The importance of leadership to an organization, a people and a nation can never be overemphasized because success is traceable to it. It is popularly said that leadership is everything. Everything revolves around leadership. As the leader goes so goes the organization, the people and the nation. Everything anchors and falls on leadership. More worthy of note, is that age is not a barrier to the quality of leadership. You don’t have to be too old or young to be a good leader. All you need is a quick discovery of yourself and passion to serve it to your generation.
But as important as leadership is, it has to be governed with values. Leadership is as secured as the values that guide it. Good leadership values are the moral compass for effective leadership. Value determines the direction for leadership. Leadership and a society are as strong as the values they uphold. A weak and porous value system will produce weak and porous leadership and society. Likewise, strong, stable and consistent values will also produce a strong, stable and consistent leadership and society.
In Nigeria, the crisis in leadership today is not because the old has been in power for too long or because the young have been left out of the system. No, it is far from the truth. Our leadership crises stern out from the displacement and destruction of the value systems that make for a progressive society. Nigeria is a victim of a destroyed and a murdered value system.
The old and the young have no regards for values. The old people cheat, lie, and steal. The young people are not left out as well. There is a total disregard for due process. We are caught up in a web of fast living. The mindset of an average young Nigerian today is on how to get to Aso Rock and take what they perceived as their own share of the national cake. Our young people cannot stay on the queue to wait for its turn. We must cut corners to get what we want. No respect for orderliness. Examination malpractice is now the order of the day. The security man on duty must collect bribe to discharge its constitutional responsibility. Government officials steal without a recourse to conscience. The rate of infidelity among married people is so alarming. Meritocracy has been sacrificed for mediocrity in our system. What a pity?
Values such as diligence, hard work, honesty, sympathy, fidelity, faithfulness, patriotism have grossly left our shores. There was a time when sleeping with another man’s wife was an abomination but today it is a norm. Today, we have young people going out with married women as sugar mummies. A time in our history, one can simply kept his goods somewhere or forgot something valuable and still come back to find it but today you dare not forget yourself or else you will be stolen. Ritualism and fraternity used to be the problem of the Old but the Young has overrun them in that business today.
Our young people, with dangerous intelligence that could have been harnessed for productive purposes now sit down with their laptops and smartphones to rob innocent people of their hard earned monies. This is while the ‘too not young too rule’ philosophy that is currently flying on the airwave is just a daydream though it has been signed into law.
You don’t start the repair of a building with structural problems from the top. You start where the problem is. If Nigeria is to realize her full potentials, she must start from where her decaying began, which is a holistic restoration of her values. To make Nigeria great again, we must start by restoring our values. Let honesty, diligence, hard work be restored to our society again. Let righteousness return to our schools, religious ground, family, business, politics and government and we shall be great again.
Vincent Ufuoma is a student of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti.
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