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Leadership – Its Burden And Purpose - Politics - Nairaland

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Leadership – Its Burden And Purpose by Chukwuka16: 9:03am On May 17, 2020
Washing a donkey’s head with water is a waste of water (VBQ, p.270)

It has become imperative this afternoon to begin on this note. I will again this afternoon throw caution to the wind and forget the existence of decorum for the seriousness of the matter at hand is in no need for niceties.

It is no misnomer that the worst that can happen to a nation is to find herself in the position Nigeria is – to be filled with very intelligent and active people but led by one of its dumbest and frail persons. As an academic, there is one thing I dread and that is to have my future decided upon by someone who isn’t qualified to do so – it is not pride! Having an unqualified person take such decisions is comparable to a chemist performing brain surgery for an individual. The result of such an operation is not an open secret – disaster.
Re: Leadership – Its Burden And Purpose by Chukwuka16: 9:04am On May 17, 2020
It was Isaac Newton who famously quipped that “if I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Chinua Achebe in his last book “There was a Country” told of how his generation trusted the government to take major decisions about their careers for them. That was the Nigeria we had. A Nigeria where our fathers and elders demonstrated what a great Nigeria should be. They provided the platform for folks to thrive irrespective of background and affiliation. They were interested in developing the minds of Nigerians because “the mind is the standard of the man.”

In defining our history, we can never forget the fathers who took it upon themselves to fight for the actualization of the entity called Nigeria – Anthony Enahoro, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Eyo Ita, Alvan Ikoku, Ahmadu Bello, Tafawa Balewa, Dennis Osadebay, Obafemi Awolowo, Ambrose Alli etc. These folks (all dead) have etched their names in the sand of time. These were fathers. They had ideals, they had a cause and they fought for it. For them, national interests trumped personal gains. Did they have their flaws? Yes! However, their contributions to nation building cannot be easily erased. Did they succeed? We can’t say! We are still scrutinizing their successors to determine that!
Re: Leadership – Its Burden And Purpose by Chukwuka16: 9:04am On May 17, 2020
The bedrock of education in the South West and Cocoa development in the Western region could be traced to the vision of a leader – Awolowo. Seeing the future, he began consciously setting up the Western region to become the education hub of Nigeria. Today, the leading institutions of higher education (private and public) are domiciled in the West.

Over time, as they died and a new breed of fathers evolved, we have had cause to wonder if the current fathers are off springs of the past fathers or perhaps these current fathers have been fathered by a beast. The tales and sights we are treated to daily are quite painful and sad. The qualities of sacrifice, care, patience, foresight, competence etc. that were visible in the late fathers are nowhere to be seen among the new fathers.
Re: Leadership – Its Burden And Purpose by Chukwuka16: 9:05am On May 17, 2020
On the political scene, it is not any different. The clowns who parade themselves as leaders are in essence thieves masquerading in sheep’s clothing. They have thrown aside any sense of humanity and have settled to fleece and inflict maximum pains on the masses. The elected officials from the presidency to the legislature to the judiciary are made up almost totally of these nuisances who are a total deviation from the norms and values so exhibited by our founding fathers.

In education, your guess is as good as mine. Fela sums it up – “teacher, don’t teach me nonsense.” When we realise that years after, education in Nigeria is characterised by gross nepotism and cabalised by a cohort of despots who are devoid of any iota of intelligence, then we shouldn’t be shocked by the calibre of graduates being churned out from our institutions of higher learning.
Re: Leadership – Its Burden And Purpose by Chukwuka16: 9:05am On May 17, 2020
Leadership is influence – J. Oswald Sanders

I love simple definitions because they communicate volumes.

As growing up kids, it wasn’t uncommon for us to desire to be like someone in our vicinity – doctor, engineer, police or even a traffic warden! Why? Those folks influenced us. I always thought about being a military man as a kid. I loved the respect and fear they generated from folks around. They exerted leadership without moving an inch!

As an undergrad, there was just a minute crop of persons whose influence continued to fan my love for academics – yes, I have my issues (many they are it seems) but these folks exemplified something unique that made me desire being an academic.
Re: Leadership – Its Burden And Purpose by Chukwuka16: 9:06am On May 17, 2020
It is always shocking to realise how easily we default to the thinking that leadership must always be associated with a position (based on age/seniority or attainment by structure – note that I never said merit). As a Nigerian, it isn’t uncommon to see my seniors attempting to exert some influence over me. In fact, in my life as an adult, I do get to be challenged from time to time by folks older than me on how I must behave. Sometimes I get into lengthy conversations with senior folks and they chip in their advice and I smile – if they only knew. Of course, no one knows it all, but if you have been able to achieve anything interesting with your life (career, marriage, a job or business, anything) that you are very proud of, then you are capable of determining how your life goes.

The Nigerian nation has thrived on a culture of bullying. Younger folks cannot question or criticise the elder ones because the elder ones are always right. The nonsense culture has now metamorphosed into an entitlement mentality as routinely displayed by these folks in public gathering – think constituted authority. You see religious clerics who feel they can’t be questioned because they read the bible or pray or can join two words together to tell me about Moses. This attitude of bullying and non-recognition of the opinions of youths is what has led to lost values today. Youths today now believe that they can only be heard when they have money or wield some influence. The rising cases of advanced fee fraud, rituals, stealing, drug courier etc. among youths is tied largely to their desire to be recognised. Leadership must recognise the candidate!
Re: Leadership – Its Burden And Purpose by Chukwuka16: 9:07am On May 17, 2020
What makes leadership is its ability to offer you a model and a platform for self-discovery. Leadership need not be a formal relationship, in fact, leadership can be modelled unknowingly or from far. However, the leader modelling leadership ensures that every prospective candidate enjoys that serenity and platform for self-discovery. The leader acknowledges that the candidate must own the process and drive his progress. The leader doesn’t aim to reproduce himself in the candidate – then it becomes exertion.

Leadership appreciates diversity in idea, approach, manner and makes lengthy room for the candidate to experiment. A leader is a sponsor whose role is to bear the repercussions of the candidate’s misdeeds for only in such misdeeds can the candidate learn responsibility. A leader doesn’t seek to build followers but other leaders. It is our failure to understand this that informs the poor outcomes in today’s development process in Nigeria (especially in our education system). Little wonder today, there is no difference between our academics in Nigeria and the legislooters in parliament. Just as we have crimes of sexual harassment, nepotism, forgery and embezzlement among our parliamentarians, the very same is prevalent in our hallowed educational sector. Why? Bad academic leaders have reproduced themselves!
Re: Leadership – Its Burden And Purpose by Chukwuka16: 9:09am On May 17, 2020
As I conclude, I am thinking back on some of the painful experiences one has been forced to go through all because one wanted to go the path of self-discovery. No one makes the rules in life except God and it will always be foolishness for anyone to believe that they can influence what becomes of another person. When leaders understand how ephemeral and frail they are and that they are only a minute/infinitesimal part of a very long process, then they must be humble enough to do their part and move on. The concept of someone assuming the role of baale in one’s life and waiting for regular sacrifices and other ego massaging acts must be done away with. Academics are in the education business to enlighten folks and put them in the path of usefulness/self-discovery.

We are running out of time in Nigeria. Let’s begin looking inwards and start reassessing our modus operandi. The best time to have started was yesterday and by tomorrow, the best time would have been today.

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