In the first Epistle I argued against a return to the pre1967 regional structure, called for good governance, the devolution of power including upward revision of the revenue sharing formula in favour of the states and local governments as suggested at the 2014 National Conference. This is to to enrich and strengthen the present structure for socio-economic development. While room should be reserved for the creation of more states not more than three in the foreseeable future to promote citizenry participation and free some minority groups still in political bondage in some states today, efforts should be made to avoid having a weak Centre as was the case in the first Republic.
The present structure is not as bad as often projected these days by advocates of restructuring. It is a product of our historical experience over time. It has laws, rules and regulations that are often ignored or disregarded by the operators. Let us learn to observe the rule of law and use the present structure effectively. Let us implement our plans well.This is important because the lack of respect for the constitution, the poor or non implementation of its provisions and non- observance of the rule of law and inability to use the present structure by the elite are the leading obstacles to growth, development and unity of the country.
Still, the present structure has ensured more stability, even socio economic development of the country than the regional structure it replaced in 1967. Contrary to the advocates of restructuring, the main problem of the states is not with the size of each of the states but the misuse of resources, the lack of imagination and creative thinking, prevalence of corruption, the absence of good hands to do good governance, justice and fair play for all . In a word, there has been monumental human failure which has left a trail of endemic crisis of development all over the country.
However, from all indications there has been a serious misdiagnosis of the Nigerian ailment leading to wrong prescription such as asking for. A return to the pre1967 regional setting long abandoned for its obvious inadequacy. Many advocates of restructuring have not paid due attention to the problem of leadership failure and resultant development crisis which had engulfed the country for long almost to a point of suffocation. Rather than the human factor they focus on structure and so ask for restructuring.
But there is the need to do first thing first and to identify the problem at hand correctly. It was therefore emphasized in the first episode, that the lack of good hands, leadership/elite failure, resource mismanagement, poor governance acute development crisis have in fact been the bane of the country since independence. Noting elites’ breach of section two of the 1999constitution, it urged the state to play a more active and leadership role in socio-economic development as envisioned in that chapter.
We criticized the uncritical reference to the U.S and the consequent over bearing influence of foreign ideas on our thought process and aspirations as unhelpful guide. The epistle advised the states governments to release funds for local governments as ordained in the constitution. Rather than always waiting for allocations from Abuja, they should look inward and develop capacity to tap and utilize the resources within for growth and development. Each of the states is free to enter into economic, socio- cultural relation other of their choice. On the whole the country must develop the skill to solve problems rather than changing from one system to another .
In this second epistle to the APC committee on true federalism, focus will be on the crisis of development due to leadership which has engulfed the country since the time before independence. So far only slow progress has been made towards resolving it. As there is a strong linkage between meaningful development and able leadership or between underdevelopment/ poverty and poor leadership in society, we shall also look at the leadership problem which has contributed to frustrating development efforts in the country.
Towards this end we shall use the works of three Nigerians- Ademolekun a professor of publicAdministration and AKinlotan – a Scholar, seasoned journalist and respected Columnist and Hardball a witty , well informed but biting writer .The aim is not to blame anyone but to show the mistake being made by those calling for pre 1967 regional structure today and in the process point to the right direction.Both authors show the wisdom of focussing more on the human factor in the collective desire and efforts to move the country forward.
There are many who believe that the main problem of the country is poor implementation of development plan corruption, mismanagement of resources etc.This is actually another way of referring to the human failure- itself a reflection of the huge leadership/ elites failure in the country. It is a way of saying Nigerians cannot pursue and realize their dreams due to number of factors including corruption, lack of capacity and skills or blunt refusal to execute projects in the full awareness that the state lacks the courage to do effective consequence management which will make people to do either the needful or face the harsh result.
While Nigeria has had a protracted history of development and leadership crisis over time, it is obvious from calls by many of the advocates of restructuring that the national ailment is one largely misunderstood, misdiagnosed and thus wrongly treated with inappropriate drugs. Thus instead of finding solutions to the development crisis and leadership problem that define our country today, some very vocal elite are busy calling for restructuring by which they mean the collapse of the present structure to six or so regions.
But this shall lead us to nowhere better. For the avoidance of doubt, it should be re- emphasized here that the national problem today is not spatial or geography but acute lack of meaningful development in all parts of the country, Justice and fair play for all citizens. While this has largely been the cause of most of the irritations, it is largely due to corruption and other forms of misuse of resources within the available space.
The development crisis is due to human failure as exemplified by long succession of inept leadership and uncommitted political ruling elite to the task of nation- building- development and unity of the country. Unless the problem here is solved nothing good can be expected from any other reform. Contrary to popular view, Nigeria’s problem is not ethnic or regional as in north/south dichotomy. Rather, it is an elite’s misrule and exploitation of the country for selfish interest. And such elite’s misrule or pursuit of selfish interest is found in the regions, states, tribes and religious organizations of the country.
As shown in the first epistle, the quest for modernization of the country predates independence. In fact the desire for meaningful development was one of the driving factors that gave rise to nationalist movement in Nigeria. At the beginning it was a pan Nigerian movement driven by strong feeling of patriotism and spirits of nationalism. However, the Nigerian elite’s patriotic and nationalistic zeal to build a strong, prosperous and united country started to evaporate with the introduction of a three regional structure through the Richards constitution of 1946/7.
The cause was the prospect for political success unleashed by that constitution. Among others, it encouraged the formation of political parties along regional, ethnic and religious lines. It was the real beginning of tribal politics when the political parties formed in the 1950s assumed narrow regional, ethnic/ religious shape and orientation. In this way, the spirits of nationalism and patriotism so vital to the unity and rapid development of the country were discouraged in favor of regional sentiment and development and resentment of all things outside of one’s region.
Thus at the bottom of today’ crisis is the personal ambitions and selfish interest of the political elite. It is what turned our political leaders into ethnic and religious bigots. Generally, the political elite use these primordial values including political parties and power to advance their greed for wealth and power. One of the results has been disturbing crisis of development caused by sprawling poverty, underdevelopment, injustice and unfair play in the distribution of resources. Thus, in a nutshell, it has been a sad history of crisis of development all the way from cradle to the present in Nigeria. But if leadership failure is the major problem of which development has been an important indicator, why focussing elsewhere – why talk of physical restructuring?
As just indicated, Nigeria has a sad record of crisis of development and leadership dating back colonial times. For example leadership crises led to the death of the Nigerian Youth movement (NYM) in the late 1930s. Doubtlessly it was the first Nigerian all embracing socio – cultural organization that added much sparks to the struggle for independence. The same problem would play a significant part in reducing the pan Nigerian political party – NCNC from a national party to a regional party as from 1950s.
These examples are important because they remind us of the high sense of unity, patriotism and nationalism that once existed in Nigeria. They were formed to project the Nigerian interest and support was given not on the basis tribe or religion but on merit in the national interest. For instance in the NYM, Zik was in support of Akinsanya for the legislative council seat, while Awo and other Yoruba member supported Ikoli from the South East of the country to promote inclusiveness of Nigerians in the struggle for independence. Ikoli won leading Zik and his supporters to leave the movement. The NCNC which had members from all regions of the country started to have trouble when some leaders with eyes for political success began to form regional political parties to advance their political interest.
Ever since the country has been faced with the problem of poverty and underdevelopment and injustice. It is characterized today by acute poverty, unemployment and infrastructural deficiency occasioned by perennial poor governance by the elite and ceaseless agitation for self – determination or secession by some ethnic militant groups. Generally the lack of meaningful development for all or dissatisfaction with what was in stock was at the bottom of the crisis or threats. Beneath all these is the self interest of the ruling elite- leaders.
Most of the threats to national unity were caused by developmental neglect of some areas, a desire for positive change and a safe and secured future. The underlying problem was poor leadership exemplified by poor governance, mismanagement of resources,inter- ethnic intolerance etc. There has been a pervading sense of disappointment with the outcome of independence because as earlier observed the desire for development/ modernization was one of the reasons for the quest for it. It has also been a major cause of the agitation for the creation of more regions in the first Republic after independence which led to the creation of Midwestern Region in 1963 .
The desire for rapid development has been responsible for the continued demand for more states till date by many groups. The crisis of development, persistent acute leadership failure and threats to national unity had their roots in the federal regional structure erected in 1950s which the military terminated in 1967. One way or the other, they have been the cause of many of the separatist movements today. Though the civil war 1967-70 appears to be the loudest yet the 1967 declaration of Biafra was not the first time a section of the country contemplated secession.
The well known Professor Ademolekun has noted Nigeria’s ‘proclivity for’ separatist agitation or threat of secession dating back to 1950s to the present time. As shown below, the examples of threat to national unity cut across regions, regimes and systems. They ran from colonial times to independence era and located in regions – north, south, east and west of the country, regimes as in civil rule, military regime and system- federal, unitary systems- presidential, Westminster parliamentary.
According to Ademolekun, the North sought to break away from Nigeria in the early 1950s following the insult their leaders received from Lagos in 1953 for failing to support the motion by Chief Anthony Enahoro for self rule. And again in 1966 after the January coup and the subsequent enactment of the unification decree by Major General Thomas Aguiyi- Ironsi the Northern elite planned to leave the Union. Let it be added that in the first quarter of the 21st century, a sectarian group -the Boko Haram sect would declare a part of the North East of the country its caliphate and flew flags over the area under its control. They sought to instal a theocracy.
In the 1950s the Western region threatened to go it alone and accepted self rule from Britain while other regions were still undecided . This followed the constitutional logjam of the 1950s, the memories of the Kano protest and riot against visiting members of the Action Group to North etc. The annulment of the June 12 1993 presidential election won by Chief MKO Abiola by the Military and General Abacha’s bloody dictatorship afterwards made the West to think seriously of leaving the Union in the 1990s. Many saw the emergence of the Odua People’s Congress (OPC) with strong militia traits as the most outward sign of the plan.
The Eastern region did not only threaten to quit Nigeria after the pogrom, the July counter- coup and Ibos’s mass exodus home, the region actually declared itself an independent republic of Biafra. This was the immediate cause of the civil war 1967-70.
No less important was the Declaration of the Niger Delta Peoples Republic in 1966 by some Ijaw youths led by Isaac Adaka Boro- GOC Delta Volunteers Service to check neglect, deprivation, poverty, ecological devastation. In 2004 renewed activities aimed at secession in the Niger Delta resumed. The war cry or demand was for meaningful development of the Niger Delta and control of their resources- oil. It resulted in the granting of amnesty to the militants by president Yar’adua.
In 1990 the planners of the coup led by Major G Orkar against General Babaginda’s government divided the country int two by announcing the excision of some northern parts from Nigeria
According to the coups makers, the area they cut off had been responsible for almost all the problems including poor governance, poverty and underdevelopment of the country. The coup plotters were drawn largely from the Niger Delta and middle Belt of Nigeria and their main grievance was the poverty and gross developmental neglect due to poor leadership, mismanagement of resources and bad governance.
Development crisis for instance led to the western crisis of the early 1960s, the January and July coups of 1966, the civil war of 1967, the rise of Niger Delta militancy of the mid 1960s and the several agitations for separation today. In a word the lack of meaningful development for majority of citizens and communities has been the greatest cause of our collective insecurity. Apart from the separatist movements such the Boko- Haram mentioned earlier, there had been an ever growing list of militias with regional agenda. These include OPC, Egbusi groups, Arewa youths, Bakassi boys, MASSOB, IPOB, Niger Delta Avengers and related militant groups etc formed to advance ethnic and regional interest. The renewed attacks on major economic installation by some Niger Delta militants who threatened to declare a Niger Delta Republic after president Jonathan left power reminds one of the danger of excessive regionalism.
The development challenge is serious and in need of urgent challenge. As we can deduct from history, the failure or inability to deal squarely with the poverty/underdevelopment challenge has had calamitous effect on the country. Perhaps, the greatest concern is that the problems associated with developmental neglect have provided common grounds for disaffection by many dissident groups in the country -from the militants in the Niger Delta, agitators in the east, militias in the west, north, to the terrorist groups in the north east of the country to threaten society at large.
In other words, the coalition of Northern youth’s offensive outbursts in Kaduna in form of quit notice to Igbos to leave the north before October I, IPOB palaver, Boko haram insurgency, Niger Delta militancy etc have one thing in common and that commonality is their linkage to poverty, injustice, underdevelopment, etc largely due to bad governance. What history has taught us is that the crisis of development – poverty, underdevelopment, and injustice due to elite’s failure has been the greatest threat to national unity. This has been a long pain because as noted above, the quest for meaningful development and better life gave rise to the nationalist movement for independence which was achieved in 1960.
The threats to national unity were caused largely by prolonged developmental neglect due to leadership failure and ineptitude of the elite. The crisis was fueled by mass poverty, underdevelopment corruption, bad governance, injustice as exemplified by marginalization of the minority groups. The development- gap was real and neither the so called “true federalism” nor the “fake one” of today(democratic and military rule) was able to obviate it or close the gap. This was so because the real cause – the elite failure was left untracked and unresolved.
Nigerian politicians behaved like wild animals -tigers and lions in the forest tearing others for food. They acted like despot without social conscience and did everything evil for political power to bring the country down on her kneels. Nigerian ruling elite neglected development, good governance, Justice, fair play for all and prevented the minority groups from effective participation in the political process. This was the basis of the crisis and conflict and instability in Nigeria- the developmental neglect due to poor leadership .
For sure poverty, underdevelopment, corruption, unemployment, injustice, unfair distribution of resources are the things that hurt the country and they require a different approach from physical restructuring to overcome them. Thus what puzzles me most today is the reluctance of the elites to confront and resolve the lingering development and leadership crisis. Is it question of fear, ignorance, mis-priority or simply gross inability? I always thought that the imperative of the development approach has been so self- evident since independence that all hands ought to be on deck to eradicate poverty and underdevelopment .
But the Nigerian elites are to blame for glossing over the real issues retarding the country. Until the advocates of restructuring came on board with their strange proposal to returning the country to pre1967 regional structure, I thought that how to go about resolving the endemic national crisis was clear and easy: produce able leadership and dedicated and altruistic elite to do good governance, justice and fair – play for all citizens rather than for few.
However, due to the manipulative power of the elites, their selfishness and obfuscation that diverts attention from social reality, a simple matter has been complicated. There appears to be much confusion about the true nature of the problem of the country today. Consequently issues of poverty, gross underdevelopment and injustice have been reduced by the elite to question of poor structuring. There is need for review and rethink.
It has been misleading and unhelpful because by misrepresenting the problem we miss the right answer and so make wrong responses to national problems. This is why old problems have remained unsolved year in year out. Thus the challenge of resolving the development crisis has continued to stare us helplessly in the face. This is why one is startled by calls for regionalism today.Rather than solve the nagging problems associated with underdevelopment and poverty head on, some sections of the Nigerian elite are mounting restructuring here and there as though a restructuring exercise would on its own wipe out our sins and clean the mud on our body. They have occupied themselves with shadow chasing in search of a so called ‘true federalism’.
But as I observed in an earlier outing, there is nothing like true or false federalism but what has worked fine in one polity or the other. At best, “true federalism” is nebulous, relative concept. While, Nigeria has a duty to define and operate what works for her, this is certainly not located in returning the country to pre1967 regional structure. In fact no structure is better than the people who use it. It is absolutely important that we focus on tackling the development crisis caused by poor leadership because as our history has shown there is hardly no national problem today without linkage- directly or indirectly to poverty, under-development and infrastructural deficit of the country.
In the final analysis, the evil of regional structure of the 1950s to early 1960s must always be recognized in today’s effort to build a country of our dream. It bore the poison that destroyed the first republic and which still troubles us till date. The crave for regionalism is one of the negative effects of the inappropriate attitude of the earlier leaders and associated elites to nation building especially party politics. Encouraged by the British, they had regional vision and promoted primordial values that made their descendants to think regional, tribal and religious till date.
Basically, there has been a lack of development imagination and right focus on national unity and development beyond the regions. For selfish political reasons, patriotism and nationalism were jettisoned. Regionalism, ethnicity and religiosity were ordained as new pillars of nation- building. The choice must have been made with the best intention, but it failed the nation state dismally. The harm has been far reaching. Generations of Nigerian elite were raised with wrong orientation and ideology of national development by our early leaders. For selfish political reasons they embraced regional/ethnic politics of bitterness against others and so lacked the correct vision, right ideology and appropriate approach to national unity and development that would promote the interest and happiness of majority citizens instead of few.
Unfortunately, the development crisis of today is not a product of the present structure, but of poor performance, mis- management, mis-use of structure and prolonged mis governance of the country over time. Lurking around the corner and in fact dispensing injustice is poor leadership- incapable leaders and unpatriotic leaders driven always by selfish interest.It is also the result of the wrong attitude of the Nigerian elite that depicts a bias for promoting self interest above collective interest, prefers regional unity and development to national unity and development, corruption, mutual hatred and loathing for ethnic/ regional reasons. In short, it is the effect of huge leadership failure over time.
Of course as shall be obvious from our discussion so far, there is a nexus between poverty/ underdevelopment and poor leadership / elite’s ineptitude in any society. Nigeria is thus not different. Whereas able leadership is associated with progress and greatness, poor leadership is associated with poverty, underdevelopment and backwardness. In similar vein, good government is known to promote the development and unity of a country, and the reverse has been the case with bad government. As the economist would say, of all factors of production the most important is the human resource. However the man has to be prepared for his job. There is some agreement of sort that Nigerian leaders lacked due preparation for political leadership/ nation- building.
Generally the quality of development or level of poverty in any is a function of leadership. This should be understood here as a process which involves both the leader as vision setter and a select elite group as vision implementers and who work in cooperation for the purpose of achieving results. The outcome of leadership efforts could be either beneficial to select few or all members of the society but the latter is better than the former. Able leadership should be seen as one which is capable of achieving collectively set goals for the promotion of the well -being of all segments of society and happiness of majority citizens. It is normally the outcome of good governance. A nation is thus lucky if she has a leader that has a broad altruistic vision of a great society and an assemblage of elites who do not only share in the vision but also have the skills and capability to help drive the vision to fruition.
As it is well known the bane of Nigeria has been said to be poor leadership. While the quality of performance is below standard, the benefit of efforts has been restricted to a few citizens and their communities. This has been the source of dissatisfaction, grievances and cause of most agitations in the country over time. But the trouble of most advocates of restructuring today is their tendency to ignore the leadership challenge and to push forward their demand for a return of pre 1967 regional structure as though it would on its own resolve the crisis of development at hand. This is a wrong assumption and approach. It misses the point about what needs to be done urgently and persistently to move the country forward.
According to Akinlotan, who believes that country has suffered “galling leadership failing on all sides” in its fifty seven years of existence, Nigerian leaders are not given to deep “learning and preparation” for leadership. Consequently, they “are not deep and so cannot call unto the deep”. This is so because they lack deep “philosophical”grounding, “scientific applications” of knowledge and “long term perspective” on national issues. Generally Nigerian leaders “entrap themselves in rudimentary political battles ….(and are ) “obsessed with regimentation and oppression”, they are “unable to fathom a re-engineering of society”
These are not minor issues one can brush aside so easily as advocates of regionalism are doing today. What the author is saying is that Leaders must be duly trained and prepared for their role but as he has noted there “is no record of any Nigerian president or head of state who prepared himself for leadership” in Nigeria. “None ” he emphasized . Yet, “learning and preparation are important to the success of leaders. Had they prepared, their instincts would have led them to acquire the needed learning, the appropriate and sophisticated taste, a great cause, and a noble spirit” .
According to him, this is necessary and important because “it is difficult for a leader without a deep longing for the aesthetic and abstract to conceive any thing ethereal, to birth any thing exotic, any thing that indicates he has peeks into the future’. Thus it “has been 57 crazy years of tumultuous political, social and economic events….57 years of abject leadership incompetence: of leaders who unable to inspire themselves cannot inspire their nation… “.
Relying on history the author provides a synoptic view of most the Nigerian heads state between 1960 and 2017 to support his charge of poor leadership in Nigeria and leaders’ lack of due preparation and deep learning. His view is worth quoting at length here for its relevance to current efforts in finding lasting solution to the nation’s endemic ailment. It speaks to the need to focus on the leadership question in Nigeria if the country must resolve its development crisis which has been responsible for many other problems such as insecurity, agitation for self determination etc.
According to him, “Tafawa Balewa was both a product and culmination of disingenuous ethnic and colonial compromises; Aguiyi Ironsi was the naive harbinger of unitary rule fated to self-destruct; Yakubu Gowon was pragmatic but not prescient, Murtala Mohammed was a patriot but impetuous and iconoclastic; and Shehu Shagari demonstrated lack of profundity and visionariness. As if in a bad relay race, these leaders were succeeded by an even worse lot”:
“Ibrahim Babangida engaged in a pirouette of unexampled and unprecedented experimentation that deeply distorted and fractured leadership and societal ethos; Sani Abacha bonded himself to every form of licentiousness and hideousness; Chief Obasanjo at last achieved the ultimate split personality, in which his forbearance and ethical restraint are constantly promoted in perfect miscegenation with his brutal violation of every societal ethic; and Muhammadu Buhari, who for the 32 years he stayed out of power did very little else but manage to retain his deep and abiding provincialism, has shut his mind to any other future or possibility except the one projected by the fantasies of his military career” (Nigeria at 57 : The deep calls unto the deep- by Idowu AKinlotan The Nation 1/10/2017b/p).
As the author notes it is not that these leaders were total failure but that their best was not good enough for the country. As we know Sonekan, AbdulSalam, Yar’adua , Jonathan like Shagari, were drafted into national leadership assignment by circumstances beyond them. They were not training and preparing to lead when the baton of leadership reached them. The reference to past leaders is only to help provide due insight to the critical role of leadership development in nation building and understand the reason Nigeria has remained ever so poor and backward over time since independence.
The importance of able leadership was stressed by Hardball while evaluating the recent financial success recorded by some federal agencies notably JAMB under Prof Oloyode who succeeded a fellow Yoruba professor, and at NIMASA under Dr D. Peterside who took over from fellow south – south minority member and Custom service under Col Alli (rtd) In these organizations, the only thing that changed was the leader or headship and of course the country -Oloyode for JAMB, Peterside for NIMSA, Ali for Custom and President Buhari for country Nigeria. It is needless to say that before the advent of these men in office the various organizations were underperforming especially in terms fund remittances to the treasury. Thus he reached the conclusion that leadership matters most in the life organizations and countries.
According to media reports, as against “N3million highest returns under previous administrations, JAMB under Oloyode posted a jumbo repatriation …of N5 billion” within a short time. Despite “cultural affinity, NIMASA under Peterside repatriated into the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CFR) N9975 billion and also more than US$38 billion in 13 months thus boosting the federation account as opposed to previous administration’s paltry entry of N2 billion in local currency…”.
Thus the author emphasized that leaders and leadership make the ‘difference between star performance as JAMB and NIMASA are becoming under Buhari and laggards as they both were under Jonathan. The remarkable improvement was recorded “in the same company, similar ethnics but different leadership” (of leadership, ethnics and laggards The Nation 27-9-2017 b/ p ).
This is a healthy development which holds high hope for the country and points the right way to go- leadership selection and development. Able leadership – discipline and attitude of the leader with its positive effect on the worker explains why two professors from the same big ethnic group or two men from the same minority zone should produce two very contrasting results even as they work more or less under same condition. As the author puts it: “leadership is the key” to understanding the impressive performance of the respective organizations : stunning success in ‘the same company, the same ethnics, the same operating environment, as their predecessors who recorded lower returns, but different leaders and leadership.
The truth is that there are in deed skilled people within the present system make The country to work far better than now but are not so engaged by the appropriate authority. While such people can be found in all parts of the country- within both the big and small ethnic groups, the problem has been the failure by the decision- maker to spot and mobilize them for nation building. In a word, poor or brilliant performance is not exclusive to any ethnic group or political region. The task is to locate the good hands irrespective of tribe or religion for necessary action. Thus what has been responsible for failure or success of an organization run by people from same cultural zone, same work environment and same professional orientation as the two companies under review had shown is the prevalent quality of leadership.
The JAMB, NIMASA and Customs success story is important as eye opener which offers the true direction which we ought to be going today- the development of leadership skill to deal with the development challenge facing the country today. Thus the greatest emphasis should be on the human factor which advocates of restructuring often tend to overlook. As Hardball advises ‘we must never forget the crucial centrality of human factor’- leadership in all we do in nation building.
Perhaps the point worth noting here is that there are many Oloyodes and Petersides in Nigeria but are not mobilized because of entrenched negative values of regionalism, ethnicity, religion in our policy making. In other words, the materials to use for meaningful development are abundant at home in the present system but they are not well used because of some unpatriotic reasons. A related factor to note is that truly the problem of the country is not with the system but its poor use by the elite for the good of all citizens.
There has been endemic Leadership/ Elite failure in Nigeria, serious development crisis and gross in inability to solve identified problems of the country. Nigeria has lacked the good hands and capacity for meaningful development for too long now. Able leadership, and sincere commitment of the ruling elite to national unity and development are critical to the well being and progress of any society. In the absence of such people, one million times of restructuring will not yield the desired goal. After many years of walking in the wrong direction , the most appropriate thing to do now is to correctly identify the problems, make the correct prescription and move the country in the right way to national development and unity. This is important because history shows all nations that have become great had able leadership and patriotic, altruistic and development – oriented elite and capable hands to help implement plans and achieve collective dreams and shared vision over time.
Dr. Abhuere, FNIM, is the Director Centre for Child Care and Youth Development, Abuja.