From Okwe Obi, Abuja
Over 2000 clerics under the aegis of Pastors Support Network have advised President Bola Tinubu to consider merit over ethnicity and religion in his appointment of ministers and heads of agencies.
Senior Pastor of World Royal City Church Asokoro, and the President of the Pastors support network, Dr Effa Emmanuel, who spoke on behalf of the clerics yesterday in Abuja, said stakeholders must join hands with the new administration to address existential challenges facing the country.
Emmanuel reminded President Tinubu that leadership was not a position to be exploited for personal gain but a responsibility to serve the citizenry.
He said: “My charge to the president is for him to base his appointment on merit. Meritocracy is what have worked in different nations of the world and these are countries we look up to.
“Like US, UK, Malaysia and even Singapore, they pick people not based on their religious or ethnic inclination but based on what they have achieved.
“I am appealing to the new president to chose his ministers, aids and people who will lead the country alongside him based on their achievements and what they are capable of doing.
“I don’t think Nigeria is doing badly when it comes to selecting leaders. Out of the 200m people, we have about 10 per cent of voting public in the last election.
“We did well, it is just that there are sentiments that took public stand on social media and everybody thought that those sentiments will now represent sentiment of every Nigerian.
“Every Nigeria has a right to make his or her own choice. And if certain people said this is who they want to preside over us, I think it is time we accept it and go along with it.”
Speaking on how the country can address its leadership crisis, Emmanuel said all hands must be on deck to promote a culture that values integrity, transparency, and accountability.
According to him, the change in mindset should start from educational institutions, where “we can instill the principles of good leadership in our youth, cultivating a new generation of leaders who prioritize the common good over self-interest.”
He added: “Secondly, we must prioritize meritocracy in our leadership selection processes.
“Too often, our leaders are chosen based on factors such as ethnicity, religion, or political affiliation, rather than their competence, experience, and vision.
“We need to establish mechanisms that evaluate candidates based on their qualifications, achievements, and ability to deliver results.
“By doing so, we can ensure that the most capable individuals are entrusted with the responsibility of leading our nation. Thirdly, we must foster an environment of inclusivity and diversity.
“Nigeria is a nation blessed with a rich tapestry of cultures, ethnicities, and religions. It is imperative that our leadership reflects this diversity and takes into account the perspectives and needs of all citizens.
“By embracing diversity, we can tap into the collective wisdom and creativity of our people, fostering unity and promoting the welfare of all Nigerians, regardless of their background.
“Fourthly, we must strengthen our institutions and promote the rule of law. A robust system of checks and balances is crucial for preventing abuse of power and ensuring that leaders are held accountable for their actions.
“We need independent and impartial institutions that can investigate corruption, enforce laws, and safeguard the rights and freedoms of our citizens.
“By bolstering our institutions, we can create a level playing field where no one is above the law, and justice is served. Lastly, we must encourage active citizen participation in the democratic process.
“Democracy is not a spectator sport; it requires the engagement and vigilance of the people. We must exercise our right to vote responsibly, holding our leaders accountable for their promises and actions.
“Additionally, we should actively participate in civil society organizations, community development initiatives, and grassroots movements that seek to bring about positive change.
“Together, we can create a groundswell of public opinion that demands ethical leadership and good governance.”
He, also, announced a forthcoming leadership conference organized by Renaissance Bible College and Seminary Abuja, in conjunction with Grand renaissance institute, Florida, USA.