NIGERIA’S LEADERSHIP QUESTION AT 60
Nigeria is a huge project. It is a mass-mix of growth potentials and socio-political tragedies. The country is home to an incredible huge population young people, whose potential wait to be unleashed. Nigeria’s public space – its business and economy, politics and socio-cultural milieu – are in a flux. The public space is convulsing in the pains of under-development. The nation has suffered and continues to suffer massively from false starts and dropped batons in her leadership relay race.
Many Nigerians groan daily under the weight of broken dreams as a result of continued political leadership inadequacies at all levels. Yet Nigeria is Africa’s virgin land – the epicenter of investment opportunities and new frontiers of democratic development. But Nigeria’s political environment has become stuffy and dangerous for many reasons including financial corruption, electoral malpractices, thuggery and violence, structurally inflicted poverty and general ignorance among the electorates.
Nigeria, like many other African countries, is divided along ethnic and religious lines. Public issues and public policies are not crafted and driven to promote public good, but to reinforce ethnic or religious supremacy. This is the reality of Nigeria that no reasonable person can deny. But truth be told, Nigeria’s development imbroglio only rests in one question: the question of leadership. Leadership is what drives a nation to prosperity or to poverty and disarray. Leadership is what unites and harnesses human and material resources for collective development. Leadership is what ensures justice for all, equity fairness. Leadership is what recognizes that human development is superior to physical development. Leadership is what places social cohesion as the prime pursuit in public governance, knowing that once the people are together, physical development of the country becomes a given.
Nigeria is indeed a massive project that has been badly executed because the project leaders have refused to see Nigeria as a collective constituency. This has resulted in marginalisations, injustices, and oppression of diverse kinds. The consequence, as evident, is the clamour for the disintegration of the country. This shouldn’t be our story. The country ought to have gone beyond these mundane agitations by now if the leadership had been deliberate to manage her diversity.
In all truth, Nigeria has been denied of leaders with broad-based perspective of how the country could be stronger by working together and giving every segment of the country equal opportunity to develop and to participate.
As Nigeria turns 60, with the theme focus on TOGETHER, we remember our heroes, the ones that fought to secure our political independence. We honour and appreciate them for their labours. But also bemoan their lack of vision and narrow-mindedness in bequeathing us a country that is founded on regional, tribal and religious politics. They started us off with cracks in the walls. And over 60 years, succeeding leaders have not been able to close those cracks. Instead, they have done two things: deny the existence of the cracks and to surreptitiously keep widening the cracks through policies, programmes, projects and leadership styles.
Does Nigeria have a future as a united country? We firmly believe in that. But our belief is predicated on the hope that Nigerian leaders will be honest to manage their diversity in line with realities of the modern world. Except this is done, the existing cracks will widen and grow bigger; the clamour for disintegration will become louder and more audacious; and that which is feared may happen. We hope it doesn’t!
Future World Magazine believes the best for Nigeria. We believe in the potentials resident in her people. We believe in her future. We look forward to helping to shape that better future where every of her citizen can live and work TOGETHER in peace, without oppression, marginalisation or discrimination. Nigeria, indeed is a potentially great nation, but this greatness can only be realised through quality political leadership grounded in justice, equity and fairness.
We wish the President, Muhammadu Buari, GCFR, and the entire citizens of Nigeria a wonderful 60th Independence Anniversary.
(C) Future World Magazine