It’s almost certain you aren’t comfortably with my seemingly negative title. Of course, I’m not a prophet of doom neither do I desire anything less than great for my motherland, Nigeria. But outside our habitual tradition of ‘confessing positive’ and hoping, in futility, to harvest orange from our seed of lemon, I think its hightime we stopped fooling ourselves and stayed true to our future, if we really desire to have one.
Contrary to some widespread believe, transforming this long-overdue, under-developing country into a developed one isn’t an impossible task at all, but for the unfortunate circle of sturdily self-centered and greedy leaders our system keeps attracting.
Until we are able to attract dangerously passionate and intellectually proven leaders of integrity who would align themselves with the same simple but proven principles that have transformed the economies of nations like Japan, South Africa, Ghana and the likes into enviable ones, our over-51-years journey to independence haven’t started.
A key government official recently told me our President is truthfully a man on integrity. Well I do not totally doubt that fact but, truth is, it takes much more than integrity. You never succeed as a leader just by sheer integrity, no matter the degree at which you possess same trait.
Mind you, I’m not writing this piece in an attempt to join the league of those dedicated to laying blames on leaders, as I believe what Nigeria demands from us all is responsibility, and not just criticism. However, with the present cadre of power-struck positional leaders that fill our public offices, we sincerely aren’t ready for that true, lasting change we seek anytime soon. It is in view of this that I’m pointing the very few but major reasons why this country might just remain where it is, if not worse, in the nearest future.
Nigeria will NEVER attract true leaders until her public offices become financially unattractive. Ever wondered why election period is synonymous to shedding of innocent blood in this country? If the number of killings and death recorded during our election period is anything to go by, then I leave you to determine the real motive behind the intentions of our rulers.
Only people who have been able to solve their personal problems should be allowed to lead. We all know that people can’t give what they don’t have. Yet we live in a nation where poor, ignorant souls, who are still struggling to make ends meet, are allowed to go into power with the definite major aim of amassing wealth just enough to last their 20th generations to come.
For instance, I sometime heard the wife of late General Sanni Abacha once said to the billionaire entrepreneur, Aliko Dangote, that even if Nigeria recovered all the funds stolen by her late husband, she still wouldn’t be as poor as Dangote. Nigerian Ex-Governor James Ibori, after being shamefully arrested for theft in a supermarket abroad, still went ahead stealing over $250m of the people's money! Just one unscrupulous ‘LEADER’ piling up such huge amount of money, adequate enough to forever transform thousands of lives, for himself alone! And the list goes on! I know you have this question on your mind, “How are we sure we won’t do the same when we get to power?” Well, without getting any feigned here, I’m of the candid opinion that you can legitimately empower yourself in government without stealing a dime of the nation’s wealth. Proving that to you will be a discussion for another day.
You can go a long way with bad legs and a good head. Until Nigeria gets herself a good head, we absolutely have no future in view. Sure we’ve got other bothering national issues, but change will only come to this nation, and its entire sectors, the day we begin to attract truly competent, successful and passionate leaders who would replicate their own success on a national scale.
You see, time and season may change, but principles never change. No organization or nation has ever, or will ever, succeed beyond the quality of her leaders. While I love this nation with the whole of my heart, I dare say that we really won’t record meaningful progress anytime soon unless we rise up, risk our lives if it so demands, and change these future-altering dynamics at once.