Before we discuss how to establish a culture of exceptional leadership in Nigeria and Africa, we must first define 4 keywords that will serve as the foundation of this article. These are the definitions of these keywords according to the Webster’s Dictionary:
Leadership: To guide the way; to live; to direct the operations, activitives, or performance of; to tend towards a definite result. So in summary, leadership means guiding and directing our performance towards a desired goal that brings life to all involved.
Democracy: Government by the people; government in which the supreme power is held by the people; government absent of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges. In simple terms, it means that democracy is the government genuinely elected by the people, made up of legitimate citizens of the people, and chosen solely for the interest of the people instead of Emirs, current and former military men, Kaduna mafia, ethnicity or religious groups, foreign religions, or external influence and benefit.
Courage: The ability to conquer fear or despair; to be brave. This means that a people without courage can never unite, prosper, or make any significant difference. This is because it takes courage to stand on the path of right, it takes courage to speak the truth against all odds, and most importantly, it takes courage to put the benefit of all before your very own despite being called an outcast by your own. A nation of cowards is a nation of gross injustice, mismanagement, unaccountability, and oppression without end.
Pan-Africanism: It is defined in Wikipedia as a sociopolitical world view and movement aimed at uniting Africans from within the continent and the Africans in the Diaspora politically. To successfully unite a people politically, they must be educated constantly to understand their common historical, cultural, spiritual, artistic, scientific and philosophical legacies, and know how to strategically apply them economically to their daily lives. As an African, this is next to God Himself.
Now that we have discussed the 4 keywords for the article, why don’t we look into what Nigerian and African leadership should be like in ordered to achieve these 4 keywords while establishing a culture of exceptional and outstanding leadership for its citizens. The 5 issues that we must always focus on and train ourselves to understand and be prepared for before we enter, campaign, or accept any leadership position are as follows:
Make people proud of their nation? Throughout history, it is the economy of a nation that brings pride and honor to the nation. When a nation has a great economy, it automatically keeps developing a mighty military to protect it or to acquire more wealth from distant lands. It is when they have a secured good economy that they introduce an exceptional politically system to maintain it, and if possible, convince others to follow their lead to guarantee their continuous success. A truly and legitimate successful man wakes up every morning to secure, guarantee, and multiply his wealth. He will never allow the unlearned or the inexperienced politically manage his economy. Unconsciously, he will promote adequate educational system to ensure that people around him have the mandatory wealth of knowledge to not only get their own, but also to know how to maintain the system to guarantee his children’s inheritance. He cannot spend his whole life each second playing with money, so to guarantee a stress-free life, he invests in social life and creates a decent health care system to keep his sanity and enhance his longevity in order to enjoy life to its fullest. No leader should take office without an economic plan to generate revenue for its constituents in his first one-tenth (10%) period in office. If it is a 4 year term (48 months), by the 5th month in office, he or she must have established his economic plan and educated its constituents on what they need to do to achieve the economic result. Just focus on one industry and be the best at it, even for exports. It could be baby, cosmetics, cars, well packages traditional pharmaceuticals, or even crops and animals industry.
Give power to the cities: Every city should be empowered to manage its own economy. This is the system that is utilized by the United States and other civilized nations. The purpose of this is to decentralize power from the federal and state governments, prevent abuse of power, encourage all citizens to be interested in their politics, give all citizens a voice at every level, and genuinely contribute to the development of your locality. In the United States, the people take care of their government at all levels and the government only intervenes when they need to or when they are invited to help. The cities control their own economy and provide all forms of basic amenities and laws to govern the city. My electric and water bill is paid to the city or a private company that is approved by the city. Each year, we pay approximately 6% taxes to the city, and about 20% to the federal and state government. It is the city that fights to bring jobs, businesses, and opportunity to its locality after the federal government allows it, if it is an international business. Every business is required to register with the city and maybe the state because it is the city that guarantees where you live, work, do business, and provide the basic amenities. At the end of the year, every citizen gives back to the government in form of income and business taxes. This is how all forms of government get paid by all the people. The resource in a city that generates work, business, and revenue for the city belongs to the city, and not to the states or country. This is done so that the locals can be responsible for their schools, health care, roads, water, light, and can also demand for accountability from their city council or mayor, who probably lives down the street. It is the people in the cities that give to the government they have elected and not the government allocating money to the state. So by American standard, the Niger-Delta oil belongs to the oil cities not even to the states or Nigeria. A great nation is made up of great and independent cities.
Role of the Federal and State Government: In order to enjoy a good soccer game, the referee and the two linesmen have to stay out of the coaching and playing actions, and only enforce the rules of the game. Any unnecessary and illegal interference with the process of the game by the officials may not only take away from the joy of the game, but may also make the game become invalid by the soccer governing body. The federal government is the referee and the state governments are the linesmen. All they do is to enforce the federal and state laws to protect all citizens, businesses, and to ensure a fair treatment of all under the law. It is not the place of the federal or state government to manage local resources or businesses, it is for the cities. It is not their place to determine the local law, customs, business rules, or maintain the basic amenities, it is for the cities. The federal or state governments cannot chose local leaders or appoint anything local. It is not their job. They are there to enforce national laws to protect the interest of all without disrupting in local affairs, except the local laws threatens the safety and well-being of citizens who may not be from that locality. At the end of the year, they collect their fees or taxes from each working or producing citizen and stay out of local resources and government.
The Role of Education: The acquisition of knowledge and the implementation of it to serve self, family, community, and nation still remains the highest form of wealth to this day, not money. There is too much illiteracy in Nigeria and Africa today. It seems the pursuit of quick money is of a higher priority for many Africans than the knowledge and understanding of money. Even if we cannot provide free health care now, we must strive to make education free in every city in Africa and pass federal laws to make education mandatory for every citizen. No child should be born if education will not be guaranteed for that child. Education comes before food. A well fed illiterate is worse than a dead man. The federal government must ensure in every city that there is a punishment for any child that is not educated and must emphasis adequate school facilities and equipments, regular pay for teachers, and funds for research and staff development. Also, Pan-Africanism must be mandatory from kindergarten to university. After all, the purpose of education is not just to create jobs, establish businesses, or maintain a civil society, but to ultimately use the acquired knowledge, which should be based on our historical foundation, to shape a brighter future for self, family, community, and nation in the global economy. An educated man with numerous ideas not based on his historical foundation is a mis-educated fellow with a piece of paper (degree). This is the problem with African educational systems. Despite our intelligence, even by global standard, the world is still amazed at our low productivity, backwardness, and lack of leadership. We are a people with degrees, but our education is not rooted on the foundation of our ancestral accomplishments in science, environment, medicine, government, law, resource management, understanding of our land, farming, energy management, cosmetics, skin care, or even food manufacturing. This is Pan-Africanism.
The Role of Islam: The two forms of colonization that enslaved Africans and derailed us from God’s destiny for our prosperity was European and Arab invasion. Despite the fact that they both came in the name of God, they actually came for our resources and our cheap labor in exploiting it solely for their benefit and gratification at our expense. While the Europeans came in the name of a Europeanized long-haired, blue-eyed Jesus (who was actually a Black African Jew), they came to save a few souls who will follow their ways and their systems. These saved souls were placed as colonial lords who were supposed to enhance the love and respect for Europeans, European products, and the need for Europe to take our resources in exchange of jobs. The Whiteman loves life too much to die for it. He may fight you to see if he can get a quick surrender or get black troops to do the job for him. Ultimately, he wants your resources cheaply so that he can enjoy life abundantly. So if you resist the Europeans long and hard enough, you can get them to retreat or compromise. The Arabs were more indirect and more determined in their ways. When they came with Islam, they came for worshippers and not resources directly. If you did not agree to sell your soul to their ways, you lost your city, family, and even your life. They did not need a few converts to get to the resources; the entire surviving families, cities, or nations were theirs to have as worshippers and they became a property of Mecca. Unless you defeated them outright and they retreated, there was no compromise. African Islam (maybe all of Islam) was trained to die for their God and get rewards in heaven later. It does not matter what they lose or how much resources they have destroyed, the honor of God through Mecca is a higher priory than the prosperity or civility of their locality. So wherever there is Islamic leadership in Africa, it is not governed for the genuine progress of the citizens but rather for the continuous control of Islamic success through Mecca. Islam in Africa totally contradicts efficient African leadership, effective African democracy, and stands against Pan-Africanism, which is of no benefit to Mecca in any way.
I appeal, through God Almighty and African love, to all modern Muslim youths on the Africa continent that was born after 1970, to gather the courage to proudly and publicly reject Islam for Pan-Africanism. If any of them feel that Arab’s Islam is for them, then they should have the courage to admit to themselves about why they should stay out of African leadership. They may be governors of their states, but not presidents and ministers of multi-religious or multi-cultural countries. A man whose soul is actually a property of another cannot legitimately bring adequate leadership and prosperity for my children.