Patrick Lumumba, popular Kenyan lawyer and activist, says Nigerians and other Africans elect thieves as leaders, expecting them to act like Jesus Christ.
Citing biblical example of how the crowd supported the release of notorious thief Barabbas while calling for the crucifixion of Jesus, Mr Lumumba said Africans are attracted to thieves.
“Africans, for some reason, are attracted to thieves. Africa, for some reason, is attracted to men and women who can’t serve and when they are not served they complain.
When Africans are told choose you now whom we shall release, Jesus of Nazareth or Barabbas, they say release Barabbas and when he behaves like Barabbas, they say why are you not behaving like Christ,” Mr Lumumba said.
Mr Lumumba, who once served as director of the Kenyan anti-corruption commission, said this in his speech on Monday at The Platform, an annual programme organised by Poju Oyemade, the senior pastor and founder of The Covenant Nation.
Mr Lumumba berated Africans for electing the worst amongst them to be their leaders, saying “Africa is only going to realise its potential when in all areas, by dint of choice, we enable our best men and women to serve in different areas.”
“Most of Africa is suffering because we do not have democracies. We have kakistocracies and kakistocracy is government by our very worst. This is what we must deal with and this is what we must say. Who do we elect into our public offices?” said Mr Lumumba.
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country with an estimated population of over 200 million.
Mr Lumumba’s statement comes as the outcome of Nigerian last presidential election which Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress was declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is being challenged by opposition parties, while a wave of coup sweeps through the continent.
Military juntas in the last three years have truncated democratic governments in some African countries, including Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea, Sudan, and most recently Niger Republic, and Gabon, citing rife corruption, insecurity and increased poverty.