From Nigeria - Leadership In Nigeria

Editor's Note: This blog is part of a larger blog series titled "From Nigeria," which was organized by Applied Worldwide contributor and correspondent Adamu Usman Garko.

It is sad that at this age, the country is still grappling with many challenges. Things are still falling apart. It is shameful.

Today, in Nigeria, any person can aspire to be a leader and be chosen either legitimately or illegitimately. The allure of power is irresistible to our politicians.

Some of our leaders are not competent, but sadly, they are still at the helm of affairs. Some are clueless. Some still need to be trained and schooled in the art of leadership.

Dear Nigerians, did you vote for good leaders or looters? Did you vote for competence? Did you vote for your future? Did you vote for someone who would build schools, hospitals, construct roads, develop our infrastructure? Did you give somebody the mandate to rule you without paying special attention to his qualities? Is it somebody that kills our economy, gives stimulants to our youth, destroys our society? Did you vote because it is an obligation and a right at the same time?

We should not sit and fold our arms and watch the continuous plundering, looting and squandering of public funds.

Citizens also contribute to good governance at our various levels of life. Aside from obedience and compliance with rules so long as they are not evil and abominable, there are other positive contributions, like constructive criticisms, advising the government on good things and warning against evil.

Leaders, however, must always exhibit good traits. Justice is a very important aspect in any given society. A leader, therefore, must be just. We should pay special attention to this quality before selecting any leader.

Knowledge should also be considered when choosing leaders. Knowledgeable leaders can be found in tertiary institutions. Therefore, institutions should put in place proper structures to teach our younger ones’ leadership traits before it becomes too late to overcome the present challenges.

Competence is another appealing quality. The ability to overcome situations and handle matters, matters very much. But do we care to consider that? We should not just go ahead and select a person to represent us knowing full well that person is incompetent.

Aspiring leaders should read very well. It is quite important to take a cue from great leaders in history. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi of India, Martin Luther King of the United States, among others.

Young leaders are also urged to be servant-leaders because leadership is about service to humanity and not for self-glorification.

Muhammad Auwal Ibrahim writes from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Nigeria.

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