I haven't written in a while and that's because I've been considering some inputs Kay's Fittings has been making into my blog. She, Kerren Amaechi and a couple of friends have made me adopt a more conversational approach in my blog posts. I do tend to be straight laced when I write, that is especially so considering the subjects I have chosen to address. Questions about nation building, statesmanship and leadership are serious issues. But maybe I could talk about weighty issues with less gravity! I really don't have to write with the same anger I feel when I look at the way we are led both in our families, in our religious organizations, in our communities and as a nation at large. Truth be told, I feel angst that even if we vote in an exceptional leader several things can still go wrong:
1. He can somehow manage to surround himself with people having huge value deficits.
2. The opposition can somehow decide to provoke him into taking a couple of unnecessary decisions
3. The media can be hijacked and used as a tool to disseminate un-researched information.
4. The political party he belongs to can somehow get split along the middle, putting him on a rough path.
The fact of life remains that if anything can go wrong at all... It most definitely will especially so with the fragile nature of True Leadership. So, if faults are all you're looking for, you will surely find several.
However, I'm not a fault finder when I say that true leadership still tarries. Neither are you a rabble rouser when you say our nation needs a revolution. We share one deep seated animosity, not against any individual but against the shame it has now become to carry the Nigerian passport. I'm not deprived to say the least even though I'm not lounging on a yacht like some of our leaders. At least I can afford a smart phone with which I'm typing this work. But life as a Nigerian is more than whether I have a job or whether I have shelter or whether I have food. All of which things I do have to a comfortable degree. Life as a Nigerian is about my compatriots who can't finish up their educational pursuit because the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union can't reach a compromise on an already existing agreement. Life as a Nigerian is about my friend in the UK who was asked how come a Nigerian minister spent over 1 million US dollars to buy 2 vehicles for her ministry when in the UK such officials wouldn't dare such, definitely not under David Cameron as Prime Minister, at least not yet!
Distilled below are a few of the reasons why True Leadership Tarries. You can add yours:
1. Seeming lack of Values
2. Virtual Oneness
3. Conquistador mentality
4. 'Dash me' orientation
5. Short attention span
6. Recycling Leadership
7. Weak Institutions
8. No Rallying Point
9. Preferring wrong solutions
11.Reliance on Other Peoples Money
12. Misinterpreting Criticisms
Subsequently I shall expantiate on all these. But for now, just imagine a society in which a Leader emerges who has all characteristics listed above. That is a recipe for stunted growth, slow progress and no development.
Every nation gets the leader it deserves so said Ravi Zacharias a notable philosopher. In my own words I would say "No nation ever rises above the sort of leadership it demands!" Charles Robertson has predicted an African Boom whose key is for Africans to increasingly ask their leaders hard questions and demand embarrassing answers. Mohammed Ibrahim insists that the inability of the Mo' Ibrahim foundation to find a worthy leader for this years award for African Leadership isn't meant to indict African Leaders. We as a people tend to feel someone is trying to indict us when the person tries to point out a better way.
This writer is all about pointing out better ways. For ahead of us are better days. Thanks to Kay's Fittings for her helpful comments. I hope I've done better this time.
Iroko Obasi ND