WE SHALL REAP WHAT WE SOW: THE REALITY ABOUT LEADERSHIP IN NIGERIA
- 21 Articles
In a blessed country like Nigeria where majority of the leaders are unconcerned about the plight of the masses, especially the poor and downtrodden, my mind is filled with a lot of questions.
DO WE ACTUALLY VOTE FOR WHO WE WANT? Nigeria has a history of elections rigging where our leaders are not a reflection of our votes but my primary concern here is not the issue of elections rigging but rather the candidates that are presented to us.
IF WE WERE TO THOROUGHLY ASSESS ALL THOSE ELIGIBLE TO CONTEST FOR POLITICAL OFFICES, WILL THE CANDIDATES PRESENTED TO US STILL EMERGE AS THE BEST OPTIONS? In order to successfully tackle our leadership problems, we need to start from the roots. Political parties conduct primary elections and present their “best candidates” to us, not necessarily the best leaders within their ranks. Based on a variety of factors, we end up voting who we consider best amongst those presented to us by the political parties. In other words, if five “Robert Mugabes” are presented to us by political parties we’ll end up voting one Robert Mugabe and we can all agree that is not a good thing. If the candidate we vote for doesn’t live up to expectations, we become so furious, we curse him and some of us even curse ourselves for misplacing our votes.
After winning elections whether legitimately or otherwise, ARE OUR LEADERS REALLY ACCOUNTABLE TO THE MASSES WHO VOTED THEM INTO POWER? OR TO THE POLITICAL HIERARCHY WHO PRESENTED THEM AS THE BEST CANDIDATES AND SECURED THEIR VICTORY? They can only try to satisfy the masses within the limited means available to them because their first duty is to satisfy those who made it possible for them to be in power. If they decide to rule against their political godfathers in favour of the masses, the masses will be happy but their tenures might just be frustrated and in the end, we will barely see any landmark success.
Taking a look at where it all starts from, my mind is filled with more questions. DO POLITICAL PARTIES TRAIN LEADERS? OR DO THEY JUST PRESENT INDIVIDUALS TO US? ARE POTENTIAL LEADERS PRESENTED AT THE ELECTIONS? ARE THEY NATURAL BORN LEADERS? HAVE THEY BEEN PROPERLY ASSESSED? BASED ON WHICH CRITERIA? Most of our leadership problems arise from political parties that are responsible for presenting candidates to the masses. I strongly believe that from the moment a person registers to be a member of a political party especially for those who register at a young age, the party should start monitoring or investing in his growth and training as a potential leader; it is not enough to have different educational qualifications. Irrespective of the number of degrees a person may have, without basic leadership skills, he or she won’t be a good leader. Our political parties have attainable objectives that have remained largely unattainable mainly because of the kind of leaders they produce. They bear the greatest burden of eliminating the leadership crisis in this nation. If potential candidates with outstanding leadership qualities are presented to voters and allowed to do their job when they win the elections, even if the elections are rigged we’ll still end up with a qualified candidate who can do a good job. In other words, if five “Nelson Mandelas” are presented to us at the elections, we’ll end up voting at least one “Nelson Mandela”, which is still a good thing.
The leadership problem is the greatest obstacle we face in the growth and development of this nation. We have half baked leaders who are not qualified to be class monitors; pompous leaders who cannot even rule themselves; selfish leaders who don’t care about the people; charismatic leaders who have gone corrupt along the way; visionary leaders whose visions have been swallowed by the shady system. But if the entire leadership is willing to work together in unity and steer this country in the right direction, we will begin to see the change we need. We might enact laws, amend them, create commendable policies, adopt international standards but without the qualified leadership necessary to implement them, the kind of leadership that is willing to transform vision into realities for the good of all, we will keep running around in circles.
In conclusion, we can only reap what we sow; we cannot vote a “Robert Mugabe” into power and expect him to lead the people like a “Nelson Mandela” would do. We cannot plant beans and expect to harvest corn. Never!!!