Nigeria @ 54: Politicians Getting Richer, A Bad Omen-Atiku
Former Vice President has observed that after 54 years of independence,
the ordinary Nigerians are still lamenting what independence meant to
their lives because of the widening gap between the leaders and the
In a statement issued in Abuja by his media office, the former Vice
President noted that many Nigerians were concerned about how democratic
governance has changed the quality of their lives for the better.
He regretted that the rate at which poverty is ravaging Nigeria is
inconsistent with the vast resources available to Nigeria.
According to him, the country's wealth does not automatically lead to
better life if good governance is lacking.
Atiku said the rate at which unemployment is accelerating among Nigeria's
youth, creates youth restiveness, which itself lead to other social crises
such as armed robbery and other violent crimes.
At 54, he said, Nigeria should have counted among countries that have
lifted its citizens out of poverty.
The former Vice President also noted that a situation where the leaders
are getting richer at the expense of the people while the ordinary
citizens are becoming poorer is a bad omen for the country.
He recalled that even before the current grim security challenges,
poverty, disease, hunger and unemployment were dominant features of the
country's challenges of development.
As the sixth largest oil producer in the world, Atiku insisted that
Nigeria has no excuse for failing to lift its people out of poverty.
He argued that there is a correlation between the quality of the country's
leadership and the quality of good governance. According to him, “we
should not expect individual leaders to rise above their own level of
competence. Those seeking elective offices must be adequately prepared for
leadership; they must be people with vision and commitment.”
Atiku Abubakar warned that unfulfilled promises leads to disillusionment,
thereby creating disconnect between the leaders and the led.
On the country's unity, Atiku blamed politicians for playing up the ethnic
and religious differences for personal advantages. This attitude, he said,
puts the unity of the country under a severe strain.
The former Vice President, however, noted that Nigerians should not lose
hope in the country, stressing that the country could get out of the woods
if leaders are elected on the basis of their competences rather than
He said the consequences of misgovernance and poor leadership have no
ethnic and religious borders.
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