Lawrence Nwimo, Awka
Labour Party Presidential Candidate, Mr Peter Obi, Thursday, expressed worry that bad leadership is turning African nations into criminal enterprises where corruption reigns supreme.
Obi made this known in his remark during the 12th Annual Zik Lecture Series with the theme, “Reclaiming Zik’s World: Climate Justice and Africa’s Sustainable Development, held at ASUU Secretariat, UNIZIK Awka.
He said the problem of Africa and Nigeria rest squarely on bad leadership, not colonialism. According to him, bad leadership is the fulcrum of Nigeria’s sociopolitical woes and economic quagmire.
Obi said: “The problem of Africa and Nigeria rests squarely on leadership. It is not how long we were colonised. African leaders have turned Africa into a giant criminal enterprise.
“For instance, if you are employed in the university, you work hard for several years to be a professor, your salary will be four hundred thousand naira. The salary of the professor for 30 years is N144 million which is not enough to buy a car for a legislator. That is the problem of Nigeria.”
He also stated that the overhead of the Vice-chancellor of a Nigerian university is about N10 million monthly and N120 million a year, while, an official vehicle of a federal lawmaker could cost above N140 million, a misplacement of priority.
Earlier, in a keynote Speech, Former President of Malawi, Dr. Joyce Banda, lamented that African leaders are corrupt and involved in organised crime that is stalling the progress of the continent.
According to her, corruption in the form of looting, economic and electoral malpractices is cankerworm ravaging Africa’s growth. She noted that African leaders must toe the path of virtues of nationalists like Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nelson Mandela and the like, if they must actualise the dream of the heroes past.
Anambra State Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, added that Africa needs to unite to confront the West and make a statement because no African nation can confront the West alone but a united Africa can make a statement.
Soludo said that his administration would promote Zik’s philosophy by providing quality education, and, improving the lots of the ordinary person, especially the destitute and poor.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Governor of Oyo State, Dr. Seyi Makinde, who doubles as Chairman of the occasion, maintained that there was no better way to celebrate the Father of Nigeria’s nationalism than through the Annual Zik Series and advocated complete restructuring of Nigeria.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor of UNIZIK, Awka, Professor Charles Esimone, disclosed that the 12th edition of the Zik Lecture Series has consistently spanned four successive administrations of the University, attracting eminent national and international personalities.
For the Benefactor of Zik Lecture Series, Senator Ben Ndi Obi, the academic journey of immortalising the late Zik of Africa started 12 years ago.