The executives at the monthly “Mbari Series”, organised by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA).
By Bridget Ikyado
A former Vice Chancellor of two universities, Prof. Nuhu Yaqub, says the choice of leaders Nigerians make in the forthcoming general elections will have a great impact on the future of the country.
Yaqub, a former Vice Chancellor of University of Abuja and Sokoto State University, made the observation in a presentation at the monthly “Mbari Series”, organised by the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA).
The event was held at the Writers Village at Mpape in Abuja, with the theme “The power of Choice”.
According to him, Nigerians need to get to the stage of using critical thinking to make sound electoral choices.
According to him, the choices Nigerians will make in the forthcoming elections will either exacerbate the current hardship or open new window of opportunities and development for the country.
Yaqub, therefore, said it was important for Nigerians to chose wisely, those who will run the affairs of the country in the next four years.
“The issue is not that the country has bad leaders, but that Nigerians have not gotten to the stage of using critical thinking to choose their leaders.
“Issues of voter apathy, vote buying and selling and other issues which Nigerians succumbed to, leaves us with wrong choices.
“This has caused a decay in the system and underdevelopment, and where these issues persist, we have an unstable economy, insecurity and untold hardship,” he added.
He, therefore, called on Nigerians to up their thought pattern, initiate their powers of choice and refuse to allow anyone to influence them.
“I spoke on the theme of the event and we looked at power in a conceptual and emperical level.
“As an individual, there are some processes that can’t be done alone except through team work, we also looked at power in a physical and spiritual aspect.
“For example if a leader exercise too much power to an extent, he becomes autocratic, while there are still powers through spiritual ways which may be negative or positive.”
Yaqub said whichever way Nigerians intended to use their powers and choices, they should consider its negative or positive impact on the society.
In her presentation, Amb. Lois Otse-Adams, National Treasurer, ANA, talked about parenting as the bedrock of the power of choice.
“Good parenting instills in young people the power to make positive choices that have good effect in the long run,” she added.
The President of ANA, Mr Camillus Ukah, said the Mbari series was a forum for ventilation of ideas and discussions for Nigerian intellectuals and writers.
“It is a place where people gather and exchange creative ideas.
“The Mbari series is a collection of different people from all walks of life and of knowledge, to come together and discuss and where ideas can be freely utilized,” Ukah said.
He also spoke on the impact of social media, saying it has helped to promote ideas, including writing.
The president said that the association had inaugurated a 12-member committee to galvanize people to patronise their activities.
“You can’t get knowledge until you are put face to face with knowledge. You can come here to learn.”
On the theme, Ukah said it was to make Nigerians understand the consequences of the choices they make during elections.
“Part of the problem we have is a dysfunctional educational system. Some people will pass through school without any appreciable knowledge or mental change.
“That is why someone can easily sell four years for N5, 000 during an election.
“We are conscious of the fact that we are focused on liberating the minds of Nigerians and the only thing that can do that is knowledge, which comes with interaction and experience,” he added. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Maharazu Ahmed