Professor Remi Sonaiya, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the KOWA Party, has stated that good leaders who are able to inspire the people to greatness have always eluded the office of the president.
She stated this in Lagos during an interview with the Ripples Nigeria team which is part of a series of engagement with presidential aspirants ahead of the 2019 elections.
She said, “Good people have been kept away from that office (Presidency) and I don’t know why. For several decades, certainly since the military came in, and I will say, basically, almost desecrated that office.
“We have found it difficult to have leaders that inspire, I believe that leaders should be able to inspire people”, she said.
Sonaiya, who was the only female presidential contestant in the 2015 presidential poll, contended that although she did not emerge winner in that exercise, she considers it one of her greatest achievements in life.
Since that endeavour, the Professor of Linguistics says more women and younger Nigerians have been emboldened to go into politics to contest elective positions, and have been in touch with her, to contribute to efforts aimed at changing the existing scheme of things in the country.
She also lamented that most people in positions of authority in the country are there for personal reasons, and have not been able to convince the people that they have their interests at heart.
Nigeria, she said, “needs competent leaders”, adding, “with all the resources available to this country for years, what have we been able to achieve? Garbage on the streets, poor state of the roads? The resources of this country should be spent for the benefits of every citizen.”
The presidential hopeful further urged the country’s leadership, especially the president to fix the different sectors, instead of jetting out of the country to enjoy such facilities in other parts of the world.
On the menace of Boko Haram in the country, Prof. Sonaiya noted that there has to be a greater effort at intelligence gathering, in order to defeat the sect and bring the menace to an end.
This is even as she noted that the terror group was buoyed by the level of poverty and illiteracy in that part of the country. She added, that the leaders have intentionally kept the people poor and uneducated, just to keep them oppressed.
On the level of corruption in the country, and how it can be tackled, Sonaiya noted, that “the challenge with Nigeria is one of character, ethics and morality. Nigerian politics excludes morality.
‘We are not even careful with the kind of people managing our affairs”.
She noted that the present administration cannot boast of effectively fighting corruption because a number of people in the administration have allegations hanging on their necks.
“The man there says he’s fighting corruption, but I’m not convinced he’s doing that. You’re not fighting corruption if you shield those around you seen to be corrupt.
“If he does it right he won’t have to say it, Nigerians will see it”, she argued.