A former President of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings, has said he is disturbed by the corruption ratings of Nigeria and Ghana by Transparency International.
Rawlings expressed his worry at the University of Ibadan Alumni Association, Ekiti State branch 12th annual lecture.
In a statement issued by the association, he was quoted to have said that the development showed that African countries had failed in the fight against corruption.
He said, “Some leaders have the will but not the character to fight corruption. The fight against corruption in Nigeria calls for integrity and wise approach so that it will not conflict with the lives of the people.
“When Nigeria fights corruption rightly, it will not only do well for Nigeria but Africa and the world generally.
“Nigeria commands a huge percentage of the African population and has the pride and integrity. Most African countries cannot meddle with the people.”
Rawlings also urged Nigerians to shun ethnic war and embrace peaceful co-existence. He said ethnicity and tribal warfare appeared to have reached a dangerous level in the country and must be stopped.
He said Nigerians must also strive to get leaders with integrity to bring about the much-needed peace and prosperity for the country.
“Nigeria can sustain good leadership if they continue to use their tongues and votes rightly. Africans are challenged with leadership who lacks character.
“By character, I mean distinctive qualities that overcome the challenges we have as constituencies and organisations. Let’s learn to be gracious. I am sad over the mean behaviour of my fellow black man.”
A Consultant in Aviation and Internal Medicine, Dr. Makanjuola Owolabi, was also quoted to have said that Nigeria had been bedevilled by bad leadership.
Speaking on ‘Leadership with Character,’ Owolabi called for active participation in politics especially at the grassroots by Nigerian graduates.
He said, “We must also change our attitude to politics and governance of winner takes it all, of revenge, vendetta, vengeance, exclusion, extreme partisanship, wickedness and sadism which have been excluding close to 80 per cent of Nigerians in government activities and expenditure at all levels.”