A former National Assembly member, Usman Bugaje the Nigerian leadership lacks the experience, knowledge, and character needed to lead and rescue the country from the present challenges.

Bugaje stated this while speaking at the Maitama Sule Leadership Lecture series organised by the student wing Coalition of Northern Groups in Minna, the Niger State capital.

The former lawmaker noted that restructuring being clamored for is not the solution to Nigeria’s problem but competent leadership would address the many challenges facing the country.

While noting that 20 years into democracy, the trust between the government and the citizens has died, he said the level of corruption and poverty keeps increasing.

“Twenty years into democracy, the scale of corruption and poverty is flabbergasting. We ask ourselves, why is democracy not working, why is it not delivering what we want? Something needs to be done urgently and that is not about restructuring but a change in leadership.”

Bugaje, who is a former gubernatorial aspirant of Katsina State, therefore, urged the youths not to vote and support any politician blindly in the coming elections, stressing the need to vote for people who have knowledge, experience, and character.

“In Nigeria today, politics is not stable. The APC and PDP are the same; that is why one would defect from one party to another and be comfortable there. Don’t go into the 2023 elections blindly. We cannot continue with this type of politics, we can’t continue with this kind of democracy.

“Our leaders have not solved insecurity, poverty, corruption, and unemployment; so, it is time for a change. We will not allow political parties to bring the same type of people to rule us. Political parties have to ensure that there are criteria for leadership recruitment, if any party does not have any criteria, they should be forgotten,” Bugaje said.

He also urged the youths to mobilise in their large numbers and vote for credible leaders who can help Nigeria out of its present predicaments.

Speaking during his keynote address, a member of the Northern Elders Forum, Saddiq Abubakar, said for the next election, the north would support any Nigerian that has character, knowledge and leadership qualities irrespective of the state he comes from.

“We are not particular about a northern leader, Muslim or Christain leader, the leader we will support would have character, capacity and knowledge to drive the nation. We will vote any Nigerian of any extraction who has the competence, courage, and knowledge to move Nigeria forward.”

Saddiq asked Nigerians who blame the north for most of the woes of the country to respect the northerners saying that they have sacrificed a lot for the development of the country.

The North Central Coordinator of the Coalition, Muhammad Muhammad said the purpose of the lecture was to set an agenda for the way forward in leadership and governance in northern Nigeria.

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