Nigeria needs competent, not strong leaders: Jega

The immediate past Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof Attahiru Jega, says Nigeria needs competent and assertive leaders and not necessarily strong leaders. According to Jega, an incompetent leader who is strong will end up destroying institutions. The former INEC boss said this at the 58th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Abuja on Monday.

He said, “What we require most are the competence and capacity of leaders to take decisions and be assertive in ensuring that those decisions are actually implemented. So, we have to be very careful in thinking that a strong leader can really help. Just like a weak leader can wreck an institution, a strong leader, who has just that power and courage, but lacks the capacity, ability and competence to lead, can also wreck strong institutions. Competence of leadership is a very important variable in bringing about the stable political transition, good governance and deepening of democracy.”

The former INEC boss, who superintended the 2011 and 2015 general elections, said politicians must stop treating elections as a do-or-die affair. He recalled that a former President once said elections must be do-or-die, an incident he described as most unfortunate.

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