“For every political officer, from the local government chairman all through the line up to the presidency, the minimum academic qualification should be a first degree or equivalent.”
This was the submission of the Chancellor, Covenant University, Dr. David Oyedepo, in a paper titled, “Driving Africa’s Future: Revolutionary Pathways towards a Redefinition of Leadership in Africa” at the just concluded 4th Covenant-International Conference on African Development Issues (C-ICADI) 2018, at Covenant University, Ota.
Oyedepo, among others, also advocated e-voting, compulsory health screening and one-term only for political office holders in the African States, at the event which had, “The Challenge of Leadership: Driving Africa’s Future” as its theme.
Oyedepo decried the situation where barely educated individuals occupy political offices in Africa adding that leadership is not occupying a position but making outstanding contributions.
“Today, barely educated people occupy prestigious places in political leadership across Africa, but the real worth of a leader is in the value he adds, the contributions he makes, the feats he accomplishes and the impact he engenders.
“Leadership is not just about leading a people; it is much more about taking the lead in a given task that impacts positively on human lives. This is why; just anybody can become a leader if he is willing to give it what it takes.
“A leader without required skill is bound to be a failed leader. A leader without integrity will ditch the led. A leader that lacks both skill and integrity is a disaster,” Oyedepo emphatically declared.
He opined that sound health is a vital requirement for the demanding task of political leadership and therefore, health screening should be made compulsory to save the state from non-performance issues and wasteful spending of state resources on the medical expenses, should a leader turn out to be sick or victims of certain terminal diseases.
On integrity, Oyedepo suggested that there should be a thorough background check on the character of leaders before being cleared for election.
In view of the recent electoral manipulations in some part of Nigeria, Oyedepo noted that “We should be working towards e-voting, so as to stem the tide of electoral malpractices and fraud, manipulations and political thuggery that sometimes leads to death.
“We should be considering a ‘one-term only’ for political office holders across the nation states of Africa. This will reduce drastically, the enormous cost of seeking reelection as we have here in Nigeria.
“I believe if some of these ideas are integrated into the democratic processes and procedures in Africa, our political system will become healthier and more people-centred”.