BAD LEADERSHIP AS NIGERIA’S NUMBER ONE ENEMY
Addressing a rally in Taipei in August 1995, Professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard University was, among other things, asked about his impression of Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s efforts to develop Singapore and he simply said: ” The honesty and efficiency that Lee brought to Singapore will likely follow him to his grave.
However, not only did Lee’s effectiveness survive him, but also history has since helped provide answers as to whether or not Huntington’s statement was accurate.
Two years after the sighting, Singapore’s gross domestic product of $3 billion in 1965, rose to $46 billion in 1997, making it the eighth highest GNP per capita in the world, according to the ranking of the World Bank. It was clearly unprecedented.
What remains for those who live is either to learn a lesson from such a story and grow wiser, or to ignore it and continue to wonder about a dilemma.
Essentially, the gist of this article is to use Prime Minister Lee Quen Yew’s narrative to analyze and understand the essential ingredients of foresight in leadership and draw a lesson on how the decision-making process of leadership involves a judgment on uncertain elements and differs from pure mathematics. probability process.
According to the testimonies, apart from the fact that Singapore’s progress story is a reflection of the advancement of industrial countries, their inventions, technology, enterprise and dynamism, a group of leaders united and determined, supported by practical and hardworking people who trust them have made it possible. It is part of the story of a ruler’s search for new areas to increase the wealth and welfare of his people. From this new awareness comes the major difference.
When juxtaposing the above narrative with the current situation in Nigeria, regardless of what others may say, it points in one direction: Nigeria’s current security and socio-economic challenges are more man-made than natural, more lack of leadership than lack of resources. . The challenges are further compounded by an erroneous view of the merger by some segments of Nigerians as a historicized event with no benefit to the nation, a mindset that has further fostered the deliberate display of impunity and superiority of one group or region against another.
But in dramatizing this superiority, the point people seem to have forgotten is that no one should ever be so foolish as to believe that you command admiration by displaying the qualities that lifted you above others. By making them aware of their inferior positions, you only stir up an unfortunate admiration or envy that will eat away at them until they undermine you in ways you cannot foresee. The sad news is that this avoidable situation was able to complete its gestation and eventually gave birth to what is now known and treated in our political realm as the “call for restructuring” or agitation for resource control.
But on a more significant level, it is the leadership performance deficit that has plundered the nation’s socio-economic affairs into a sorry state, an event that stems from an unfamiliar leadership style described by analysts as n’ being neither “systemic nor method-based” without something exemplary or impressive.
As this appalling situation unfolds daily across our political landscape, the global leadership scene is littered with telling evidence of leaders who have demonstrated leadership sagacity and professional ingenuity that our leaders have refused to replicate their ingenuity on our shores. .
For example, in 1932, Franklin D Roosevelt, the candidate for the Democratic Party, United States of America, was elected President in the midst of the Great Depression. At the time of inauguration in 1933, a quarter of the working population was unemployed, with many poor. Industrial production had fallen and investment had collapsed.
But less than two years into his administration, he revived the economy and moved to the next stage of his program. He signed the Social Security Act, which introduced the modern welfare state to the United States, retirement pension, unemployment benefits, and some public health care and disability benefits. When asked how? he replied, “Extraordinary conditions call for extraordinary remedies.” To me, this is a leadership achievement worthy of emulation.
Unfortunately, here in the country, the leadership challenge is spurred by our ‘leaders’ penchant for corruption and nepotism since independence, a development which is gradually becoming the norm and a state of affairs which the vast majority of Nigerians claim to be responsible for the inability of successive leaders of the nation to relieve the real condition of the poor, destitute, oppressed or enter into their lives and participate in their struggle.
Looking at the comments, one can discern that the above fact is largely responsible for youth unrest and tribal assaults as the masses continue to struggle to register their grievances against the socio-economic deprivations sponsored by the State.
As Nigeria races towards the general elections of 2023, it is also of considerable importance for this speech to note that this leadership challenge has affected Nigerians not only with poverty, but also with what analysts have described as “island poverty” or poverty in the midst of plenty; which in turn has fostered both despair and helplessness among innocent Nigerians.
But, all in all, one thing seems to stand out: our leadership challenge or bad governance has been implanted by leaders, encouraged by our unquestioning obedience to authorities and can only be reduced or erased by Nigerians.
Having discovered the challenge that threatens the continued existence of our country, it becomes imperative that any measure that the nation may want to use to meet this challenge can only be successful if it is likely to put in place measures that will guarantee the restructuring of leadership.
Above all, to fully set things right, the Federal Government must recognize and position Nigeria as a society of equal citizens where opportunities are equal and personal contribution is recognized and rewarded on merit, regardless of language, culture , religion or political affiliations. If we are able to achieve this, it will once again herald the coming of a brand new great nation where peace and love will reign supreme for no nation enjoys lasting peace without justice and stability, without justice and fairness!
Part of that effort will be recognizing that the solution to our leadership challenge may then not be based on argument or debate, but on the quality of the people in charge. This will be followed by frantic efforts to create a “civil society” that will help sort out the irresponsible from the response in terms of leadership. Another solution to this leadership problem will require developing a mindset for the details and story necessary for leadership today.
Above all, in this election season, Nigerians must not wander into a dilemma. They must recognize that bad leadership is their common enemy.
Utomi is Program Coordinator (Media and Politics), Social and Economic Justice Advocacy (SEJA).