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    Categories: On the GoThe Nation

Jega: Nigeria doesn’t need a strong leader who has power but lacks competence

Attahiru Jega, former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), says strong leadership is not a prerequisite for competence.

He said the country does not need a leader who has power but lacks the capacity to lead.

Jega said this on Monday while speaking at 58th conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja.

The immediate past INEC chairman 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 professor said electoral integrity is key to stable political transition.

“From my experience, I am convinced that electoral integrity is key to stable political transition and to ensuring that there is a framework for good governance and societal development,” Jega said.

“Electoral integrity is not just about the integrity of the election management body. It is also the integrity with which the key stakeholders engage with the electoral process.

“We must emphasise professionalism, impartiality and non-partisanship. This is because quite too often, you have good and strong institutions, but once partisanship is introduced and partiality become the norm, as many public institutions in this country, then those institutions would not be able to deliver effectively on their mandates.”