Leadership in most African countries could mean“opportunity to collect”. When a person thinks about leadership, it is simply understood as opportunity to be at the helm of power and “collect money”, not truly about serving the people. Positions of power should first be for good governance and welfare of the people. Unfortunately, for a very long time, our Nation is been governed by persons with ulterior motives. Most alarming are -people who have little or NO knowledge about what leadership truly signifies.
It is sad that we all feel the same way, sometimes we (including those destroying our Nation with bad governance) all speak the same language about CHANGE.
Over the years, I have had conversations with leaders in different positions of power and I have been very curious about the kind of change that everyone talks about. What really is this change? How can a person with no relatable education, access to education or knowledge truly understand what this change frequently talked about means?
I am yet to see a non-wealthy politician or law maker. As a matter of fact, when a person thinks about politics- they think about “just wealth”.I have absolutely nothing against wealthy law makers who get duly remunerated for works implemented. My question is what about the people? The duty of a leader at the helm of power is to serve the people, the people constitute the Nation. Without the people-there will be no Nation.
The people do not serve, leaders in positions of power create conducive environments,serve the people and implement revolutionary change.
Why do we still have unemployment at very high rate? Why do we have increasing poverty? Why do we still have people dwell in ignorance when we preach education daily? Why do we still have large number of unemployed graduates? Why do we still have women clearly underrepresented in leadership positions?It is sad that in West Africa, life long leadership position is the norm, cared advancement and authority are based on seniority.These factors commemorate the continuous cycle of poverty in Africa and stunt the people’s dream for a great future.
I am a member of a group who carry out daily conversations on the problems Nations undergo. 98% of people in our group and very many Africans believe that for Africa -majority of our problem is embedded in our leadership.
Seven years ago, a very powerful individual in Africa, whose company I assisted, absconded with very large amount of my money. He was powerful enough to go under the radar but his company effectively operated. The government agency responsible for crimes investigation were very much ready to get to works but they had no means of doing so at the early stage . Often time,there was no power supply to operate,they had no gas to go search for evidence nor call cards to communicate.(Details in my book: NOT AFRAID TO LEAD). At that time, the money equates to about One hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) for only on a starting amount of Ten Million Naira ($68,000.00)would the agency get to work.
Our people have a lot to do in terms of doing things right, mindset change,cultivating openness and many more.
- You go out and agitate for a leader who is not answerable to you..
- You go out and kill each other for a leader who does not care about you, your children or your children’s children..
- You cause menace in the society for a leader who will create no opportunity for your child to do greatly and be great..
- You sell yourself, your dignity and your country for a few change..
- You lay your life down for a leader who will attempt to subject your daughters brilliance to her sexuality and equate her knowledge to the bedroom .
The unshakable optimist and ethnographer “Simon Sinek” spoke directly about this in his speech “ Why good leaders make you feel safe”. He mentioned that great leaders extend their circle of influence so that the most junior person can feel like they belong”. We need a new paradigm for rethinking government management, one that can generate and empower new leaders at all levels and motivate a new generation of professionals to a calling in public service. It takes good leadership to give people positive view about themselves, giving them an opportunity to be the best version and work towards a better future.
A great percentage of Africans agitate for change, often times in exchange for a fee without truly understanding what it is they agitate for. Wasted years will no longer be accommodated .To truly break this cycle of poverty and to achieve economic growth, sustainability, stability and most importantly a system, everyone, Including leaders need access to education. This is one sure way to leadership reforms.
When we are educated, we assemble people who are strengthened to implement authentic change. There are no two ways-It must begin with us.