Editor’s note: Oladapo Afolabi, the NAIJ.com partner blogger, in this piece explains why poor leadership is not the reason of the pain of many Nigerians.
Afolabi, popularly referred to as Daps, is a human resource capitalist, entrepreneur, travel consultant and a passionate writer and the owner of the blog Dapsdiary.
More details in NAIJ.com’s step-by-step guide for guest bloggers.
Nothing seem to work in this part of the world I find myself! Yes, in Nigeria. It seems as if our problems are so numerous that they cannot even be numbered. We cannot simply place why we have so much and yet suffer so much.
In the hearts of many, corruption is the obvious reason for our problems; corruption has eaten deep into our system that it has become normal. What should I make of the scenario that I called a toddler to help beckon on a friend and this toddler refused, then I offered him money and he was more than ready to go? Should I title that singular act from the toddler motivation or corruption?
Resources we have in Nigeria and Africa are enough to make Nigeria the greatest nation on earth
The ones who found themselves in politics – in the very treasury of the nation just cannot help but steal. The corruption that emanates from our leaders in Nigeria and Africa can kill; our leaders at all fronts seem not to know any other thing to do than to steal the money that belongs to the people for personal gratifications. Every African and Nigerian will agree that the resources we have in Nigeria and Africa are enough to make Nigeria the greatest nation on earth, if well utilised.
So we blame the government for the state of the nation, we feel they are the architect of our problems. We hate our leaders so much that we wish we can have access to guns and kill them all over the night. We think once we can get rid of the wicked leaders we have, only then Nigeria can progress and find her place among the princes of the world. But how true is that?
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This cancer called corruption has eaten deep into us that the mentality of almost all Nigerians is to find themselves an opportunity to eat the so called “national cake”, Nigerian politics have become an avenue for the luckily elected to eat their share of this cake.
The few religious minds who do not share this idea just wish someday we would wake up and find righteous men in governance and every leadership platform, and these righteous men would take Nigeria to the promise land. If only wishes were horses…
Do we have leadership problems in Nigeria and Africa?
YES, Is that the reason Africa and Nigeria is still a developing continent and country? – NO. It is a big “NO” for me. The reason for the poverty, pain, corruption, crimes etc in Nigeria and Africa is not because we have corrupt leaders, the solution to our problems is not removing the old government and putting a new, neither is it voting in another political party with a well crafted mantra.
This must be getting interesting and surprising for my dear reader; I know you must be wondering – what is the reason for our problems and what is then the solution?
Our problems are numerous but have one singular cause which is “LACK OF VALUES”. I believe we even have more followership problems than leadership problems. We easily forget that there is no leadership without a followership and both parties have significant roles to play in order to achieve set down goals and objectives. We also do fail to come to the reality that among the people (followers), the leaders will emerge.
I have always learnt that the government or leadership of a people is always a true reflection of such people – that knowledge was a paradigm shift for me; I stopped joining my voice with the ignorance to abuse and curse the government because my knowledge tells me it is an indictment on me. It is normal to have corrupt leadership if we have corrupt people, it is simple: if we want good leadership then we become good people, among the good people we will elect good leaders.
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Do I mean we do not have good people in Nigeria? –NO. As a matter of fact I am a good man. We have good people, but they are only a remnant of the bad, we have very few people who will never collect bribe, we have only a few people who would help their neighbors without expecting anything in return, we have a little few who are philanthropist without the intention to evade tax, we have a little few business-men and entrepreneurs who will not cheat, we have a very few people who believe in dignity in labor – not the get-rich-quick syndrome plaguing the 21st century youth. We have a very few. Funny enough those few people in the name of religion do not meddle with politics – they leave it for the bad people, they simply call it a dirty game, and they expect the bad people to turn good by simply praying for them. How I wish that is how it works.
We have lost values like honesty, contentment, and dignity of labor, truth, respect, unity, cleanliness and so many more. This is the reason we are corrupt, this is why we are plagued with insurgency, it is the reason we have the Biafran agitation and so many ills in Nigeria and Africa at large. If these values and virtues are in place it will be easy for the system to fight corrupt practices, the system will easily eliminate the bad among the good.
What now is the way forward?
The few remnants that are good among us must come out from their hideouts and make their good infectious – just like I intend with this article on my blog. Do something, be proud of the good, teach someone, mentor someone, just be creative to do something. It becomes easier – you do not need to start from a distance, start from your family. Family play a significant role in nation building, it is called the smallest unit of a society, which is where values are primarily taught. This is a wake-up call to parents not to totally entrust their wards in the hand of a school, but take out time to teach their children some of these values.
It is time for the religious gathering to stop focusing on themselves but have a nationalist view, teach members values that can bring about the desired change we want in our land. The educationist too have a place in this – schools should not just be an academic centre nor should it ever be a venture for making money rather it should also be an institute for crafting morals and values into their students, any school that encourages exam malpractice is as worse than the most corrupt politicians.
READ ALSO: War against corruption: Do our political leaders have conscience?
Without the right values we will still wallow in the pit of corruption and remain a developing people. It is time for us to go back to our roots, embrace our heritage as a people, respect and embrace our diversity, return back to who we use to be and what God wants us to be – only then we shall have the Nigeria of our dreams.
Finally, if you find this piece useful, kindly use the social media icons below to share with friends, someone out there also deserve to read this. I’ll be glad you did. Just in case you have a comment, question or clarification, you know what to do – contact me; I’ll be itching to hear from you. I love, I care.
Dapsdiary is a nation building outfit geared at echoing entrepreneurial revolution, personal development, national values, and giving right perspective, contemporary meaning and futuristic implications to socio-political issues.
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