The Director-General of Northern Elders Forum, NEF, Professor Yima Sen in an interview with Vanguard stated his confidence in a better Nigeria describing the nation as “traumatized but not a failed state”.
Professor Sen made the declaration while reacting to a question “Do you think Nigeria is a failed state?” asked by Vanguard correspondent, Levinus Nwabughiogu.
“Nigeria is a traumatized state but not a failed state at all. What has happened really is that Nigeria has not lived up its potential.”
He also stated that the potential of the nation to become a great one is enormous. He also compared its achievement to that of Rwanda in the last 15 years.
“The potential of Nigeria to be a great nation is enormous for it to perform the way it is now and, this year, Nigeria will be 60 years as an independent country.
“You want to compare Nigeria with Rwanda and what Rwanda has done in the last 15 years, then you can say Nigeria has underperformed, it hasn’t failed. Maybe if you have a better quality of leadership, you would do better.”
Sen also condemned the leadership class of the nation saying it is incomparable to that of Rwanda, Morocco, Algeria and other African countries.
“There are potentials for leadership in Nigeria. The problem, really, is that there is a class that has come to dominate power and politics in Nigeria by taking over the economy and governance and creating hegemony and this hegemonic bloc has not been able to provide the kind of leadership that you have seen produced in Kaigame’s Rwanda or in Morocco or maybe in Algeria or in Ghana or maybe in Botswana and in few other places in Africa.
“You need a counter-hegemonic power arrangement where you have progressive, enlightened, proactive and patriotic leadership. That has not happened in Nigeria yet.
“I am giving you a combination of factors. Some people may be patriotic but they may not have the capacity in Nigeria.
“Some people may be committed to leading Nigeria but they may not have the ability to do so but they will not believe you and then you have to deal with this question of power blocs, people that are called cabals. It is not only during this present period that you have them.
“They always come and hijack power for selfish and personal interests. Political scientists call that kind of politics prebendal politics and it has to do with politics and until we get rid of prebendal politics, we will not take Nigeria anywhere.
“I think what Kaigame has done in Rwanda is that, yes, you will not give him an A in human rights or give him an A in probity but you certainly will give him an A in development.
“So you have to give something to the people because we know that, as humans, you must be deficient in one thing or the other but what you give to the people must be in excess of what you take from the people.”
Vanguard News Nigeria.
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