Dr Christopher Kolade, renowned industrialist, elder statesman and former Nigerian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom has described President Goodluck Jonathan as a man who lacks leadership skills to lead the country forward.
He made this assertion on December 4, while speaking at the 6th Christopher Kolade Symposium organised by the Nigerian Leadership Initiative in Lagos.
Speaking on the theme: “Centenary Leadership: Nigeria at 100 and the next 100”, Kolade said the jingles on Nigerian television stations likening President Jonathan to great world leaders like Lee Kuan Yhew, late Nelson Mandela and late Dr Martin Luther King Jr, was out of place, considering the attitude of the President to daily loss of innocent lives in the country.
He said, “Parts of leadership qualities you need to imbibe include ability to take responsibility. Apart from being responsible, you must also be able to sacrifice for others and you must be able to add value.
“In leadership, you cannot make value-added contribution until you are able to identify what is it you don’t like about this country; what is it that you can accept and what is it you cannot accept. The essence is in you. The capacity to identify what is right or wrong is not what you can borrow or buy. It is in you.
“Some nights ago, I was watching television and some people were telling us that we have never had it so good. I am in my 80s and I can tell you that Nigeria has had it much better than now.
“They even said it was not easy for Lee Kuan Yew, it was not easy for Nelson Mandela and it was not easy for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Mr President, keep doing it. Keep doing the good works because we who are with you are much more than those who are against you.
“Tell me something, is that part of Nollywood? Is that part of an entertainment? Let me cite one example. They always say I am father to all and I accept. If somebody makes me leader of a group and there is something in that group, l should be able to stand by the group.
“Let me tell you, if 59 boys are killed in Yobe State and you as a leader, the next day went to Kano State and danced in a political rally, then I say, that is not leadership. It can’t be.
“This is not about not being an Ijaw or non-Ijaw. It is not about being a South-South or not South-South. It is about leadership. It is about the fact that those who were killed were human beings.
“If some suicide bombers bombed a place and you as a leader has political rally the next day, the least you can do is to postpone the programme. Even if they are not your children, all you need to do is to sympathise.
“If it comes to a point that we don’t care about who is leading the country, then we have lost it. We know we are in deficit. What we have today are leaders who are in pursuit of personal gains and not about the future.”
It would be recalled that Kolade was appointed the Chairman of the Subsidy Re-investment and Empowerment Programme by President Goodluck Jonathan in January 2012.
Kolade resigned in September 2013.
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