The Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Peter Obi, has blamed leadership failure as the biggest problem holding Nigeria down.
Obi, who spoke with journalists at the weekend in Lagos, said Nigeria was in a total mess because of the cumulative effect of leadership failures.
He said: “What we have today in Nigeria is the cumulative effect of leadership failures.
“A leader must know his/her destination.
“Painfully, we have plenty bad role models masquerading as leaders.
“Nigeria is in total mess because of too much borrowing caused by leadership failures.
“Our situation will get worse if we do not solve these problems urgently.
“There is serious crisis in Nigeria because politics is now business and transactions.
“In fact, we have reduced our lives to transactions in Nigeria.”
The former Anambra State Governor further warned that Nigeria is collapsing and called on well-meaning Nigerians to help rescue the nation.
Obi said: “Tell me: what is working in Nigeria today?
“A country where states owe billions and the Federal Government has borrowed over N11 trillion since coming into office and there is nothing to show for all the borrowed funds.
“Are you not worried that over 21 million of our youths are not employed?
“Nigeria is gradually collapsing and unemployment is part of the disease killing Nigeria.
“All hands must be on deck to help save our nation from these leadership failures.”
Obi, who decried the high cost of governance in Nigeria, maintained that competent and qualified leaders are what the country need to wriggle out of its current crisis, adding that Nigeria, with committed leadership, can save over $5 billion from subsidy annually.
He advised Nigerian leaders to go back to the era of savings and prudent management of national wealth.
He said: “During my tenure as Anambra governor, we saved a lot, especially from security votes.
“And that was how we were able to build one of the best states in Nigeria in terms of education, infrastructure and general well being of the people.
“But these days, even with huge federal allocations, most governors still owe workers.
“These are signs of leadership failures.”
Obi, whose party is currently at the tribunal challenging the outcome of the presidential election, warned the Federal Government to desist from criminalising leading opposition figures, all in the name of fighting corruption.
He said: “You can only fight corruption genuinely by doing the right things as a leader.
“Again, you cannot be criminalising all your citizens and still expect foreign investors to come in and invest in your economy.”
The internationally revered businessman, who spoke passionately about his love for Nigeria, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to follow the examples of newly sworn-in presidents of India and South Africa who had already formed their cabinets within one week of inauguration, while Nigeria’s is still hanging.
He said: “These are serious leaders who are ready to move their countries forward.
“Imagine forming their cabinets within one week of being sworn-in.
“Can you compare them with what is happening here in our country?
“I have always said it that for our country to move forward, it must change its current compass.”