ABUJA — PRESIDENT Umaru Yar’Adua has explained that his decision to serve the country as a servant leader is to underscore the need for a change in attitude by the country’s political class.
The President made the explanation in New York, the United States of America at a dinner for participants in the “Nigeria Meets The World” forum.
He said a total change must take place in the disposition of Nigerian politicians and political parties for the electoral reforms initiated by his administration to succeed in establishing a durable framework for political stability in the country. President Yar’Adua emphasised that “politics should be about seeking opportunities for service to the nation, not about opportunities for self-aggrandisement. That is what the concept of the servant leader is about."
He said Nigerians, especially the political class, had a “lot of work to do to change our concept ofleadership. Political office and leadership are not necessarily synonymous because election to a political office should only provide an opportunity for someone to become a leader through worthy service to his people.
"We are reforming our electoral process to lay a solid foundation for political stability but there must be a complete change in the conduct of our politicians and political parties because their attitude will determine the success of the reforms,” the President said.
He warned that without political stability, real development could not take place in Nigeria and other African countries, adding that his administration was working hard to curb corruption by promoting respect for the rule of law and enforcing sanctions for breaches of the law.
His administration, the president promised, would build on the general consensus among Nigerians for the adoption of a free market economy to provide a higher quality of life for all the people of the country.
"In line with this, we are taking steps to realise our objective of making Nigeria one of the 20 strongesteconomies in the world by the year 2020. We have a very clear vision. It is not going to be easy to achieve, but we will try very hard,” the President said.
President Yar’Adua urged the developed countries to invest more in the country to generate economic growth and alleviate poverty. “We are determined to partner with you to make our world a better place to live in,” he said.