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*Mechanism of Sound Political Leadership
By Kali Gwegwe
The leadership institution is a very fundamental element of every family and society on the face of the earth. It among other things promotes peace, unity, orderliness, and progress. Owing to its very peculiar nature, everybody cannot lead or be a leader at the same time. While some persons are born with leadership qualities, others acquire it through learning. There are still those who are compelled to become leaders by different kinds of circumstances. Despite the category a leader may emerge from, one thing is certain: Leadership is all about offering selfless service to God, man, and society. Being selfless means pursuing a life of honesty and dedication.
Politics is a social exercise largely aimed at securing the mandate of the electorates to offer quality leadership for the good of man and society. While the electorates in Nigeria are at the mercy of politicians, the reverse is the case in developed democracies. The electorates are seen and treated like Kings. This is so because, their votes actually count. It underscores the fact that a credible electoral system is the foundation for good governance. ( Continues below….. )
No doubt, the quality of political leadership in most European countries, Australia, Canada, and the United States is by far higher than what is obtainable here in Nigeria. This is not because politicians in those countries are angels. Rather, their electoral system has practically put power in the hands of voters. This reality has forced politicians to offer quality leadership through selfless service so as to secure the mandate of voters.
Owing largely to the poor electoral framework in Nigeria, politics and public office have been turned into platforms for self-seeking individuals and groups to amass ill-gotten wealth. Little or no thought is given to the feelings of the citizenry. That is the main reason why almost fifty years after gaining political independence from Britain, a greater percentage of Nigerians do not have access to electricity, education, health care, sanitation, safe drinking water, decent transport infrastructure.
The fact that Nigeria is the sixth largest producer of crude oil makes one to wonder why poverty and disease has still continued to grow in the country. Beyond that, it has become obvious that a greater mass of the Nigerian populace is tired of bad political leadership. This could be confirmed by the rising number of pro democracy groups and emergence of the culture of political oppositions at the state and federal levels of the country within the last ten years. ( Continues below….. )
It would not be worth the effort if this writer fails to draw the attention of readers to one fundamental source of failed political leadership in Nigeria. Let me therefore emphasise here that corruption and tribalism are the major reason why our leaders have not been able to respond to the yearnings of the masses. Owing to very deep tribal interests, past military and political leaders could not locate proper solutions to combat the hydra-headed problems of corruption. It is strictly unNigerian to indict or expose a fellow tribesman for corruption. Colonial Britain planted the seed of tribalism in Nigeria. She did this for her own selfish economic interests. Before the birth of the Nigerian nation following the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates in 1914, the numerous tribes were not offered any opportunity to discuss their future. Such discussion would have enabled the tribes to set safeguards and standards on how they would co-exist. This arrangement would have also helped to protect the rights and privileges of both the major and minor tribes so as to avoid conflicts.
Every sincere Nigerian would agree that that the constitutional crisis that arose from President Yar’Adua’s long absence due to ill-health was uncalled for. It was simply the idea of a few government officials who were only pursuing their personal and tribal interests. Not minding the impression they were creating, most of the pro-Yar’Adua group clearly betrayed their parochial lust. They never had the interest of Nigeria at heart. This was the only reason why government officials could direct their loyalty to an individual- instead of Nigeria as clearly suggested by the National Pledge: I pledge to the Nigeria my country To faithful, loyal and honest To serve Nigeria with all my strength To defend her unity And uphold her honour and glory So help me God.
There is no portion in the National Anthem that directs loyalty to the president. Blind loyalty is only practiced in a military government. As humans; while it is necessary for us to identify with those that are sick, it would be unpatriotic for any one to suggest that the country be shut down for this sake. Until the National Assembly made Dr. Goodluck Jonathan the Acting President, Nigeria was grinding to a halt. If he could neither swear-in key public officers nor endorse appropriation bills; what then makes any one to believe there was no vacuum in the presidency? Let us stop deceiving ourselves!
Kali Gwegwe writes from Yenagoa, Bayelsa State and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org ( 0806 407 4810 )
*Tags: Nigerians, Yar'Adua, Africans, Goodluck, Jonathan, Political, Politics, Leadership, Masterweb
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