- ‘ Cases of rape rise to 84% in Nigeria’
- Dana air crash update: 23 aircrash victims’ families yet to receive compensation
- Mimiko inaugurates new Mother & Child hospital today
- N4.56b pension scam: Female accused hospitalised,trial stalled
- Construction workers hail FG’s decision on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
- Senate adjourns plenary for 1 week, dissolves to Appropriation committee.
- Blackout looms as Egbin power plant breaks down
- FMBN, NEXIM, BOA, IB lose N47bn in 6 months - CBN
- FirstBank wins Nigerian Bank of the Year award
- PDP tackles ACN over Tukur’s comments
- Electricity workers threaten strike over Wamakko
- ‘NDIC prosecuted 55 directors, staff of micro finance banks in 2011’
- Judgment in Oni’s appeal stalled, re-fixed for Jan 8
- Slain banker: Deceased had only 3 wounds -Accused’s father
- Appointments: S/West not marginalised —FCC
Governance: Mortgaging Nigeria’s future
It is disheartening to note that much of the circumstances likely to result in the crumbling of this nation are all products of bad governance. Although it is undisputable that the followers are also less patriotic and lack discipline, the leadership weakness and insensitivity also have to a larger extent, threatened the overall future of this country. Past great leaders of countries and empires of the world were determined and visionary and where desirable, starved themselves of certain benefits and opportunities in order to lay an enduring foundation for their own generation and the generations yet unborn. They made laws and ensured that judgments were carried out accordingly, not minding who the victims were. They sacrificed most of the privileges accrued to them as leaders, kings and emperors, not because of the fear of being questioned by any other authority but in order to avoid crisis in their domains and as well nurture societies built on equity and justice.
From the classical period to the medieval, and from the medieval to the renaissance, examples abound of kings and emperors whose reigns we make reference to today as embodiments of wisdom, justice, equity and good governance. Examples are the popular Babylonian king Hammurabi and a host of others recorded in human history. The Babylon particularly, is today a reference point in all aspects of human life; economy, industry, politics, judiciary and civilisation. In fact, it has become a key used by many motivational speakers all over the world to unlock success. The success story recorded by this empire was neither by chance nor magic. Rather, it was a calculated effort and sacrifice orchestrated by selfless and disciplined leaders who knew their existence was only transient, and hence would not trade off their future. When they made laws, they stood by them. They never ruled by immunity, when they erred, they were equally questioned. Not a judgment for the haves and another for the have not.
Similarly, countries like America, Great Britain and others in that categories are today on top of the list of advanced countries, not because they are specially created by God, but because their founders sacrificed all at their disposal to make their future great. They attached importance to dignity, loyalty and sincere contribution to their fatherlands. Diligence, excellence and developmental breakthrough are rewarded as against undue amassment of wealth. These high values are the foundation on which the successive generations build their greatness. And today, those countries have become the big haven for every living human on earth.
Back home, Nigeria has also in the past, had leaders who were altruistic and disciplined. Prior to independence and the short period afterwards, the crops of leaders of this country were fantastic. They led with the fear of God. The likes of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Tafawa Balewa, Ahmadu Bello and Nnamdi Azikwe to mention but a few left indelible marks on the sand of times. They led in their respective capacities with good intentions for better future. They recorded firsts in terms of development in most aspects of our life. While Chief Awolowo was busy galvanizing resources at his disposal to build infrastructures along the British pattern, his counterparts in other regions also tried hard to liberate their subjects from the shackle of poverty and ignorance. The first television station in Africa, a stadium now known as Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, tallest building in the country and chain of enduring business (O’odua investments), for the benefit of generations, are all legacies of Chief Awolowo. Besides, due to his visionary endowment and determination to truly prepare his people for future challenges, he, in his wisdom, introduced free qualitative education. He could have amassed all the resources at his disposal for self- aggrandisement but he chose not to. And today his name is written in gold forever.
Similarly, Sir Tafawa Balewa ruled as though he was the caliph of the prophet. He was so fearful of the hereafter that despite occupying the highest position of the land, he could not build for himself a befitting apartment. He ruled in Lagos yet did not have a plot of land to himself. These are leaders whose priority was nothing but to diligently strive hard to bequeath a brighter future to Nigerian nation. They saw the mandate given to them by the people as God- given, and thus, viewed accountability to God and not to human beings. They lived very simple lifestyles, not for lack of means, but in sacrifice for the betterment of the ruled. These are the leaders described by W.A Lewis in his word, “if a country is fortunate to have a good leader, born at a crucial time in its history, who catches the imagination of his people and guides them through formative experience, he will create traditions and legends and standards which weave themselves into the thinking of his people and govern their behaviors through many centuries”
However, can the same thing be said of the crops of leadership produced in the present day Nigeria? Of course, no. Unfortunately, the priceless values handed over to this generation have been shattered and betrayed. Honesty is now a thing of the past, just as patriotism had long been thrown into the dust- bin. And public services are made nonsense of. Rather than be allowed to be made to rule the people, today’s leaders go to any extent to foist themselves on the masses. Consequently, elections in Nigeria have assumed a war-like dimension whereby arms and ammunition are carried against one another by opposing camps. The plights of Nigerians are no longer the priority of our politicians; neither do people’s poor conditions of life give them sleepless night. Resources meant to develop and sustain generations upon generations are squandered on frivolities. In fact, it is no longer a strange phenomenon that while many Nigerians are dying of hunger in their respective states, many governors and peoples representatives are fingered to have misappropriated peoples resources to the tunes of billions of naira. They erect personal mansions across the length and breadth of the universe. From the North to the South and West to the East, there are but very few exceptional cases.
Mayowa wrote in from Bale Agbe Quarters, Oje Owode, Oyo State.Share