By Michael Peter, The Sight News
ABUJA: The Executive Director, Africa Center for Leadership, Strategy and Development, Center LSD, Otive Igbuzor has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to focus his anti-corruption drive on systems rather than people.
Speaking in Abuja over the weekend at the annual lecture and Graduation Ceremony of the 9th Set of Center LSD Leadership School organized in Partnership with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung with the theme ‘Leadership and Anti-Corruption’, he noted that focusing on systems will make corruption difficult to take place in the country.
Otive further called on the President to look at mobilizing anti-corruption champions in the fight as the current lone pursuit of the agenda is apparently weakening the effect of the fight.
While noting that leadership is required for effective anti-corruption fight in Nigeria, he stated that it behooves on the leader who desires to deal with corruption to first set the tone at the top, to enable others follow his path.
According to him, to change bad leadership narrative in Africa, leaders must first be trained with the required set of skills and citizens also must be able to hold them to account.
In his words, “If you are a leader, there are certain set of skills you have. You have conceptual skills, to be able to know what the problems of society are and device appropriate solutions for them. If you are a leader you need to have technical skills, to enable to perform, you would also need to have social skills to know what to say at the appropriate time, you would know how to motivate people.
“For instance, the leadership of a country cannot provide jobs for everybody, but they can create an environment, the momentum for people to put in their best. That is why we set up the leadership school.
“But beyond that, we need to have citizens that need to know their rights and responsibilities. They must be active in holding their leaders to account and participate in the process so that the emergence of leaders is in such a way that good leaders emerge”.
Also speaking at the event, a member of the Presidential Committee on Anti-Corruption (PCAC), Prof. Etannibi Alemika in his lecture titled Leadership and Anti-Corruption, pointed out that corruption in Nigeria stemmed from widespread nepotism, yet nobody talks of it.
He said, “I think very often what dominates public discuss is bribery, embezzlement and kickbacks. But I think we leave out another form of corruption that is very dangerous and very destructive and that is nepotism.
“Nepotism is the allocation of resources, employment admissions, contracts, location of infrastructure services to associates, relatives, members of one community, religious and ethnic groups, clubs and so on as favor without following due process and without regards to merit and equity.
He held that nepotism most times exalts incompetence leading to weakened institutions.
“Why nepotism is an important discuss is that if you take money away, you have taken resources away but when you engage in nepotism, the first thing is that you weaken institutions. Because when you put an incompetent person in office the first thing he does is to destroy every competent person around him. Once he succeeds he moves to destroy the culture of the organization because he is unable to operate with those rules”.
He also noted that the distorted family values existing in the society today are also another factor responsible for the corruption in the country.