Mba disclosed this during the 2022 MEDRUS Leadership Forum Organised by the Medical Research and Humanitarian Society (MEDRUS), University of Nigeria Enugu Campus on Friday in Enugu with the theme “Leadership in Modern Times, Youths Bridging the Gap”.
The gubernatorial flag bearer pointed out that bad leadership posed a great challenge to Nigeria youths in achieving their potentials.
He said that collapse of leadership in Africa had a reverberating effect on youths of the continent particularly in Nigeria and good example of this, reflected “the collapse in the different malaises suffered by the youths”.
According to him, the level of nepotism that is currently in the country, the collapse of security, the menace of students staying at home for upwards of seven months due to the inability of government and the lecturers’ union to agree on issues of funding of universities has a linkage to this collapse.
He said, “From whatever prism one may want to look at it, students are victims of the leadership failure that has afflicted Nigeria”.
Mbah said the overview of Nigeria and Africa as a whole, showed a deplorable leadership situation, where in spite of the undeniable potential and natural resources, the leaders had been unable to generate any meaningful scale of economic returns for the people.
“This has resulted in high poverty rates we faced today across the country and the continent.
“It has led to huge infrastructure gaps that prevent our teeming youth from expressing themselves in their chosen endeavours; very low rates of job creation, resulting in high and rising rates of unemployment across the country.
“Youths who are our most valuable resources are now seeking expressions for their dreams outside the continent, sometimes even at the risk of losing their lives in the process.
“When any youth succeeds in escaping out of Nigeria, it is celebrated with fanfare on social media as if they had escaped from a Hitler Concentration Camp,” Mbah said.
The governorship candidate said it was bothersome with the manner Nigerian youths in the last one or two decades had been escaping the country in very lamentable circumstances.
He noted that many of them perished in the process and when asked why they chose such risky adventures in the bid to leave the country, they said living in Nigeria had become as risky as travelling on the Mediterranean.
“Nigeria has lost hundreds of her prime human assets with potentials to rescue her tomorrow from the tragedy that lies ahead,” he said.
Explaining further how youths bridge the gap in modern times, Mba said average youth in Nigeria was not yet equipped for leadership.
According to him, the shortcoming could be addressed by consciously deepening the youth’s understanding of the concept of leadership.
He however, advised the youths never to be afraid to admit that they were human if they finally found themselves in position of leadership.
“Never imbued with your own weaknesses and fears, rather, build your teams to complement your shortcomings and mitigate areas where you are likely to go overboard.
“Feel free to seek advice on difficult issues from coaches and mentors, so as to keep growing to become the sort of leaders who will ultimately contribute to raising our society and the country as a whole to achieve their lofty potentials,” he advised.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the President, MEDRUS, Mr Stephen Anigbo, said the group used its platform to bring different individuals together with the aim of evaluating and inspiring quality leadership in them.
He stressed that the theme for the event was selected to set the country on a prosperous trajectory, adding that in the past year, Nigeria youths had expressed their desire for a better society.
“On this note, intellectuals were invited for this year forum to educate and inspire youths who are the future leaders.
Youths, he said, were the incredible pusher of progress in any society, adding that if they unite and work together, they could help reduce poverty in the country.
Anigbo added that the need for youths to build their future and that of Nigeria was at its pinnacle.