Uzuegbuna Okagbue, the Chief of Protocol and Deputy Chief of Staff to former Governor of Anambra State, Chief Willie Obiano, has said that the leadership problem is a serious roadblock to Nigeria’s aspiration to development and progress.
However, he decried the level of citizenship awareness and correspondent responsibility as a ‘crisis’, noting that for any society to move towards its aspirations of progress, its citizens must be aware of their critical role in achieving that collective desire.
This, he regretted, is largely lacking in Nigeria. “Political leadership has been a major challenge in Nigeria for decades. But the citizenship challenge is a crisis in this country. What I am saying in essence is that citizens have some level of sense of ownership which makes them become patriotic. There is hardly any sense of ownership in an average Nigerian citizen. People look at the society and act as they wish towards it. No one cares.
This is even more troubling than bad leadership. The question now is, how do we get rid of bad leaders? If we have a sizable number of good citizens in this country who are lawful, who are honest, who are interested in the wellbeing of the country and its people, believe me, no visionless leader can survive for a day in this country,” Okagbue said.
Uzuegbuna Okagbue whose 45th birthday coincided with this year’s Nigeria’s 62nd independence is the last son of a popular and wealthy businessman in the Southeast, Chief Chike Okagbue of Bessoy fame. Before joining the government of Anambra State, he had about ten years banking experience as an executive staff of a new generation bank before he served in the previous Anambra State Government, for eight years. Drawing inspiration from his personal life story, Uzuegbuna Okagbue said Nigeria is comparable to that rich kid who thinks that he or she is his or her father or mother, whose hard work and ingenuity produced the wealth they feel entitled to.
“Nigeria is privileged to be so blessed. But that is just something that is there, just a potential at best. It is like a rich kid who thinks that his life has been sorted by his parent’s hard work. In reality, it is not so. Nigeria must work hard to create a beautiful future for her people; it is not enough to have potential. It is the same way being a rich kid is not a guarantee to anything, if one has not made up his or her mind about the person he or she really wants to be, so that he or she can add his or her own value.
“Nigeria must now move away from that feeling of greatness, to actually build a good and decent country for her citizens,” Uzuegbuna Okagbue said.
Written by Ebuka Onyekwelu