The former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, said lack of socio-economic development in Nigeria, especially in the north, was marred by the selfish and greedy leaders the country has produced over the years.
Jega said Nigerian leaders also require the academic capacity to be classified as leaders because of their narrow perspective on executing developmental projects that would develop the country.
He made his position known today, Monday in Katsina while served as Chairman of the Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture Series, organized by Student’s Wing of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) Katsina State Branch under the theme ‘The Political and Socio-economic Consequences of Border Porosity in Northern Nigeria’, held at Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University, Katsina.
He said “The major indices of this crisis manifested themselves from the North be it poverty, unemployment, security challenges, maternal mortality, out-of-school children, lack of girl-child education and early marriage as well as the challenge of reproduction of our females.
“Anything you can think of, the terrible statistics, come from the Northern part of this country. And why is it so? That is the key question. Today, we remember the Maitama Sule, the Amadu Bellos, Isa Katais and many others.
“These were people who led and protected the North and ensured that the North developed in accordance with its ability and their own abilities as leaders. While we cherish the memories of what had happened in the past, what kind of leadership have we got from the Northern part of this country?
“And I, personally, happy I have come not only as a Chairman but for the lesson I have learned. Very useful presentations have been made both by the guest speakers and keynote speakers, and they have all highlighted the need for Nigeria to pay attention to securing its borders and taking measures to mitigate challenges of porosity of borders in our country.
“Because the fundamental obligation of a nation is to secure its territorial integrity and secure the lives and property of the citizens and if borders are poorose, then you will give rooms for all sorts of illegal and criminality to be used, using this illegal route which we have many in this country.
“So, the State has an obligation to pay attention on how to address this issue of porosity of border because doing so will certainly check the way and manners in which small arms are smuggled into our country, check how smugglers are perpetrating in fact we will even check how things are stolen in Nigeria and snuggle into other countries through this illegal route. This is very important when it is adequately addressed by the government” Prof. Attahiru Jega added.