A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to go –Rosalyn Carter
Traditionally, we become like the people in our environment. As blank pages of our minds are filled with experiences that define self knowledge, we reach a point in self education where we realize we need to unlearn some ideas to reach new heights. By nature though, habits and beliefs once adopted become resistant to change. Desire for growth or change in our selves or society doesn’t make the difference –desires are free. It’s the will to prepare for change that makes the difference –the journey is as important as the destination. To reach new heights, solve old leadership problems and influence the history of our societies, we must see the world anew with boldness and leave old traditional dogmas of generations past behind.
Nigerians agree largely that the nation’s problems arise from leadership failure.
Every four years, the country’s leaders are drawn from an aging pool that’s been around since the foundation of the country. Established politicians elected to office mostly grew up in primitive-Nigeria and had their mindsets shaped largely by the experience of their day; the experience of a rich, opportunistic, and divided country. So the political establishment has deep-rooted bias in its make-up. Granted, Nigeria was born out of a union of strange bed fellows; nurtured by ethnicity and special interests. But Nigeria, also, is not the first country that’s had to manage divergent interest groups. Frankly, politics everywhere is a game of strange bedfellows. And while successful nations advance quickly or eventually from their chaotic beginnings, Nigeria remains stuck with a delusion to have advanced into the future.
If you disagree, you only need look at the re-circulatory leadership turnover since the beginning of the fourth republic, i.e. since 1999. We continue to elect leaders from the same pool of politicians not only well drilled in their biased minds, but also some who are architects of the tunnel vision that’s led the country only so far since 1960. Of course we cannot now presume leaders selected from outside the establishment will do right or better than those from the political establishment. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s 49 days cameo as acting President mildly suggests that politicians from outside the establishment can bring fresh impetus to governance. However, seeing as majority of these outsiders are victims of Nigeria’s political experience, much more of them must be keen to prove to Nigerians that problems cannot be solved from the consciousness that created it; that we must act anew to make change work for us and extend Nigeria’s promise outward to her people first, then to the world.
I believe the kind of leadership Nigeria needs is one that sees no evil. A President formed by experience without bitterness and with consciousness of mind to see that beneath politics, Nigerians –the ordinary Nigerians, are fundamentally good people. And like sheep without shepherd, Nigerians genuinely crave a leader that loves them enough to bravely execute his duties and put the interest of people over the ‘special’ interests of the political establishment. A strong leader who makes decisions based on what’s good for his people and goes after groups or individuals that try to sabotage such good. For this leader, there is no fear. No fear of losing elections. No fear of impeachment. No fear of death. He speaks for the people and the people speak for him.
The point is we can grow in the system and exercise our will for change we desire to see: you can grow within the bias and chaos yet hold no evil grudge. If we will spark a renaissance and leave a new Nigeria for our kids, then we must possess enough consciousness to unlearn outdated ‘truths’ or philosophies about Nigeria and her great people. It might look impossible but a Chinese proverb says “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” God is preparing a new generation of leaders to change our country and though you may seem unqualified, if you find the will to prepare yourself, He will make the needed resources available.
First, see no evil.