A former Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Dr. Christopher Kolade, on Thursday condemned President Goodluck Jonathan for not showing the right leadership in the manner he had been handling his responsibilities as the nation’s leader.
Kolade spoke at the sixth Christopher Kolade Symposium organised by the Nigeria Leadership Initiative, an organisation he was a pioneer patron.
He made specific reference to Jonathan’s decision to honour a political rally in Kano shortly after a bombing that killed several people early in the year, saying the best he could have done was “to postpone the political event”.
For choosing to continue with the programme, he said, the President did not demonstrate that he was sensitive to the pains of the people.
While chiding the campaigns of pro-Jonathan non-governmental organisations, the respected statesman said: “Nigeria was, at every other time, better than now.”
He said those who claim the country “had never been this good” were lying and that at over 80 years, he could tell that the country had a robust history.
He lamented the drift in leadership quality, a situation he said should worry Nigerians.
He said: “If we get to a point when we do not care how the country is led, we have lost hope. The country is where it is today because some people sacrificed. Unfortunately, beyond stealing, our leaders are not ready to sacrifice anything.”
Kolade said he took up a responsibility to lead the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme to demonstrate his love for the country.
Rejecting the appointment, he said, would have amounted to wishing the initiative failure.
He said he rejected allowance offer because he was financially stable.
The second reason, according to him, was to enable him to quit when he noticed it was not going to succeed without the hassle of “waiting till end of the month to collect allowance”.
The former envoy said no Nigerian was happy with the leadership style and the manner the public institutions were operated.
He, however, said many had not made up their minds on what they would accept, tolerate or resist.
The Chief Executive Officer of the initiative, Yinka Oyinlola, charged Nigerians to roll out a template of engagement and action rather than complaining.
Oyinlola said character deficit was the biggest challenge the country should address to position itself for greatness.
Oyinlola lamented the impunity in the Nigeria political system.
He said it was a dangerous trend when the executive sought to supplant the legislature and the judiciary.