Skip to main content

Nigeria: Dying For Leadership By M.B.O Owolowo

May 21, 2014

I have come to accept that resignation is not part of the ethos of our political class, and such virtuous gestures are a rarity.

Nigeria the 'giant' of Africa, has suffered years of woeful leadership. The successive maladministration and unrivalled jobbery, combined with the infrastructural abandonment has taken its toll on the polity. 

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('content1'); });

By the laws of economics and diminishing returns, such self-inflicting squandering of resources was bound to manifest drastically if unchecked by a purposeful leadership.

Goodluck Jonathan ascended the mantle of leadership when Nigeria needed a redirection of our collective vision, a revivification of our economic fortunes and a redetermination of our aspirations as a united nation. Contrastingly, what our direful system birthed was opportunism disguised as transformational leadership.

The history of the nation, brewing socio-economic issues and associative underpinnings were generally known, and ought to be top priority for any serious leadership contender. Apparently, some sections of society assumed the presidency was all about sharing of the nations resources and the squandering of our common wealth. The verity of mediocrity in governance having a limited camouflage lifespan has hit the opportunists like a meteorite from outer space. The enormity of the Boko Haram cataclysm has awakened the President to the realisms of his position.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('content2'); });

Undoubtedly, Nigeria needs a total and all inclusive President and Commander-in-Chief, one that takes the the problems of every section of society seriously.

The abduction of innocent schoolgirls from Chibok can be perceived as the crescendo of a menace that was left to fester unhindered. I have previously written about the aberration called Boko Haram; they are an un-Islamic group with a mephistophelean ideology.

The economic situation that allows such extremist ideologies to thrive must be addressed. We as a nation must plan beyond the current #BringBackOurGirls campaign, and think of how to prevent a re-occurrence of such a societal catastrophe. Nigeria had aforetime been managing the extremes of abject poverty and stupendous wealth, with the current crisis proving the lack of sustainability of such a widening gulf. The gap between the social classes must be bridged as a matter of urgency.

Those in government are disillusioned by the paraphernalia of their acquired positions, hence become detached from the general reality of the governed. Despite the unbridled oil theft tacitly perpetuated by those in government, Nigeria still produces oil, even if at fluctuating levels.

Norway is slightly under Nigeria on the global crude oil production list, with an impressive Sovereign Wealth Fund: Government Pension Fund-Global, whilst Nigeria is still grappling with basic infrastructural development.

The 'suspended' Central Bank Governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi raised the alarm about missing funds, and some Nigerians are still wondering why the 2014 budget hasn’t been passed five months into the year, and counting.

In spite of the alleged misappropriation of security funds at the higher echelons of government, and the case of mutiny within the ranks of those stationed in the volatile North-East region, we must still commend our military men for braving the odds, despite being ill-equipped and short-changed in their remunerations. These valiant soldiers are also victims of a failed and 'non-existent' leadership.

Leadership is about taking responsibility, and the Commander-in-Chief has failed in many regards. First it was denial of the abduction, then it became apportioning blame to the opposition. 

Adding to our misery is the butt of jokes the nation has become internationally, the result of a discouraging and tardy response by the executive arm of government. Even those not worthy of speaking on morality or plausibility grounds had the guts to denigrate our President and Commander-in-Chief! Imagine the President of a nation being referred to as 'some guy'. How low we have sunk.

One can only assume the President is surrounded by the likes of the swindlers who conned the emperor into decorated nudity. Now the nakedness is glaring and unmistakably apparent for the whole world to see; the manifestation of ineptitude. 

Whilst some paid sycophants are predictably pursuing the 2015 agenda at the ongoing National Conference, let's not forget that over 200 girls are still missing; let's not forget the anguish of the affected families; let's not forget the global voices that have condemned this heinous abduction in unison.

Coincidentally, around the time of the Nigerian schoolgirls abduction, on April 16th 2014, a ferry, MV Sewol, sank in South Korea, causing the death of over 280 on board with most of the causalities being secondary school children. Following this tragedy, the South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won resigned on the 27th of April, stating:

"The right thing for me to do is to take responsibility and resign as a person who is in charge of the cabinet,". He also stated: "cries of the families of those missing still keep me up at night".

The South Korean Prime Minister obviously has a conscience and felt responsible for the failures of government, and so did the honourable thing by resigning.

Similarly, on May 19th 2014, I watched the South Korean President, Park Geun-hye weep as she apologised to the nation about the ferry mishap. I felt the emotion and saw genuine tears of a leader taking responsibility for the unfortunate incident. She stated:

"I apologise to the nation for the pain and suffering that everyone felt, as the president who should have been responsible for the safety and lives of the people".

After watching the video, I thought of my beloved nation and its current travails. I thought of my President and Commander-in-Chief, and wished for the same sense of responsibility, but was smacked back to reality by the sudden darkness caused by our 'transformed' electricity supply.

I have come to accept that resignation is not part of the ethos of our political class, and such virtuous gestures are a rarity, so I am not expecting our President to take such honourable responsibility by resigning. However, based on the state of the nation; unabated malfeasance, abuse of power and the failure to secure lives and property, it would be wise for the President not to even contemplate any tenure elongation scheme at this juncture, else he may forever be remembered as the Goodluck that brought bad luck upon an entire nation.

Our hearts are with the latest bomb blast casualties; Jos 20/05/2014

God Bless Nigeria!

[email protected]

-M.B.O 2014©

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('comments'); });