As we continue with the search for a visionary leadership, it is absolutely necessary to emphasize the qualities of a digital age kind of leaders. A person of proven integrity with a positive attitude; a man or woman not given to nauseating frivolities and primitive parochialism; a versatile and charismatic character with a sound mind who is fully abreast with modern-day leadership techniques and guided by the dictates of 21st-century technological entailments. Indeed, today’s Nigerian state does not deserve anything less.
It therefore behoves on us as a people and good citizens to first and foremost, begin with the process of “Restructuring of the mind” as a way of building a decent and egalitarian society, wherefore the types of leadership that we so desire will emerge from amongst us. Take it or leave it, good and credible leadership cannot emerge from bad and corrupt people.
This brings us to the events of the past few days, particularly the day Nigerians of different nativity and background came out to protest during our Democracy Day celebration. All hell broke loose as citizens who were out on a peaceful protest, once again became victims of agents of the state, riding roughshod over our compatriots across the nation. It is evident that we are running autocracy cloaked in democratic nomenclature.
Thank goodness for the strong resistance of our ever resilient youths. Clearly, the message was passed, that we cannot continue with a system that is working for just a few selected individuals and their cronies, which negates the essence of the sacrifice of our heroes, past who fought with the last drop of their bloods and paid the supreme price for freedom and democracy which some people are opportunistically enjoying today.
It is in this regard, that we shall continue to appeal and encourage our compatriots home and abroad for greater participation in the issues of nation-building. It is a task that must be accomplished. It requires a synergy between the leaders and the led.
If we don’t become better citizens, we won’t produce better leaders because they will keep emerging from us. Responsibility is not for leaders alone.
This reminds one of the story of the King with a defect in one eye and in one leg, who asked all the painters to draw a beautiful portrait of him. At the end, no one was ready to draw him to depict the beautiful portrait of his imagination, considering the obvious defect of having just one eye with only one leg. One painter however agreed to take up the challenge and eventually came up with a classic job. It was such a FANTASTIC painting that everyone was surprised at. He painted the King as a hunter aiming for a deer in a hunt, targeting with an eye closed & a leg bent.
I think we can all paint others like this, “hiding their weakness” & “highlighting their strengths”. May we learn to hide other’s weaknesses & bring their virtues to light, For in Our weakness the grace of God is made sufficient.
The reason we need such is to enable us take our destiny in our palm and avoid the illusion of “Angel” coming to fix our nation for us. It is also not a matter of divinity alone; in practical terms it is unarguably the same like it happened in the days of old, when Elohim reminded Moses of the potency of the rod in his hand, instead of calling the almighty God to come down, because of the challenges of battle in front and back.
Furthermore, I like to reveal the workings and secret of very successful and accomplished personality in person of Bishop David Oyedepo, who is sitting tirelessly on top of an organization that is more than five nations put together. In my privileged relationship with the servant of God, I noticed a number of things that makes success out of a leader. He is driven by passion; dedicated to a fault and results oriented. He once said to me, after a request for prayers “go and work it out” meaning that not everything requires prayers. I wish that he could avail us the same template.
For us to experience a new Nigeria of our dream certainly requires the combination of great and workable ideas coming from all sides and uniformity of purpose between the leadership and the citizenry. It is doable. Arise O’ compatriots!
Richard Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE (ACRI).