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Prof Jibrin: Without Accountability, Leaders Can Get Away With Murder

The Chancellor of the Federal University of Lafia, Professor Munzali Jibril, on Friday called on Nigerians to do more to hold political office holders accountable for their actions.

He believes the failure to take such an important action will leave leaders in the country in a position where they can do whatever they like.

“Look beyond the Presidency; look at states, for example, look at local governments,” said Professor Jibril who was a guest on Channels Television’s special Independence Anniversary programme tagged ‘Nigeria@61: Thoughts On Leadership’.

“We have governors pocketing the state houses of assembly; there is no accountability,” he said, adding that as long as that is the case, leaders can, in essence, get away with murder.

Professor Jibril, who is also a former Executive Secretary of the National University Commission (NUC), lamented that at all levels, leaders have continued to take the military mentality and wield powers in undemocratic manners.

Commenting further on how Nigeria got to its current state, he said, “We have had varied leadership styles within these 61 years, most of them not good enough for the country.”

He, however, believes that Nigeria had some leaders who were on the right track at intervals.

“I think we’ve had very good leaders at some stages, but sometimes they did not last long enough,” the emeritus professor of English asserted.

“I believe (late) General Murtala Muhammed who was a military leader had some of the qualities expected.

Beyond Nigeria’s leaders, the professor believes that the people have major roles to play.

“The leadership deficiency is also complemented by followership deficiency. We have been too subservient, too unwilling to hold them (leaders) to account and too sycophantic,” he said.

According to him, it is only when the citizens demand accountability from their leaders that the situation will change.

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