Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, said the military handed over leadership of the country in 1999, to incompetent civilians.
He attributed the failures recorded in governance within the period, to that decision, 22 years ago.
The helmsman of the “Power State”, gave his opinion on Thursday in Abuja, at a Youth Summit, organised by Shina Peller, a member of the House of Representatives and Chairman Board of Trustees of Lead Generation Initiative, LGI, a non-governmental organisation on whose platform, the event held.
Also in audience at the LGI occasion, were former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Barr. Yakubu Dogara, who delivered a keynote address, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare, Mrs Ayobola Peller, Executive Director of LGI and other members of the National Assembly.
The governor in his speech at the occasion, recalled how the military ceded power to individuals, who he claimed, were not prepared or competent for the administration of the country.
His words: “Maybe the best way for us to understand challenges affecting leadership in Nigeria, is to let me share my experience with you, as Governor. I was sworn in at the age of 48. Within one month, I knew I was lost about who a governor is.
“The mistake in my own opinion, started in 1999 when the military decided to bow out and allow civilians to take over; a lot of competent people, did not believe in the process, so they stood back, and watched. Before we realized it, the system was manipulated by incompetent people. For them(who took power from the military), occupying political offices, was business and they accumulated a lot of wealth”.
The Governor also advised educated Youth in the country, not to be ashamed of aspiring for leadership at the grassroots, as he argued that the “The position of a councillor or ward leader, is fundamental and also very important for the development of the country”.
In his keynote address, entitled “The Future of Leadership”, Dogara charged the LGI to train leaders that would understand the times in which they lead and exude the competence required to tackle modern challenges.
He opined that a leader could not rise above his capacity. The ex-Speaker also advised leaders in the education sector, to “remodel our system of education, to prioritize innovation to serve as agents of leadership “.
Earlier, Mr Peller, the founder of the LGI, said one of the objectives of the organization, is to “train our state government and local government representatives, and they, in turn, train the ward representatives and other members in their communities on civic responsibility, political participation and nation-building”.