Former vice president of World Bank, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili has explained that #FixPolitics’ School of Politics, Policy and Governance, SPPG, was established with a view to set right the mindsets of the electorate and politicians for a new values-based political class.
Ezekwesili who is also a former Nigerian minister of Education is also the founder of #FixPolitics, the organisation behind the new school.
While responding to questions from journalists and content writers during the launch of SPPG, the former Minister said it was focused on building leaders from bottom of the base and letting leadership become the most important conversation in the public space.
She noted that lack of quality leadership “has caused Africa too much as a continent.”
Ezekwesili said, “Poverty mentality is not just about not having money. It is also about paucity of ideas. We are training a cadet of leaders on our continent that are going to have dignity in themselves and have a sense of value where they are not subordinating the public good for self-interest. We are addressing the mindset shift. That is the kind of curriculum we are delivering.
“We need to change the mindset of our people, take the matter of public leadership more seriously, ensure that the leadership recruitment system is quality-driven as seen in other countries, and have a literate public ecosystem as well as a deliberate design of public leadership development systems.”
The aim of SPPG is to bring about change in the thought process and way politicians live and serve as well as to inculcate the right political value and culture in the electorate, according to a statement from spokesperson of FixPolitics, Mr. Ozioma Ubabukoh.
Ubabukoh said the school “will also set a new order for an African political system that will create a critical successor generation of leaders.”
The SPPG was unveiled to the media, on Thursday, during a virtual launch with the theme, ‘Preparing Nigeria’s future leaders today; developing a new generation of disruptive thinking values-based political class’.
“This initiative is not about 2023, not even about 2027 general elections. It is about bringing a major shift in public service and how we practise our politics,” the statement added.
In her presentation at the event , the Interim Chief Executive Officer of SPPG, Mrs. Alero Ayida-Otobo, said the school, which is one of the three pillars of the #FixPolitics initiative, emerged in recognition of the dismal performance of public leadership in Africa.
She said Africa had continued to lag behind other regions of the world in most objective-measurable indicators of human and economic development.
“Research suggests that central to this continental under performance is politics, specifically a culture of leadership that inherently subverts the public good by elevating personal and parochial interests above the collective wellbeing of citizens.
“As such, the SPPG is integral to the fulfilment of the #FixPolitics’ mission to elevate the office of the citizen to its rightful place in our nation and develop a political class of servant leaders,” Ayida-Otobo said.
The SPPG interim CEO said the school had set a target to train 3,000 persons (with 1,500 women and 1,500 young people) who will be interested in running for elective offices in the first three years of operation.
“It also plans to reach 10,000 political leaders at the grassroots through its decentralised learning systems via its school alumni over the next decade,” Ayida-Otobo added.
In a welcome remark, the #FixPolitics Executive Director, Anthony Ubani, said to translate and move the lofty thoughts to action, the Work Study Groups of FixPolitics recognised the invaluable significance of the late Nelson Mandela – “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”