The Governor-elect of Anambra State, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo, has called for a new liberation movement in Africa and Nigeria that would promote selfless service by political leaders.
Soludo was speaking yesterday at the School of Politics, Politics and Governance (SPPG) Pioneer Class of 2021 graduation ceremony in Abuja on the theme: “Emergence of the Unconventional”.
He said the liberation struggle for independent Africa was guided by a nationalist ideology rooted in a developmental state.
According to him: “There is almost a sense of nostalgia, recalling the mission and achievements of our founding fathers, especially as we contemplate the world without oil.
“Much of the existing social order is based on competition and the distribution of rents, oil and the easy money that comes with it, has destroyed the social fabric and the elite have created new institutions and structures policies to maximize its gains.
“As the noose tightened globally on other rentier/criminal businesses such as drug trafficking or internet scamming, many barons rushed into politics as the next easy alternative. “Politics has become big business. Appointment or election to public office is widely seen as an opportunity to ‘eat’ rather than a call to selfless service,” he said.
Soludo added that a classic feature of the political environment is that corruption has become part of the “culture”, with little incentive for honesty. He said honesty has been scorned as meanness, madness or mere pretense, saying those who dare to be different have a high price to pay.
He therefore instructed the graduates, as they embark on, to be prepared to use honesty and knowledge to have a new Nigeria, to create the change that would lead to having a new Nigeria. “Fixing politics requires talent and skill.
But that will not be enough. It will not be done by lone wolves working in silos.
“This requires new development organizations – organizations/teams of believers, driven by a defined ideology, purpose and character. qualified and well-travelled to lead its development.
“A key missing link is goal-oriented cohesion and organization for the transformation of the homeland,” he added. In her remarks, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Founder of SPPG, lamented the way politics in Africa is handled, saying it has distorted society.
Ezekwesili charged graduates with adopting leadership skills that would transform society. Leaders take pains so that others can benefit. “Society needs to be challenged and you should pioneer the space for that leadership,” she said.
She said the school would be replicated in six other African countries to free Africa from extractive colonialism.