A leader who does not treat Nigerians equally cannot unite the country — Gen. Haruna

He said the clamor for power rotation is an evidence of division in the country.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

/ by National Pivot

An elder stateman, and former Minister of Information and Culture during the Murtala/Obasanjo regime between 1975 and 1977, General Ibrahim Bata Malgwi Haruna (IBM), has said the clamor for power rotation in the country, is a true reflection of a failed nation.

Malgwi said a President irrespective of where he comes from, is supposed to serve the interest of all Nigerians, not his region, religion or ethnicity. He said if the country has been led with this basic understanding in mind, it wouldn't matter where the President comes. 

Malgwi who is also a former Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum, made the statement in an interview with Saturday Sun. He also added the failure of leaders in the country to understand this basic leadership quality, is responsible for the country's stunted growth and struggling with poverty in the midst of wealth. 

Speaking on power rotation and where the next president should come from, he said, "In the context of our history, it is the objective of African countries including Nigeria, to become united and civilize, with the diverse tribes we have.

"Rotational presidency or power shift does not augur well for unity because to rotate means you have a measure of retaining the disunity that exists and on that basis freeze it so that you can rotate from one to other; so that also has very serious effect on the social integration economically because once you start rotating, you block or stagnate the process or dynamics of integration. 

"You further start discrimination between the people who normally seek for unity. So I personally think that from that context, if we are looking for unity in diversity by building politics in unity and facilitate development across people and retaining the diversity on cultural plain, that is where ethnic minority or majority could exercise their cultural freedom."

Responding to question on Nigerians not seeing any meaningful benefits from democracy, he said government whether military or democratic, is supposed to be about giving "the people the opportunity to express their wish." He however, noted that while the military also have laws in place, the people get more representation in a democratic setting where laws are established by "the three arms of government."

"However, our development has been stunted because of instability of policy pursuit and the incompetence of leaders and overriding interest of corruption; that is the impact of individual desire to enrich themselves, the greed, and the selfishness," he added. 

"We are still struggling with poverty in the midst of wealth because we have both human and material resources, which would have sustained even a welfare system but it has not been pursued by successive governments, that is why we go forward two steps and come back two steps. There is small measure in our development and growth but by and large, we are giants that remain pings," he said. 

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