President Bola Tinubu has described Nigeria as a giant of Africa plagued with “leadership elephantiasis” under his predecessors, vowing to be different.

“Nigeria, as the giant of Africa, had suffered leadership elephantiasis years back. I am determined to change that,” Mr Tinubu said while hosting a delegation from the United States Congress led by Senator Cory Booker at the State House in Abuja on Wednesday.

Mr Tinubu disclosed this in a statement circulated by one of his media aides, Dada Olusegun. He vowed to adhere to democratic principles, respecting the power of the citizens.

“Adhering to the principles of democracy and the rule of law is very important to us. I wonder how democracy will survive if we do not fight for it. I fought for this democracy. I risked my life for it. Military truncation of democracy is unacceptable. The power of our citizens is and must remain supreme,” MrTinubu said.

Mr Tinubu, who is Nigeria’s 16th democratically elected president, did not specify which of his predecessors plagued the country with “leadership elephantiasis.”

Elephantiasis a tropical disease caused by infection from parasites. It  causes huge enlargement of limbs or other body parts in its patients.

Nigeria’s democracy was truncated intermittently between 1966 to 1993 by military coups, which the juntas excused on widespread corruption, electoral fraud and violence, poverty, and insecurity.

Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999 and has enjoyed stable democracy since then.

Before Mr Tinubu assumed leadership, his party man MuhammaduBuhari, Goodluck Jonathan, the late Musa Yar’adua and Olusegun Obasanjo, led the country from 1999 to 2023.