Gov. Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State on Tuesday described the abduction of about 100 schoolgirls by insurgents in Borno State as ‘barbaric’.
Aregbesola spoke at the public presentation of a book, ‘Giants of History’, written by Mr Lateef Ibirogba, Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy.
He said that the kidnap of the innocent girls was a pointer to the fact that the security situation in the North-East was worsening day by day.
The governor urged Nigerians to join hands with the relevant security agencies to bring terrorist activities in the country to an end.
Aregbesola also advised political office holders in Nigeria to stop using titles that suggested they were ‘larger-than-life’.
He said the preference by leaders to be addressed as ‘Your Excellency’ and other ‘irrelevant honorific’ was an aberration in leadership.
“Public officers get their right by popular electoral mandate and so it is totally paradoxical to address them as Your Excellencies.
“I believe leaders should gradually withdraw themselves from this abnormality and really tell the people who they really are,” he said.
Aregbesola urged leaders to see their positions as opportunities to serve and better the lot of their people.
In his remarks, Gov. Babatunde Fashola attributed some of the country’s challenges to bad leadership.
He said the problems persisted not because of lack of good leaders, but because the public sector was not attracting enough competent men.
Fashola said there was a rich deposit of human resources in the private sector, urging the Federal Government to tap these resources for national development.
“There is a rich deposit of leadership talents and capabilities in the private sector, what we need to do is to sit down and look at where we are coming from and make the right leadership choices,’’ he said.
Chairman, MTN Nigeria, Mr Paschal Dozie, who chaired the occasion, urged leaders to do their best in the service of the people rather than primitively accumulating wealth.
Dozie said great leaders were not remembered by their acquisitions but by how much impact they made on the lives of their people.
He urged leaders to preoccupy themselves with ideas and strategies that would bring about development in their societies.
The book reviewer, Mr Tade Ipadeola, said the publication chronicled how the ideas of some 150 great men had shaped the world.
He urged Nigerians to draw inspiration from the book and begin to think development like Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela and other great men featured in the publication.