Nigeria’s Political Leaders “a cocktail of character flaws”, Catholic Priest Says

Msgr. John Aniagwu. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Those at the helm of the West African nation of Nigeria manifest “a cocktail of character flaws”, a Catholic Priest ministering in the country’s Lagos Archdiocese has said.

Addressing journalists Tuesday, August 10, the Vicar General of Lagos Archdiocese, Msgr. John Aniagwu described Nigeria as “a victim of leadership disaster.”

“The problem with the giant of Africa-Nigeria, since independence in 1960 has always been that of leadership; while other nations suffer from natural disasters, Nigeria is a victim of leadership disaster,” Msgr. Aniagwu said.

“With the kind of leaders that we have had since independence, Nigeria does not need any other disaster,” the Nigerian Priest said during the press conference organized as part of activities to mark his Golden Jubilee of Priestly ordination.

Msgr. Aniagwu noted that development in Africa’s most populous nation has been slowed down by individuals and groups “in the corridors of power exhibiting a cocktail of character flaws; insatiable greed, selfishness, lack of vision, supine arrogance and worst of all, heartlessness.”


Such leaders, he went on to say, “care less whether the people that they govern prosper or perish as clearly demonstrated by shameful episode of the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, when palliatives and relief materials that were meant to alleviate the suffering of Nigerians were deliberately stolen from them, and hoarded in warehouses across the country.”

“They have made it abundantly clear by their actions and utterances that they have no intention to make the changes that are needed for Nigeria to begin the slow and painful journey from the darkness of underdevelopment to the bright light of a modern nation state that works,” the Vicar General who doubles as the Parish Priest of Saint Leo Catholic Church, Ikeja said.

Nigeria “is simply not working” as some people are already calling it a “failed state”, he further said.

He went on to advocate for divine intervention saying, “When someone or a group of people are possessed by demons, the only response is recourse to spiritual deliverance.”

As a way forward, Msgr. Aniagwu said, “Nigerians need to pray, really storm heaven that God will deliver our rulers from the multiple demons that currently hold them hostage so that they are unable to provide the kind of leadership that Nigeria needs.”

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“A leadership that is devoid of greed, selfishness, arrogance, insensitivity, lawlessness; a leadership that is rather characterized by justice and fair-play towards all Nigerians, irrespective of where they come from or what religion they profess, respect for the rule of law, respect for the rights of all citizens,” he added.

Ordained a Priest on 15 August 1971 at St. Dominic Catholic Parish of Lagos Archdiocese, Msgr. Aniagwu has been acknowledged for his role in the education, Religious and Priestly formation in the West African nation.

At the August 10 press conference, the Cleric highlighted some of the activities lined-up to mark 50 years of Priestly ministry.

“On Wednesday, senior citizens of the Parish, aged 65 and above, will feed the hungry and needy in the community; Thursday will be for charity visits to the Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted Children, Surulere, and St. Monica’s Orphanage Iju, Ishaga,” he said.

The anniversary celebration is expected to culminate with Holy Mass on the Solemnity of the Assumption on Sunday, August 15.


Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.