) in Abuja, Weekend, with a call on Nigerian intellectuals to be more attentive and responsive to the nation’s politics.
Ezekwesili urged the Nigerian politicians to imitate their counterparts in developed societies, whom she said, understood that sacrifice for the good of the people was the basis of legitimacy in public leadership.
The former presidential candidate recalled how the findings of research she conducted during her fellowship at the Robert Bosch Academy in Germany in 2020 was an eye-opening experience to some Nigerian intellectuals that there may never be any radical change in the fortunes of Africa until the continent fixes its politics.
According to her, “Going to do that research awakened that aspect of my brain that had made me say to the people of Anambra State at the time that I was the Minister from that state (Anambra), who was supposed to be the leader of the party, ‘Don’t come near me, carry your politics and go (away).’
“I was a fool because nothing would have happened to Chibok girls in the way that it happened to them if we had the right kind of politics. The denigration of the Nigerian citizens’ world over would not be what it is today if we had the right politics. Nine out of 10 children that go through primary education in our country would not be lacking in just a basic level of foundational literacy and numeracy if we had the right politics.
“The number of women that die in Nigeria, giving birth to children in 2022 would not be as close as the number of women that die giving birth to children in Afghanistan or Chad, but it is because of politics. It is politics that have made the economy of this society to be so dismal within the context of all the endowments that we have and yet we are called, because data shows it, the world capital of poverty. It is politics that have distorted all the possibilities of our societies. Governance is what happens after politics is forged.
“What Nuhu Ribadu and Chukwuma Soludo could not achieve in letting me understand how important being attentive to the politics is, that study helped them to achieve it because the research said to me that even by the year 2100, you should not expect any radical change in the fortunes of the continent of Africa until the continent fixes its politics.”
Speaking on the theme of the event, ‘Emergence of Unconventionals’, the Anambra Governor-elect, Charles Soludo, stressed the need for Africa to build a pipeline of value-based and disruptive thinking political class equipped with requisite knowledge and skills to solve complex problems of development to reposition Africa in the 21st century.
He, however, noted that any disruptive change in the political or economic space would come with a heavy price.