BusinessDay

It’s not just our leaders; it is our leadership

We have been fighting corruption for ages. We have been mismanaging our diversity since the marriage of convenience instituted by the British amalgamation for ease of administration of a large entity. Added to our problems are the new twist of banditry, kidnapping and religious intolerance.

The desire for ethnic domination and supposedly cleaning or Islamification result from our leaders’ effectiveness, self-centredness and the poor leadership process that produces mediocre to lead us. We have started another process leading to our leaders’ enlistment; 2023 might likely be the same as the previous years.

It was sad to see over 319 people intersected by the Amotekun Corps in Ondo State in two tranches. I felt so sorry for the purportedly innocent people who have been used on a yet-to-be-identified mission.

Where are our leaders, and what have they done with our resources and future? I wouldn’t want to go into blaming or holding on to the popular beliefs in the South that the North that has led us are not that intelligent. That’s stereotyping.

I have met and had opportunities to make friends with people of the northern extractions who are leaders of organisations. You will be amazed by their depths of compassion, humility, and leadership competence. It is an error to think one section of the country can’t lead an extensive and diverse country like Nigeria. But it is right to say the military led by a section of power-seeking individuals had destroyed our country.

Our major problem is our leadership. Our leadership is faulty with its selection process that produces people who believe in regional or religious agendas above the secular nature of our society.

We have leaders who are so united in enriching themselves, rotating power, and stylishly focusing more on religion, ethnicity, and tribal sentiments above merit. No doubt, the quota system has done well to balance our competence and capacity. Still, it has also created a culture of entitlement and pretence.

The leadership selection process in Nigeria is our problem. I can see some people’s excitement based on Peter Obi’s approach and his presumed character. But Atiku Abubakar was right when he said over 70 percent of the voters are not on social media.

He was right that the majority of votes will come from the illiterates who cannot make informed decisions about their lives and who lead or occupy our strategy positions. The vote from the north is that power in entrenching what we are experiencing to the detriment of all of us.

He is right because he knew the system and was part of the Oligarchies who had deliberately imprisoned people’s minds using religious beliefs. But he is also honest in a campaign, using the northern leaders as examples of people who had led but produced more beggars to the Turaki of Adamawa’s advantage.

An example of leadership output is the 319 people stocked in lorries with cows and motorcycles on their way to an unknown destination and for an unknown mission. Unfortunately, they are prisoners in their minds with the energy to wreak havoc against their will but based on a directive from one ‘Oga at the top.

If you doubt the above submission, I will provide more clarity. Some political analysts who are emotional about Peter as the third force but logically ignorant about the voting patterns have used the end SARs to justify their unfounded optimism.

The question is, how many ‘end SARs’ related protests or agitations had happened outside Lagos? And Abuja? None in the northern states except for a counter-protest in favour of ‘Say Baba.’ They have sponsored protests not on any basis except for religion and ethnic affiliation.

They are protests by the people suffering more than necessary in the land of the plenty yet smile and listen to the religious leaders who are seen as gods.

I am optimistic about a better Nigeria. A Nigeria where those 319 secret passengers can move freely and, on a mission, not shrouded in dangers to other innocent Nigerians. I believe in diversity where equity and justice reign supreme.

The Nigeria of our dream is only possible with an attitudinal change across the board. That must start with our leadership-the selection process that puts competence above ethnicity and religion.

We have been so unlucky with leadership. I will give two examples. One is the current president, who never had any traceable contribution to the body of knowledge, business and noble cause other than managing his cows.

Read also: How effective is your leadership?

Yet, Nigerians bought the decoys of unfounded anti-corruption campaigns. That is also the same root cause problems with candidates with no stable party affiliations and who have contested the same position seven times as if it is a traditional title. There is no surprise in the outcome we are seeing.

My second example is what made Turkey the super political and economic power of today and in her rights. Thanks to a decision made by one man who sees beyond religion. A man who sees the limitation in a society governed by religion as its prime ethics. Turkey, as of today, is a known Islamic country with secular Ideologies that have fostered development and civilisation.

Mustapha Kemal Ataturk defeated the Ottoman Empire, sacked the sultanate systems (an equivalent of our traditional Obaship and Emirates) and shaped Turkey’s Turkification policy. A policy that creates a homogeneous, unified, and secular nation under the Turkish banner.

He eradicated the Ottoman alphabet system and gave women education and the right to vote instead of secluding them into baby-making machines as we have done. He sought help from the Greeks in developing the country and focused on technology with no room for religious intolerance.

We have been so unlucky with leadership, I repeat. Why haven’t our system produced leaders like Ataturks, Jerry Rawlings, Kikwete Jakata and Paul Kagame?

The 2023 election is unlikely to be the turning point for Nigeria in electing credible leaders with wide acceptance, except we can experience the unity of ideology devoid of religion and political affinity. And even at that, will the Cabal be Obedient to Nigerians?

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