Ahead of the general elections, the Serving Overseer, Citadel Global Community Church (CGCC) and Convener, Save Nigeria Group (SNG), Dr. Tunde Bakare, has said Nigeria needs new breed of leaders that can reconcile past grievances, end marginalisation, and give every constituent part of the nation a prominent seat of power.
In his yearly State of the Nation address delivered, yesterday, at Oregun, Ojota, Lagos, the erstwhile running mate to President Muhammadu Buhari on the platform of defunct Congress for Progressives Change (CPC) 2011, also called on Nigerians to reject transactional politics.
He said politics of merchandise is practiced by politicians who buy delegates and candidates during primaries, purchase endorsement from power blocs and influencers during campaigns, and buy voters during elections.
He said Nigerian history has been characterised by contention between polarising forces: between the North and the South; between the Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa/Fulani, and the over 250 additional ethnic groups; between Christians and Muslims; between the old and the young; between the military on the one hand, and statesmen and politicians on the other.
According to him, “this is the moment for a new breed of leaders to emerge; a new breed of leaders that can situate themselves between polarising forces and bring every constituency together on the table of brotherhood; a new breed of leaders that can reconcile past grievances, end marginalisation, and give every constituent part of our nation a prominent seat at the table.
“A new breed of leaders that can shift our national focus from the divisiveness of bad politics to those common grounds where politics cannot divide us – the common grounds of our shared aspiration for peace, progress, prosperity and possibilities; the common grounds of our shared need for security, nutrition, education, healthcare, jobs, success in business, access to electricity, good roads, and other functional infrastructure; the common grounds of our shared desire for national glory and achievement across endeavours, and to be recognised and celebrated as citizens of a great nation among the nations of the world.”
Bakare said it is time to make that shift from politics for politics’ sake to politics for the sake of governance. He said Nigerians should shift from viewing politics merely as a vehicle for grabbing and retaining power, to politics as a vehicle heading towards good governance.
According to him, “when we make good governance the central focus of our politics; when we jettison bad politics in its various forms and embrace the kind of politics that outputs good governance, then, and only then, will we welcome the New Nigeria: a nation that can become the peace, progress, prosperity and possibilities capital of the world.”
He added: “Let us, therefore, resolve to make governance the driving force of our politics as we approach the polls in 2023, knowing that whoever wins in the end, the verdict will be: Nigeria wins.”