John Cotter once said; “Leaders establish the vision for the future and set the strategy for getting there.” Unfortunately, Nigeria inherited leaders who could best be described as clueless and vision-less individuals.
Visionary leadership is extremely important in the determination of the future trajectory of any country. It is the rudder that directs the spinning wheel of development and socioeconomic progress.
Selfish interest, greed and quest for power which encapsulated leadership drive of those bestowed with the opportunity to lead remains the major trouble with Nigeria.
Since gaining independence 63 years ago, Nigeria has been wallowing in the murky waters of vision-less leadership.
The fraudulent tendencies of the leaders has seen the country suffer multiple military coups, a civil war, ethnic violence, militancy, and insurgency.
Consequently, Nigerians are beclouded with grave economic crunch, poor standard of living, and general decay in the standard of governance and leadership structure.
The country is more divided today than ever, all in the quest for leadership positions. Some Nigerians are denied political rights and/or even isolated for marrying from other ethnic groups.
The religious bodies were not left out, as many people are victimised because of their religious affiliations. There are instances where people were kidnapped or even killed on religious bases.
More disturbing is the extravagant lifestyle of the leaders even in this austere time. Nigeria is infested with political leaders who would rather budget billions of naira for feeding, maintenance, and other obnoxious lifestyle than impact positively the poor citizens that voted for them.
Almost every political leader have a way of appointing their family members into the government offices to appease their circle of influences.
Recently, a political leader was seen cruising the streets of Lagos with multiple entourage of cars and personnel to showcase his affluence at the detriment of the people.
This is just in a sharp contrast to what Angela Merkel did as the president or rather Chancellor of Germany.
In 16 years of power, Merkel did not appoint any of her relatives to a state position.
Germany said goodbye to its leader, physicist and quantum chemist, who was not tempted by fashion or lights and did not buy real estate, cars, yachts and private jets.
They came out on their balconies and clapped for six minutes, a standing ovation across the country. She leaves and her loved ones claim no benefits.
For sixteen years, she never changed the style of her wardrobe. At a press conference, a journalist asked Merkel: ”We realise that you are wearing the same suit, don’t you have another?” She replied: “I am a civil servant, not a model.”
In another press conference, they asked her: “Do you have a housemaid cleaning your house, preparing food, etc.”
Her response was: “No, I have no servants or need them. My husband and I do this work every day at home.”
Then another journalist asked: “Who is doing the laundry, you or your husband?”
Her response was: “I’m fixing the clothes and my husband is the one who runs the washing machine.”
Merkel lives in a normal apartment like any other citizen. She lived in her present apartment before being elected Chancellor of Germany.
She did not leave it and she does not own a single villa, houses, pools, gardens. Merkel, the chancellor of Europe’s largest economy, will always remain a great example of leadership, driven by values, selfless principles, facts and empathy.
She is truly a role model, if only more leaders are like her!
More than ever before, Nigeria need a role model of what a true leader ought to be. Even a local government Councillor believes he or she is in power to amass wealth, and to bully others with the stolen public money.
The time to change is now, may the change starts will give women to top seat at Aso-Rock!