A former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has attributed the lack of development in most African countries to poor leadership on the part of some Presidents on the continent.
“The major cause of our underdevelopment is leadership, leadership and leadership. Leadership is crucial to achieving our goals; if leadership is lacking, we will continue to wallow in hardships,” he emphasised.
Addressing a news conference in Tamale on Tuesday, the former Nigerian President said it was only dedicated and selfless leadership that could “lead Africa to the Promised Land”.
The media interaction was in connection with the maiden African Leadership lectures being organised by the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale as part of activities marking the 20th anniversary of the university.
The three-day public lecture is on the theme: “Leadership in Africa from pre-colonial to contemporary times”.
Chief Obasanjo further observed that a person was either born with leadership traits or he or she could acquire them in life and that in either case, such a person would need to have some other innate qualities to propel him to achieve the needed results.
On current disturbances in some parts of Nigeria and other African countries, he described the situation as a security threat to the stability of those countries.
“The reasons for such behaviour could be the lack of education, religious fanaticism or indoctrination, failure of governments or communities, revenge or the influence of drugs. It could also be a mixture of all or a number of them,” he observed.
He noted that the youth were mostly involved in such unfortunate tendencies, largely because of the unavailability of employment opportunities in their respective communities.
Touching on the UDS, the former Nigerian President commended the management and staff of the university for their steadfastness, in spite of the challenges confronting the institution.
“There is no university in Africa that does not have challenges, even including the old ones. What is important is making its courses and curriculum relevant to the development of the nation,” he stated.
Chief Obasanjo expressed appreciation to the government and people of Ghana for facilitating his visit to the country to honour the UDS invitation.
The Vice-Chancellor of the UDS, Professor Haruna Yakubu, described Chief Obasanjo as one of the successful leaders in Africa who had made a mark on the continent.
Consequently, the authorities of the university would, on Thursday, April 25, award the former President an honorary doctorate degree (PhD) at a special congregation.
The Northern Regional Minister, Mr Bede Ziedeng, emphasised the importance of and the need to acquire quality education and called on the people in the north to take advantage of the existence of the university in the area to improve themselves and the nation.
Story: Zakaria Alhassan