A former Federal Commissioner for Information and Culture, Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Bata Malgwi Haruna has blamed Nigeria’s woes on a series of bad leadership it has been subjected to over the years.
Haruna, who was Federal Commissioner from 1975-1977, declared in Ilorin, Kwara State capital on Saturday in a chat with newsmen as a guest during the retirement golf tournament held in honour of Hon. Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, held at the Ilorin Golf Club.
Answering a question on the state of the nation under both democratic and military rules, the civil war veteran said Nigeria neither experienced good leadership under the military rule nor respite during the democratic era.
He lamented the horrendous state the country was in now amidst its problems of insecurity and corruption, describing it as “result of the cumulative failures of both the military and democratic leaders that have administered the country since its independence.
“Have we had true democracy or have we had true military government? I can only criticize both the military and democracy but the shortcut of it all is that the combination of both has brought us to where we are today,
“If they had succeeded, we would not have insecurity in the nation as we have today, we would not have unknown gunmen, we would not have public officers who connived to add N80billion to their budgets,” he stated.
According to him, “What we are enjoying today is the combination of successes and failures of previous administrations but our fear today is that we should not topple the good we have earned and replace it with the worse,” he cautioned.
Haruna said the country could solve some of its problems with the aid of journalists and leaders of institutions, saying, “look at ASUU, we can solve their problem, our monetary value that is being eaten up by the inflation, but the journalists and leaders of institutions are all challenged.”
The elder statesman also noted that the insecurity in the country could be blamed on the feeling of hopelessness that is growing in many citizens especially the poor and disadvantaged.
He suggested that the country could only get out of its myriad of problems through objective, committed leadership, patriotism and change of mind.
I.B.M Haruna, as he is fondly known while he was the Federal Commissioner for Information and Culture, established the National Television Authority (NTA) in 1975 and the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), and also advocated the Press Council of Nigeria and professionalization of the journalism profession.
He left the Nigerian Army as a Major General in 1977, the same year he was appointed the Chairman of Nigeria’s Participation in Africa’s Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC ’77).