A Must-Read: The Leadership Imperative By Abdulqadir Gambo

Recent developments in Nigeria tempts one to posit that there is a general return to politics of isolationism, fuelled by unending intra and inter-communal conflicts.

Since independence, Nigeria has witnessed different periods of tension and turmoil. Ethnic and regional competition for control of government and public resources has been remarkably intense. Corruption and social injustices has led us to where we are today, higher percentage of our leaders lacks important values that aid peaceful co-existence and good governance.

In this nation today, ethnic and religious uprising and the insatiable demands for more states and local governments has given birth to an ethnic jingoism, the very bane of present political impasse resulting in the loss of faith in the sovereignty and unity of our land. These trend of political disintegration has become a major feature and could remain till the end of this century, if allowed unchecked.

Discrimination, marginalisation and exploitation of one section of the country/community by another worsen inter-communal relations daily. The struggle for economic and political space by a fast growing albeit spatially dispersed elite makes the gap between wider.

The close relationship existing between political power and access to economic and other privileges, as well the widespread notion that both, and even resources in the country are currently in the tight grip of a small, self-serving and self-perpetuating elite, have led to a sharp escalation in the quest for power at all costs – the do or die phenomenon. With it, some make continuous demand for a break-up and/or a greater localisation of power and resource control.

However this is viewed, a simplistic approach to dealing with the multiple problems of the Nigerian society is unlikely to lead to a concrete solution.

A conscious effort must first be made to understand the challenges with the least display of emotion while remaining open-minded in the search for an enduring panacea.

There is no doubt that the crisis of unity is a fact of life today. Tribalism today becloud the judgement of people; it is no good if its not from or by our kinsman, and even an injustice carried out is permissive if only our person is the lead act.

Methink democracy should not be an end but a means to an end. How many seek good governance, economic development and social stability for the good of our people?

A re-orientation is necessary for both the leader and the led. Beginning with the one man, one vote at the polls; holding in high regard the rule of law, before which everybody is treated equally; a freedom of expression that is untampered with as well of a freedom of assembly.

For our leaders to make the desired change, accountability must be a principle they uphold, with respect for the checks and balances designed to reduce their excesses.

Our nation can be salvaged through democratic politics but a drastic and total change of attitude and practice must be exhibited by political leaders before people’s faith can be restored in the present democratic system.

A collective and deliberate effort is what we need to rebuild the various facets of our society hitherto destroyed to our detriment.

Persons in the position of leadership at every level must be people of proven integrity, with a high degree of sincerity, a genuine desire to foster unity and a preparedness to redress inbalances whenever and wherever they become manifest.

Paying lip service to reformation without a serious determination to selflessly serve the people will produce little.

It must be recognised that social harmony, peace and unity cannot co-exist with injustice and inequity. These crucial elements for national development can only exist in a system where all feel secure in the knowledge that they are not being cheated or relegated to the background in the scheme of things.

Whenever a section of the society feel insecure, relegated or neglected, general feeling of alienation is bound to arise and often will present itself in the form of protests like that in the Niger Delta few years back or in the extreme, rebellion such like we find in Northern Nigeria today.

The Federal Government must address the myriads of challenges, chief of which is empowerment for the youths to curb crimes propagated in the advent of the likes of the Boko Haram insurgency and the Niger-Delta militancy.

The North in particular is challenged with jobless and disillusioned youths, no proper medical clinics in most states; some of the doctors are afraid to show up at the few medical facilities for reasons of insecurity.

We must bear in mind that when conflicts and dissentions blow full-scale, non can claim immunity from its fallouts; in the end everybody bears the brunt. Innocent people usually worst hit.

It is therefore in our overall national interest and a duty for all to devise ways and means of achieving harmony and cohesion by promoting mutual understanding, cooperation and raising the banner of transparency, honesty and integrity.

This in fact, is the foundation on which everything else rests.

– Abdulqadir Gambo (Twitter – @AGDaki) writes from Potiskum, Nigeria

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6 thoughts on “A Must-Read: The Leadership Imperative By Abdulqadir Gambo

  1. An excellent article that says it all about the true situation of things on the ground today in our country.Politics of Tribalism and Sectionalism,infact Nepotism will kill this country if the right and competent leaders are denied rulership of this country simply because of where they come from.God save this country.Ameen.Good presentation.Very impressive.


  2. what a masterpiece, u really encapsulated all the problms facing our country intellegently. Notwithstanding, I differ with u a little on the solution you put forward, I think to change the current trend this country is moving, the citizens should be @ the forefront of it, bcos our leaders mindset is almost irredeemable, they can’t just change with out our oversight. In other words, we should be holding our leaders accountable I.e evry community should be having a sort of honest town hall meeting with its elected officials councilor, chairmen, reps etc on a regular basis and they should be mandating the officials to be be accounting evry kobo that goes to their respective offices. Also, Carrot and stick approach of appraisal should be adopted by the communities, officials that are doin well should rewarded eg by re-election or higher offices, while those that fail this simle test should face the wrath of the community I.e impeacheament, recalling, voting against them etc.
    I don’t think our present crops of politians will ever change if we didn’t stop glorifyn thieves and make them work. All the things u mentioned above, insecurity, tribalism, nepotism etc are symtoms of bad governance and they can’t just go in a day just bcos we have a good presdent. In a nutshell, we must make our leaders accountable frm grassroot which will have a tricke up effect to the higher levels (govs n presdent), they will never change on their own


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