The Anambra state governor-elect, Prof Charles Chukuma Soludo, has said that drug barons, internet scammers and other criminals were flocking into politics as the next easy alternative due to noose tightened globally on other criminal enterprises.
The former governor of the Central Bank, however charged professionals joining politics to make a difference.
Speaking at the weekend in Abuja, while delivering his keynote address at the 2021 pioneer class convocation, Soludo challenged the graduating students of School of Politics, Policy and Governance (SPPG) to deliberately mainstream volunteerism for the service of political leadership in Africa and Nigeria.
Soludo charged the graduands to show honesty and their knowledge to have a new Nigeria, to create the change that would lead to having a new Nigeria.
“There is almost a sense of nostalgia, recalling the mission and accomplishments of our founding fathers, especially as we contemplate the world without oil.
“Much of the existing social order is founded on competition for, and distribution of rents, oil and the easy money that came with it destroyed the social fabric and the elite created new institutions and political structures to maximise their gains.
“As the noose tightened globally on other rentiers/criminal enterprises such as drug trafficking or internet scamming, many of the barons flocked into politics as the next easy alternative.
“Politics has become big business. Appointment or election into public office is seen largely as an opportunity to ‘eat’ rather than a call to selfless service,” he said.
Soludo added that a classic feature of the political environment is that corruption has become part of the “culture”, with little incentive for honesty.
“Fixing politics requires talents and skills. But these won’t be enough. It won’t happen by lone wolves working in silos.
“It requires new developmental organisations –organisations/teams of believers, driven by defined ideology, purpose and character.”
Speaking also, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, Founder of SPPG, charged the graduands to embrace leadership skills that would transform the society.
“The society must be contested for and you should pioneer the space for that leadership.”
She said the school would be replicated in across six other African countries as a way of liberating Africa out of extractive colonialism.
Vice-Chancellor, Alero Ayida-Otobo, SPPG, urged the graduands towards having an unquenchable thirst to raise standards while kicking injustice, religious intolerance and lawlessness out of the country.