Jerry John Rawlings, Ghana’s former president has yesterday, warned Nigerians to stop hate speeches and threats on tribal grounds as this could lead to ethnic and tribal warfare, which would do Nigeria no good.
Rawlings made this remark at the 12th Annual Lecture organised by the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, UIAA, Ekiti State branch, where he spoke on ‘Leadership with Character’.
The Ghanaian elder statesman, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, advised Nigerians to do better in electing people of integrity and honour into leadership positions, as only people who had the country’s interest at heart could make any real change.
“Let’s learn to be gracious. I am sad over the mean behaviour of my fellow black men. African countries are plagued with several challenges such as agriculture, deforestation, bad economy, governance, education amongst others,” Rawlings said. He added that he was bothered at the rating of Transparency International (TI) on Nigeria and Ghana.
“Transparency International shows that countries in the South South region of Africa failed to address corruption and that Ghana and Nigeria rate high in corruption indices. However, some leaders have the will but not the character to fight corruption. The fight against corruption in Nigeria calls for integrity and wise approach so that it will not conflict with the lives of the people.”
“Nigeria has the pride and integrity. Most African countries cannot meddle with you people”, Rawlings said. In his lecture, Dr Makanjuola Owolabi who was also the Guest Lecturer with the theme: “Leadership with Character” recommended active participation in Nigerian politics especially at the grass root levels by all those who really graduated from Nigeria Universities and Polytechnics.
”We must also change our attitude to politics and governance of winner takes it all, of revenge, vendetta, vengeance, exclusion, extreme partisanship, wickedness and sadism which have been excluding close to 80 per cent of Nigerians in government activities and expenditures at all levels.
“Instead we need urgently a political class in greater numbers of good leaders with the right characters and attitudes who are ready to serve and work passionately for peace, progress and prosperity of Nigeria, he added,” The Ghanian former president further said.
Dr Owolabi also said from his aerospace and human factors insight and experience while providing statutorily mandatory training for pilots, engineers and others, there is a total of seven dangerous character traits or attitudes that are responsible for all failures, accidents and disasters in any area of human endeavours. The traits according to him are: “complacency, anti-authority, invulnerability, “peculiar Ignorance, Culture and Tradition”, impulsiveness, resignation and macho attitude or machoism”