Nigeria has no framework to train leaders – Mabogunje

Prof. Akin Mabogunje

Eminent academic, Prof. Akin Mabogunje, says the country does not have a framework to train its leaders on good governance.

Mabogunje, who was among stakeholders at a book reading session in Ibadan on Thursday, said that the lack of a framework for training leaders had continued to affect the politics and governance of the country.

The book was authored by a former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to late President Musa Yar ‘Adua, Mr Olusegun Adeniyi.

The reading session on the book entitled, “Against the Run of Play: How an Incumbent President was defeated in Nigeria,’’ was organised by the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy (ISGPP).

Mabogunje, in his submission, said Nigerians have destroyed the basic institutions where leaders ought to be trained.

The don, who also said proper governance was absent at even the local level, added:

“Where do we go from here as a country. We don’t know how to make our leaders, we don’t even have a local government in Nigeria, we should be looking at this as a bigger problem in the country.’’

Participants at the reading session also agreed that except the country looks urgently for proactive solutions, political and national development may be hampered.

Addressing the gathering, the author identified fragmented opposition as the most important factor propelling incumbent candidates to win elections all over the world.

He recalled how former President Goodluck Jonathan lost in the 2015 presidential election because the opposition parties came together to form a strong alliance against him and his Peoples Democratic Party.

Adeniyi also said he was yet to see a formidable opposition strong enough to defeat the president in the 2019 elections.

“I don’t expect anything different in the 2019 elections but I expect that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) will perform better than it did in 2015.

“I also expect that whoever wants to be president, either the incumbent or challenger, should challenge the process and at the end of the day, we’ll see what happens.

“The challenge for the opposition is that they have to get their acts together. I keep saying, by the end of 2012 for instance, we already knew who was going to challenge Jonathan in 2015.

“You can’t say the same thing today. And you need a cohesive opposition to defeat an incumbent. Right now, if you are asked who would be the next candidate, you can call many names but you are not sure.

“And for me, there are only two political parties right now; there may be others in future, but now, it’s either APC or PDP. All these Red Card, Third Force, and all those things, all that they help is the incumbent because the incumbent has the support base.

“It is the opposition that is being divided along all these lines, ” he said.

The reviewer, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, and other participants commended Adeniyi for the thorough research he did on the book as well as the insights he offered readers on what went on in the corridors of power at the time of the last election.

Earlier, the Executive Vice Chairman of ISGPP, Dr Tunji Olaopa, appreciated book lovers and readers whose passion and commitment had given ISGPP Book Readers Club its uniqueness.

He said Adeniyi’s contributions to the literature of Nigerian politics and governance had come to assume a unique seminal character.

Those present at the event to included Prof. Adigun Agbaje of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Bolanle Awe, Prof. Yemi Osofisan, Prof. Lai Olurode, Prof. Olabode Lucas and Dr Festus Adedayo among others.

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