Leadership is a privilege to serve. In its ideal form, it is geared towards the betterment of the people and not the other way round. This is why the concept of leadership and public perceptions needs to be re-evaluated and redefined in the context of the third world countries like Nigeria.
African nations have remained backward and unwarrantedly impoverish for the simple reason of poor leadership. It is even more saddening that our theoretically great country and giant of Africa, Nigeria still remains a classic illustration of such socio-economic retardation of monumental proportion. Imagine a nation so richly endowed with natural and human resources, with estimated earnings of a humongous $400 billion dollars from the petroleum sector alone in less than ten years, still having nothing to show for it. Instead of being counted among the richest nations of the world, we are today pitiably rated as the global headquarters of extreme poverty. What about the regrettable narrative surrounding the current leadership that is still continually adding to the nation’s woes by its unending and indeed unimaginable acquisition of more and more loans, both foreign and local?
In the words of Victor-Marie Hugo, a French poet, novelist and dramatist of the Romantic Movement, “Diamonds are found only in the dark places of the earth; truths are found only in depths of thought.” A lie can travel half way around the world while truth is still putting on its shoes, yet it will catch up with lie.
Hugo’s postulation confirmed the chances of finding in a strange place, the quality of leadership that we so desire in our efforts of continued “Search for a Visionary Leadership.” The much sought-after leadership brand is the pure-bred kind of leaders that can reunite a nation in dire need of national cohesion. It is a leadership capable of reinventing nationhood, enthroning peaceful coexistence and building the much-needed mutual respect and trust among the multi ethnic nationalities that make up our beloved country.
There is also a portion of the scripture in Psalm 42:7 that make reference to “deep calls unto the deep,” which validates this whole search for visionary leadership. I discovered that the deep calling unto the deep and the deep things of man reflects a major archetype in the imagination; a place or state of the mind or soul that one would wish to avoid, but that no one can completely avoid. “But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things – the deep things of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:10).
Islam also places very high premium on God-fearing conscious followers, as you get the quality of leadership you deserve as a people. Like the saying that “A people gets the leadership they deserve,” this is a timely reminder of our common responsibilities.
Having delved into the realms of spiritual awakening, the essence of repentance, forgiveness and looking beyond the physical has been clearly established in our ardent desire for a greater and more prosperous Nigerian state.
Yours sincerely is convinced beyond measures that with the passage of time and as we vigorously journey ahead in our undying quest for nationhood, the place of visionary leadership is most desirable. I see a new nation emerging from the foresightedness of a singular Nigerian not known to breathe hot air of power on the majority of citizens and one not given to arrogant display of crude authoritarian tendencies that have beclouded the current epoch.
Richard Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE (ACRI)