The fifth line of the first stanza of Nigeria national anthem, “The labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain” emphasises the fact that the lack of patriotic leaders in this nation can drag it into decrepitude.
Nigeria as a country is blessed with abundant natural resources; apart from the much-overrated oil and gas, the country is also an embodiment of coal, limestone and has a fertile land that waxes farming activities.
Despite these endowments, the people of this more than 50-year-old country are still languishing in hunger, lack of infrastructural development, economic instability, inadequate Education and lack of technological advancement. And the root of all these monster steady fall is nothing but lack of good leadership.
The opinion of this writer on bad leadership as the root of Nigeria problem agrees with the assertion of an exemplary literary Genius, Chinua Achebe in his book titled: “The Troubles with Nigeria.”
It would be interesting to note that out of numerous problems identified by this Erudite, he positions leadership problem as the root problem of Nigeria’s dysfunction. The writer argues that the trouble with Nigeria is not about lack of resources but resources management by our selfish leaders, he wrote on the first page of the book that:
“The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian character. There is nothing wrong with the Nigerian, land or climate or water or air or anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership”.
A healthy nation is a wealthy nation, our leaders fail to provide adequate health facility for the citizens of Nigeria they are ‘regular-customers’ of health centres in Abroad. To treat a minor headache our selfless I mean selfish leaders have to go abroad to take care of it.
Before even going down the bottom, the angel Muhammadu Buhari whom Nigerians saw as Messiah and a saint upon assuming the office; average Nigerians believed that the leader who holds the flag of “War Against Indiscipline and Corruption” would serve as a leader worthy of emulating, they think as they are sacrosanct, he would lead by example but the ancient president dashed their hope on the area of health care by absconding to abroad anytime he’s sick. The president is a regular visitor of the United Kingdom on medical purposes.
The simple illustration that’s understandable for even a five-year-old child; one cannot possess standard health care in his country and still roams from one country to another for health services. This goes for other past leaders before Buhari and in fact all the senators and other executives under his administration.
Another glaring evidence that ascertains this was the fear of politicians upon the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, since the epidemic is global all the politicians find it difficult to travel abroad and they couldn’t go freely to the health care centres in their country as they didn’t venture into it.
There’s no gainsaying the fact that our Educational system is a shambolic state. According to the dethroned Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi he said: “We have elected and we have chosen to elect people who do not have the education and because they are not educated, they cannot give education”.
Education is the pivot and priority in any nation where its value is realised. Our leaders fail to provide adequate human capital and good physical infrastructural facilities for the sector, there’s a perpetual annual increment of “out-of-school-kids”, spontaneous strikes by the lecturers and teachers, and inconsistent academic calendar.
As a result of this shortfall, our leaders turn Nigerian Institutions to a ‘piece of shit’ they prefer that their children school abroad as the Nigeria-Made universities are inhabitable for their children.
While the Nigerian varsities are suffering from academic instability, infrastructural decay amongst other challenges; the wards of our Nigerian politicians bag degrees easily abroad without stress. It is saddening that while students of Nigerian universities are grappling with concurrent ASUU strikes, Hanan Buhari (daughter of President Buhari) amongst others graduated in a prestigious University in the UK without any hitches. The question is why can’t our president enrol his daughter to OAU, ABU or UI or any other standard universities in Nigeria?
While you are still seeking answers to the question posed, have you heard a situation where the salary or allowances of Senators were not paid due to economical shortfall?
While teachers, lecturers, health workers are languishing in poverty, the sitting allowances of our leaders, food allowance, transport allowances to mention but few remain untruncated: how will they know the state of education in the country since their wards are not studying in Nigeria? How will they feel the pitiable condition of our health centres if they do not receive health care in Nigeria?
The problem stems from the failure of Nigerians to realise the power of their thumbs until Nigerians wake up to the reality until we stop being deceived by the dime of money, pack of rice and oil during the election then we can actually insert patriotic leaders to the government.
“Nigeria Go Better” has been the slang all these years and the country seems to be retrogressing as its age increases; we can’t be doing things the same way and expect different results, we need to forget about tribalism, ethnicity and religion differences in selecting our leaders; we shouldn’t be obsessed by the politics of partisanship.
We should see beyond party, tribe and religion identity, we should focus on values like honesty, dedication, integrity and leadership experience in choosing our leaders.
There are more reasons why our leaders in Nigeria have to be patriotic, responsible and have a sympathy to the entire citizens of the country while many citizens are struggling so hard to get their three-square-meal; it’s too inhumane for any selfish leader to be squandering the money allotted for public use. Many projects are executed on paper but not in reality as a result of the bad representation. Corruption has rotten and retarded the progress of this country.
An adage says “A tree doesn’t sway here and there unless there’s wind”, the new face of Nigeria cannot be recreated if people in the country are not ready to change the narrative, we will continue to swim in hunger if our human and mineral resources are not well utilized by our leaders.
Our independence seems to have birthed selfish leaders instead of “selfless” leaders who fight and cling to power for personal interest.
We need leaders that are ready to starve to serve the country, leaders that are ready to die for the betterment of the country, leaders that are sympathetic to the citizens, not sycophantic leaders that care about their pocket only and welfare of their family.
With reborn of the likes of Ahmadu Bello, Nnamdi Azikwe, Muritala Muhammad back to the leadership seat of Nigeria. The Nigeria of my dream, your dream and our dream is right in our nose.
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