Former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.) says Nigeria lacked the capacity to govern itself.
The elder statesman lamented that the country had not fared better since independence in 1960.
He said this in Lagos yesterday at the 42nd CVL Leader Without Title (LWT); Leadership Tribute Colloquium at his 80th birthday.
Danjuma, who lamented impunity in the country’s public service, said the decay set in after the nation’s independence.
“I remember that in the mid-1980s during the second Republic, the late Governor Sam Mbakwe of Imo State one day while lamenting the excesses of his opponents, stated that British colonial rule was too brief for Nigerians to learn the art and science of governance”, Guardian quoted him as saying.
“I disagreed with that assertion because all the institutions of government that the British colonial administration left behind in 1960 functioned very effectively.
“The rot began to set in only after our independence with the rapid ‘Nigerianisation’ of public service, selective application of sanctions and lately, impunity in our public service have gone viral. This is why things are getting worse than ever.”.
Danjuma insisted that the greatest challenge facing the country was corruption.
“Health and education are not the greatest challenges facing our country; our greatest challenge today is corruption.”
He further revealed Chief Olu Akinkugbe and the late Chief Mathias Ugochukwu inspired him to greatness and described leadership as humility and the ability to know one’s limitations.