No fewer than one thousand registered Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and Pro-Democracy Societies, drawn from various States across Nigeria, converged on Abuja, the nation’s capital, on Thursday, to discus the needed leadership model for the country.
Coming under the aegis of Civil Society Think Tank, the CSOs made up of professionals, youths and women, said they were in Abuja for ‘a one-day intellectual discourse on the future of Nigeria’, with the theme, “A glance into Nigeria’s Future and Governor Yahaya Bello’s developmental politics: 2023 in perspective”.
One of the guest speakers and former Director-General of National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Jos, Prof. Ahmed Danfulani, said time had come for a true leadership in Nigeria, that would be all inclusive, regardless of region, religion and status.
“Governor Yahaya Bello’s example in leadership is noteworthy. I see a lot that distinguishes him as a leader of repute in many areas. His approach to religion and ethnicity in a state as ethnically and religiously sensitive is one. The emphasis on gender sensitivity is also worthy of mention. His approach to addressing the security challenges in the state is also top-notch.
“Governor Yahaya Bello has set examples that should be amplified and used as a yardstick in assessing candidates that have signified interest in leading this country. This is what I urge all of us to be strategic about.
“At the back of our minds, let us have that we must be clear about the qualities the next President of Nigeria should possess. This is on the heels that stepping into the shoes of President Muhammadu Buhari is a tedious task.
“The emphasis should not be about zoning, ethnicity or religion. It must also not be about who has an enormous war chest. It should be about competence and strategy for addressing the challenges in the country.
“From 2023, we hold the ace to ensure that we must get it right, and the emphasis should be about developmental politics, as encapsulated in the theme of this meeting. The reference to Governor Yahaya Bello is fitting and germane. I believe that Nigeria has come of age, and zoning or ethnicity should no longer dictate how we are governed”, Prof. Danfulani said.
On his part, Dr. Omale Ben Amedu said, “almost every sphere of societal grouping has at different times picked out the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello for one reason or another, as a doyen of exemplary leadership. It has been the women group one day, one geo-political forum on another day, People Living With Disabilities on yet another day, the body of Entertainers on their own, the Sports Legends, Clerics across the religions, Elder Statesmen, the Youth Constituency, Traditional Rulers, Professionals, Students, the Media and even many other fora least known and least expected. One must have lost count by now, the acceptability recounts of those who have come up and out openly to choose Governor Yahaya Bello on one point or the other, as to why he is a preferred leadership personality – yet still counting. There must be something unique therefore, of this Yahaya Father Bello”.
In the fight against insecurity, Dr. Amedu posited that, “insecurity has become the constance of the people’s everyday living. Killings, maiming, banditry, robbery, kidnapping, abduction, rituals, cultism, and other vices have kept everyone on their toes, sitting at the edges and keeping at least one eye open all through are now living in us and with us. In a spate of insecurity, every other endeavour is shredded. Despite these threats and the attendant fears, Kogi State has remained calm and normal. So, what is it that Governor Yahaya Bello has in his kitty”?
Dr. Uzah Thomas, the Dean of Student Affairs, Kwararafa University, Wukari, in his presentation, stressed that the nation needed to learn from the politics of all inclusiveness and progressive development, which the Kogi Governor was known for.
“Upon assuming office by Governor Yahaya Bello in 2015, he was confronted by a myriad of challenges that seemed insurmountable with an increasing rate of despondency amongst the state’s indigenes.
“According to available records, it was discovered that the Yahaya Bello administration was confronted by a hydra-headed monster that held down the state. All sectors of the state’s economy were in an absolute state of despair. Therefore it became a herculean task for the new administration to meet its social obligations to the state’s indigenes due to past maladministration in the state”, Dr. Uzah added.