Timeless Articles

Does Nigeria have a leadership Problem?

A Lawmaker representing Ibadan West in the House of representative shared a story of how he sent a transformer to a community in his constituency, which has been without electricity for years.

The electricity transformer got to the location where it was needed, the hoodlums in the community would not allow it to be installed until they were paid or “settled”. After a series of persuasion, they still did not allow the installation of this garget. The lawmaker had no choice but to redirect the transformer to another community, according to him, “It’s their luck”. Only God knows when next they would ever have that opportunity again.

All lot of folks has diagnosed Nigerian’s problem as one caused by bad leadership. Have we ever thought through this assertion? Have we ever asked ourselves why those holding public offices turn out to be birds of a feather? Why they keep disappointing Nigerians over an over again? The answer is simple, Nigerian Leaders are a reflection of their followers.

The leaders in the National Assembly, those in the State Houses of Assembly, governors and other political and public leaders were once followers. They were once part of the grassroots, people who knew the unfortunate situation of their fellow Nigerian. They were among those who called for political change at one point or the other. It is disheartening that they toll the line previously failed leaders followed. The fact is bad followers make bad leaders. If Nigerians followers were responsible and

Nigerians readily blame their leaders for the plight. They are good at pushing the blame. Some blame President Buhari and the Federal government for their inability to feed the many children they have. This is one reality that makes Nigerian followers the worst in the world. It is typical for Nigerian followers to blame the ruling class for their issue, instead of taking responsibility for the situation they are in. Not that the ruling class don’t have a share of the blame, however, the ruling class don’t feel the pain of being a Nigerian as much as powerless followers do. They need to take responsibility for their lives.

Nigerian followers are too passive. I once asked a man, who had all the ideas in the world that could transform the country, why he is not considering getting involved in politics, he said the realm is not meant for people like him. This is the response of much brilliant and upright folks. How do we change a thing when we don’t what to get involved?

Political apathy is a terrible disease among Nigerians. It takes massive persuading to get some Nigerians out during elections. When they do, they are most motivated by the gratification that they might get. Nigerian politicians act with impunity because their followers do not put them under pressure. Even when they are displeased by the performance of their representatives, A typical follower hardly reacts to this betrayal of trust. When it is time to stand with one voice against bad leadership, Nigerians do so in the comfort of their home, on social media platforms, not physically. Activists are bought over by politicians and governments. They allow politicians to divide them along ethnic, religion and regional lines.

Nigerians who can effect a change in the dysfunctional system stay in a safe distance, with an indifference disposition. Some criticize their leaders without making an effort to make things right. There is certainly no dearth of visionary leaders in the country, but they are either not ready to step into the troubled waters of governance or they have been given reasons why they are unwanted in the leadership realm.

If you have experience the behaviour of a typical Nigerian driver on the road, you will realise that they are no better than their leaders. Nigerians, in their sphere of influence, are worse than the leaders they crucify. The manner some Nigerian manage their homes, act on their jobs, treat their subordinates, manage the affairs of their immediate environment, and respond to issues, you will agree that there is no difference between them and those with the leader title. They are all Nigerians – Nigerians love to exploit power.

Nigerian leaders are described to be corrupt, incompetent, wasteful and power drunk. Ordinary Nigerians also exhibit this trait. The corruption, lawlessness and other societal vices pull off by a follower day after day are incredible when looked into. Corruption and sharp practices have become a way of life. People strive on these vices. So what do you expect of them when they change class, from follower to leader. Leadership position amplifies these attitudes. Nigerians followers dream of stepping into the threshold of power, only to continue with the counterproductive idiosyncrasies of the leaders before them.

Nigerian followers are to blame for the massive corruption leaders in this country perpetuate. How do you expect a leader whose followers pressure for money and handout not to steal to satisfy his follower’s request? There are politicians in the country who hardly go to their constituency because they know how demanding their followers are in this regard. This is aside from the fact that during elections, followers give their mandate to the highest bidder.

I am still surprise people say we have a leadership problem in this country. All we have are followers who are satisfied by their unfortunate lot and sufferings. As long as they can eat today’s meal, they don’t care about where tomorrow’s meal is coming from. If anybody has failed this country It the followers that have failed.

Nigerian followers need to develop their capacity as followers and potential leaders. They must be ready to take responsibility for their future. We must adhere to Former United States President’s advice, he said: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”. They must understand that followership is a duty not a title.

What is your take on my submission, please let me know in the comment section.

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About Author

Joshua Oyenigbehin is an introvert who is passionate about Storytelling, writing, and teaching. He sees his imagination as an unsearchable world, more magical than a fairyland. He has written a novel and working on another

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