Filed under: Letters,National Issues |



The choice of words in the above heading is deliberate. ‘What’ is the more appropriate word but I have decided to use ‘who’ figuratively to personify this elusive mystic leader called leadership.

I was provoked to write this piece because of comments from Nigerians especially members of the political class namely:

  1. The Chairperson of House Committee on Diaspora, Hon Abike Dabiri recently in a TV interview asserted that the problem of this country is leadership. She vented her frustrations at the brick walls of resistance she encountered when carrying out the committee’s assignment because some-one, somewhere failed to provide the much-needed leadership. But she heads her committee of which the Speaker himself is a member.
  2. Senate President David Mark in a public gathering declared that the problem of Nigeria is leadership. But I wonder again that he is the President of the Senate and the Chairman of the National Assembly.
  3. Honourable Dimeji Bankole, former Speaker House of Represntatives made same observation that leadership is a big problem in Nigeria.
  4. Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State in a public lecture again averred that the fundamental problem with Nigeria is leadership. Sadly I realize he is the governor of a state where he wields almost absolute power. Moreover, he is the chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum for 7years running now.
  5. Governor Chibuike Amaechi of River State, recently in his explosive characteristic manner said the Jonathan-led Federal Government has failed Nigerians in terms of leadership. Unfortunately I remember that he is the governor of oil-rich River State with a war-chest of federation allocation equivalent to our national annual budget during the Obasanjo era. He was also Speaker of River State House of Assembly during Odili era. He also presided over the affairs of Nigeria Governors’ Forum for four years before the factionalisation following a controversial election.
  6. Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State never failed to lecture whoever cares to listen that good governance was sine qua non to Eldorado. Yet he presided over a state with the highest literacy rate in Nigeria and lost re-election shamefully after a four-year term.
  7. The Arewa Consultative Forum in their ethnocentric manner suddenly realized that under President Goodluck Jonathan the problem of Nigeria is leadership despite the fact that its sons held sway in Nigeria for nearly 40 years without much to show for it. Currently, it has same people(including top military brass, accomplished civil servants/paramilitary personnel etc) in its top echelon of Board of Trustees and National Executive Council.
  8. Former NBA president Olisa Agbakogba, SAN in an interview on a national daily said that Nigeria is a semi-autopilot because of failed leadership. Yet he did not rein in on the indiscipline in the Bar nor the impunity of the Bench when he was NBA president and now member of National Judicial Council.

From the foregoing, it is obvious to everyone including those in government that there is leadership crisis in this country. It is very, very sad and puzzling that these same people despite occupying very strategic positions and being aware of this leadership jinx failed to change the course of governance significantly. Some of them wield almost absolute power that they can decree anything into existence without any challenge from any quarters. Yet these people are pointing in some direction where they believe the ‘leadership’ lies. There appears to be the culture of buck passing and the blame game.

Where then is this leadership? Or ‘Who’ is this leadership? Is this leadership in Aso Rock? Or Is President Goodluck Jonathan the ‘elusive leadership’? If this leadership is in Aso Rock, many past leaders were there before and never made any meaningful impact. If all fingers are pointing at President Jonathan then you may be disappointed as he too may tell you that the problem too is leadership.

Is the assertion of the ruling elite a confession of self-indictment or have they refused to do the needful or have they connived to shortchanged the Nigerian project? Only time will tell. Maybe we have to wait for Lee Kuan Yew(of Singapore) to become president of Nigeria before this finger pointing will end at his desk as he would assume full responsibility.


God Save My Country!