Kayode Fayemi, governor of Ekiti state, says leaders need to move beyond scoring points against opponents to ensuring quality representation for the people.
Fayemi said this on Thursday at the unveiling of his book titled, ‘Unfinished Greatness: Envisioning a New Nigeria’ in Abuja.
The governor also said he has devoted a good part of his life and career to the belief that Nigeria is better off together than divided.
“Over the last few years, as our beloved country has been buffeted on all sides by a myriad of problems, I have, like many of you here present and online, experienced discomfort at the ease with which cheap and populist options which, yesterday, may have been laughed off as fringe ideas have gained in influence as to become mainstream,” he said.
“In the meantime, those who have held onto the goal of Nigerian oneness and unity have found themselves pushed to the margins and placed on the defensive.
“Matters have not been helped by the inflammatory partisanship which many in leadership positions have adopted in part to score points against opponents but also in order to be recognised by their communities as truly representing their concerns.
“Too many seem to have forgotten that leaders should lead and not simply reproduce the base sentiments and narrow perspectives they encounter on the hustings.
“Leading means understanding the local concerns that are exercising the minds of our constituents, placing these in a wider context which as leaders we are uniquely positioned to see, and formulate approaches that provide a meaningful and responsible way forward.”
Fayemi said the country is faced with a combination of complex and uncommon challenges which must be confronted “openly, head-on, and purposefully rather than being denied and swept under the carpet”.
“In courageously admitting to and seeking ways to redress the challenges however, it is important to remember that we come from somewhere, and in the journey we embarked upon as a country, we have scored some wins, and a web of interdependencies bind us ever closely together,” he said.
Also present at the book launch were Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos; Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano; Dapo Abiodun, Ogun governor; and Ibrahim Gambari, chief of staff to the president who represented President Muhammadu Buhari.
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