By Ralph Chris-Izokpu
The Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja, (UniAbuja), Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, has said that the issue of leadership is one of the major problems in the country.
Prof. Na’Allah stated this in his welcome address at the maiden edition of University of Abuja students’ leadership training and lecture series, organised by the students’ affairs division of the University for Students’ leaders in all the universities in Nigeria.
The two-day leadership training and lecture series has its title as “the role of students’ leaders in expanding and deepening participatory democracy in Nigeria”.
The VC said, “I am one of those who always feel that, if we have good leaders, we are bound to have good followers. Because sometimes, followers look at the leaders, they want to see what the leaders do, so that they can respond.
“In other words, some people feel that it is followers that create leaders. And that if the followers are bad, the leaders are to be bad, but I do not agree with that and that is just me.”
Speaking further he said, “if you look at it very well, you will know that, there is something wrong with our nation fundamentally. The fore-fathers of Nigeria had a lot of hope and so excited about the promise of this nation.
“They fought for the nation, because they thought that this is a great nation indeed; a nation where things are beneficial and available to its people. A nation where leaders such as themselves were eager and ready to commit everything they got to ensure that this nation is made. And the reason they were fighting for independence was the excitement they had. And that at independence of Nigeria people were too excited because of the so much promise that the nation had.
“I don’t know where we got it wrong or were it because the military intervene or because our leaders have just decided to change totally in a different way or were it because the followers decided that they were no longer interested in the great nation. I have no idea and I continue to think how it did happened, that nations that were below us those days have overtaken us.
“And what we are saying here today, is that we must think through this. We have brains. What are those things responsible for where we are, what can we do now with this zeal, with the understanding of our problems, to provide the kind of leadership that we need to chart a new course for this great nation.
“If you cannot even provide a kind of leadership within campus that is desirous of a better campus, when you finished, I wonder what kind of leaders are you going to give to our nation.”
He therefore, charged the students to think of what they can do to make the University of Abuja great.