Attahiru Jega, a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has said politicians are more interested in winning elections than in governance.
He said rather than settling down to plan how to govern, politicians in Nigeria and some African countries only prepared on how to grab power.
The ex-INEC boss spoke at a lecture titled, ‘Democracy and the Challenges of Nation Building in Africa,’ for participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course at the Institute for Security Studies, Abuja.
Jega stressed that such attitude was not good for the country and its people.
According to Jega, “In most African countries, certainly it is true also here in Nigeria, many politicians spend a lot of time trying to win an election and very little time comparatively in preparing for what they would do when they come into office.
“The best of them will now only begin to appoint a committee, an advisory committee to prepare for them what to do after they have been elected.
“Frankly, for me, this is a major challenge of leadership all over Africa, but most especially for us here in Nigeria.
“If you want to be elected, you have to be very clear from the beginning on what you want to do for the people and you should hit the ground running from day one.
“If leaders come into office unprepared, a lot of time is taken before they can get up to speed in delivering their mandate.”
Jega regretted that this was a general problem all over Africa, noting that “as we seek to deepen our democracy on the African continent, we have to pay attention to leadership selection.”