FORMER Senate President, Ken Nnamani has blamed Nigeria’s poor developmental record on national unity and poor leadership.

Speaking at the occasion of the 13th convocation lecture of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, under the theme ‘National Integration, Peace and Development’ yesterday in the university’s auditorium, Nnamani called for transformed leaders who will engineer structural transformation of the country’s economic and social institutions.

He expressed need for city-builders, who could turn a desert into an advanced economy. According to him, Nigeria needs leaders like the founding fathers and fore bearers of the United States of America, who turned a rustic countryside into the greatest economy in human history through breathtaking technological and engineering feats.

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“The leadership crisis in Nigeria is compounding the institutional crisis in the country. It is true that institutions are very critical for development but strong leadership builds these durable institutions. `We must find a way to generate great leaders who can engineer structural reform of the country. The problem is that our political culture and our electoral system often fail to produce such leaders.

“We have leaders’ recruitment problem. Our most important challenge is to create a process that recruits transformative and problem-solving leaders imbued with patriotic zeal. Such leaders will create those institutions of efficient production and fair distribution. They will inspire faith in the Nigerian project by telling stories of national unity and integration,” said Sen. Nnamani.

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Dr. Nnamani submitted that the politics of our founding fathers was not suitable for the challenges of post-colonialism. “Instead of abandoning the ‘divide-and-rule strategies of colonial administration, they amplified it and created a sense in which we did not see ourselves as first and foremost Nigerians.

They exaggerated and exploited the cultural and religious differences of the Nigerian people instead of weaving the tapestry of national unity from these splendorous diversities,” the former senator noted.

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