Daily Trust founder, CDD fellow calls for systemic criteria for leadership selection in Nigeria

By Philip Shimnom Clement

A senior fellow at the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Jibrin Ibrahim has said Nigerians needs systemic criteria to select their leaders.

He spoke at the 16th Daily Trust dialogue in Abuja on Thursday.

He said, “When you take our colonizers, United Kingdom for example, they have one general criteria and one value criteria for leadership, the general criteria is meritocracy and that entails being a graduate of two schools, and the value criteria is to exclude the children of the poor. This is because, they are capitalistic they have value and merit criteria,” he said.

“It is exactly the same situation in France and the United States. These are terrible criteria because wealth reproduces itself,” he added.

Ibrahim however said in Nigeria the case is different as no qualification gives you an edge to lead, as well as no principles of merit that gives edge to political offices.

According to Ibrahim, the criteria in Nigeria is that you must have a god-father which is usually a state governor and that is very infortunate.

He said, “Since 2003, about 80% of national assembly members didn’t return as they were eliminated by their state governors which means there is no political base among politicians.

“In Nigeria today, society doesn’t give leadership, people keep power for as long as they can. The Attorney General of the Federation is the youngest member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet at the age of 50 which clearly means that the society doesn’t believe in youthful leadership,” he lamented.

Earlier in his remarks, the chairman of Media Trust Ltd, Kabiru Yusuf identified management of youths as the most difficult task currently in Nigeria, adding that, poverty had pose a major threats to democracy ahead of the 2019 elections.

“Out of the over 84 million eligible voters for the 2019 elections, about 43 million fall under the youthful category. As such it is safe to assume that the larger proportion of voting  population are the most unemployed which is why we must devise ways of giving them jobs and hope,” he insisted.