Speaker House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara has described the form of leadership practised in Nigeria as that which produces sycophants who are expected to serve their political godfathers and not the people.
Dogara, while speaking at the Convergence, a conference organised for young parliamentarians, today, said youths have the ability to lead but must work on their character.
He charged young lawmakers to shun the arrogance of power and be prepared to stand for the truth against all odds, as well as stand up against the bondage of godfatherism.
“The youths should be reminded that true greatness only comes while serving others and not when serving themselves or godfathers,” Dogara said.
“You are all witnesses to the serial nepotistic abuses across boards – federal, state and local – of those who wield power. Will that be your legacy? Will you stand differently? “
“While godfathers always pretend to be something other than who they really are, leaders do not. Imagine where we will be as a nation if all these godfathers that litter the political landscape become what or who they pretend to be.”
“Our so-called leaders have mastered the art of political witchcraft so much so that if you are independent minded, you are automatically disqualified and if for any reason you are picked, then you have to surrender your soul for them to eat in small bites until you become their worshipper.
“In the midst of this pandemic sycophancy, our so-called godfathers expect us to fit in and not to stand up to be counted or make a difference. We need leaders who will lead us to build a nation and serve others not godfathers who demand that we worship and serve them rather than serve the people”.
“Fresh legislators need to demonstrate acute perspicuity that you will define the kind of leadership that will be answerable to you, the representatives of the people and the people they represent, and not to some godfathers who live only for themselves.”
He alluded to the case of his home state where the incumbent governor was “humbled” by the same people who he had arrogantly declared as “irrelevant”.
“Similarly, Kaduna state Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, says it is easy to end godfatherism in Lagos state.