Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson has blamed the myriad of problems plaguing Nigeria on 100 years of leadership failure.
Dickson spoke on Saturday in Yenagoa, the state capital, during a summit organised by the Nigerian Young Professionals Forum.
“If Nigeria is boiling, it is because there has been a leadership failure for 100 years,” The governor said.
Dickson, represented by his Principal Secretary, Doye Diri, lampooned critics for blaming President Goodluck Jonathan for Nigeria’s woes.
He said the problems existed before the present administration, stressing that Jonathan had been tackling them through his Transformation Agenda.
He said it would be unfair for people to expect magic from the President adding that Jonathan if allowed to implement his agenda fully would make Nigeria a better country.
Describing his kinsman as a detribalised President, he urged the young professionals to support and pray for the success of Jonathan.
He referred to the ongoing National Conference as one of the ways the President intended to address many challenges facing the country.
Dickson said the conference was an indication that for 100 years the country had continued to look for its bearing noting that it was better to talk than engaging in violence.
He, however, disagreed with persons calling for the disintegration of the country, observing that after 100 years Nigerians should be discussing unity and love instead of secession.
He said the President believed that the ongoing conference was the best way to bring sanity to the country.
While advocating true federalism as the best means of living together, Dickson said the unity of the country could only be consolidated on justice and peace.
He said people should expunge the idea of born-to-rule from their minds adding that all Nigerians are born equal.
He commended NYPF led by its Chairman, Mr. Moses Sisia, for choosing Yenagoa as the venue of its summit.
The summit, which attracted over 700 young professionals from different walks of life, had a theme, ‘The role of young professionals in nation-building and the quest for purposeful leadership’.
It attracted four speakers and presentations by a 10-year-old saxophonist from Akwa-Ibom State, David Eka, as well as a young female singer from Bayelsa State, Naomi Mac.
While delivering his lecture on the theme, Prof. Chris Nwaokobia, asked the youths not to be on the sideline to criticise the government.
He said youths must play active roles in government to wrest power from the old generation politicians.
Another speaker, Nneoma Eka, appealed to young professionals in diaspora to return home to develop the country.
But she appealed to the government to provide enabling environment for business to succeed by giving incentives to investors.
Siasia, in his remarks, asked the youths to continue to provide their substances towards the socio-economic and political development of the country.