Nigeria At 55: In Search Of Right Leadership | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

Our View, Views

Nigeria At 55: In Search Of Right Leadership

Posted: Oct 1, 2015 at 12:39 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

The wave of political independence that swept through Africa in the late 1950s and the early 1960s did not leave Nigeria behind. But national developments in the last fifty-five years have fluctuated along the axis of pluses and minuses.

With a political class that had no defined national philosophy as founding fathers, the attainment of independence was more of a compromise than a clear-cut road map for national growth. With a national anthem that signified the intention of the imperialist to play on the ethnic differences of their colonial subjects, vulnerable nationalists not only fell for it, they also transformed into neo-colonialists. 

Nepotism soon led to a fierce civil war and incessant military interventions, suspension and near-abolition of constitutional democracy, descent into dictatorship, the enthronement of politics of impunity, depreciation of infrastructure, and all sorts of national misdemeanours occasioning the loss of close to $750b to official corruption from oil wealth became the order of the day. 

Whereas there had been outstanding contributions of Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to global developments in the areas of technology, medicine, law, literature, peace-keeping, diplomacy and conflict resolution, Nigeria has been beset with such internal contradictions as to lose the moral grounds to bring a Saudi Arabian government to book for the loss of lives of her pilgrim citizens in a stampede in Mecca, having failed to prosecute a domestic case in which a collapsed religious building had killed vulnerable worshippers.

As Africa’s most populous black nation, ‘the Giant of Africa’ sobriquet seems to well-deserved, not only for coming from West Africa to lead the battle against racism in South Africa, but also for keeping peace in all the troubled areas of the continent. Yet when Nigeria’s time of visitation came in form of Boko Haram insurgents, the giant was caught napping.

Up till the time of marking this 55th independence anniversary, there had been the challenges of insecurity of lives and property. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost to insurgents while Nigerians sleep with one eye open, owing to unending cases of kidnapping.

With the upsurge of religious organisation, both the educational and the industrial sectors became the worse for it. While less emphasis is now placed on quality education, since that was the least requirement for becoming a religious leader, almost all the warehouses sited in industrial areas of the cities have metamorphosed into mushrooming places of worship. Nigeria now de-industrialises by the day while potential labour for agriculture migrates in droves to the metropolis as unproductive worshipers.

Occasioned by the recycling of perpetual parasitic political leadership, Nigeria, at 55, is dying to have a new brand of patriotic and intelligent leaders that would rescue her from the class of a wasted generation. Coming from the socio-economic heritage of agrarian communities, a new Nigeria would emerge when her citizens return to agriculture through a mechanised path, to show the true meaning of the green in her national flag. Blessed with the largest tropical forest in the world, African nations have no reason not to deliver on being the food baskets of the world.

Given that Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and material resources, we believe that there is hope for the future generation of her citizens, should she be lucky to have the right kind of leadership.