The University of Abuja recently held its maiden edition of the retreat on how it can navigate the current leadership challenges confronting the country.
Speaking on the theme 'Building a Centre of Excellence', the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abdul-Rasheed Na Allah said the concept of public governance has been bastardized.
Represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academics, Professor Clement Alawa, he said, "the evidence of failure of leadership at all levels abound. The failure spans the communal through the ethnic to the tribal to the religious.
He said the consequences of the death of leadership across the board could not be more devastating in this anarchic environment replicated across the continent, adding that sterling leadership is critical to development, implying state penetration of the political system, and by implication, the material welfare of the state and society.
"In effect the challenge is to interrogate the role of pivotal actors interacting at the macro and micro levels and the dynamic generated by this interaction for the health of the system. In the character of leadership, nation-building may acquire connotations that may be constructive or nebulous.
"In Africa, it has proven to be the latter. Public governance and leadership are thus intrinsically linked and constitute critical challenges that require urgent intervention at both intellectual and practical levels.
The challenges of the Abuja Leadership Centre, the TETFund Centre of Excellence in Public Governance and Leadership, are cut out for it," he said.
Also speaking, the Director of the Centre, Professor Ademola Araoye said the denudation of global standards of excellence nationally in cynical sleight of hand in political policy making has contributed to the wholesale degradation of humanity.
While stressing that the university is located in an environment that would facilitate the advancement of its mandate, he said true excellence is associated with an unending process of positive cognitive contamination to achieve a distillation of ethical, value, attitudinal syncretism from a plurality of tested ideas and visions.
The one-day inaugural annual retreat, under the auspices of 'Abuja Leadership Centre,' a TETFund Centre of Excellence in Public Governance and Leadership series, is to address the crisis of public governance and leadership which has had telling consequences on all spheres of development in Nigeria.