Corrective leadership. Nigeria needs corrective leadership in 2023. No government has it all figured out. While a government may perform superlatively on infrastructure development, it could be a spectacular wreck on security and managing diversity. Progressive leadership is corrective leadership. It is expected that every succeeding administration should surgically address the malignant afflictions and infecundity of the preceding government.
Insecurity and corruption were staples under the former administration. The Buhari administration rode on a messianic chariot to revise these malefactions. But these problems are still much alive today. In fact, they have been compounded by mass disaffection and ethnic tensions. Nevertheless, the government has raked in some significant dividends in infrastructure development and in whittling down brazen corruption.
So, for Nigeria to make progress, succeeding governments must be corrective where there are performance cavities and consolidatory where there are winnings. A government may not be all egregious – if we look through uninvolved bifocals. Where we seek to only find faults, we will definitely find them, and where we apply ourselves to observe from both sides of a crystal ball we become illumined to see unprejudiced.
In 2023, Nigeria needs a government that will better manage the country’s diversity, retool the economy, deal conclusively with insecurity, and build on the burgeoning infrastructural records of the Buhari administration. But most importantly, heal the bruised and battered national umbilicus.
2023 should be for national healing.
As I said in ‘Nigeria needs a president in 2023 – not Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba’ on February 2, 2021: ‘’Nigeria needs a doctor. Yes, the country needs a carpenter. It also needs a builder and an architect. If we are all desirous of healing from nearly six years of hate-slinging, recriminations and animosity, why are we not having conversations around a ‘healer president’ in 2023 – a Nigerian president who will mend the broken and possibly put humpty-dumpty together again? Why are we having conversations on the primordial – ethnic origin and religion? Have we not suffered enough for our poor choices driven by atavistic proclivities?
‘’While we are fixated on ethnic origin and religion as the primary basis for choosing the next president, we lose sight of the fundamental yardsticks of leadership – antecedents, competence, credentials, achievements, verifiable records, and tested abilities. Yes, there are people with these qualities in every ethnic group in Nigeria, but my concern is that these qualities are not emphasised in our electoral process and conversations. Rather the premium is on the ethnic and religious identity of who must be president.
‘’We cannot rise as a country if we do not rise above our ethnic and religious biases. When we go to hospital, do we seek to determine the ethnic origin of the doctor before getting treatment? When we want to have our cars fixed, do we care if the mechanic is Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba? In these instances, we are much more concerned about getting expert solutions to our health and auto challenges. So, why are we fixated on ethnic origin and religion when it comes to the office of the president – a leadership position that can make or ruin our lives and future?
‘’Just as we would not want to compromise our health by seeking ethnicity instead of competence in getting treated, we should not compromise our future by accentuating ethnicity and religion instead of competence, antecedents, and proven records for leadership positions. When the combustible emulsion of ethnicity and religion becomes the benchmark for leadership, then failure is certain. We will fail as a country again and again if we continue on this primrose path.
‘’The conversation should be on the ‘’Nigerian president’’ in 2023, a leader who is not defined by his ethnic and religious bearings; a healer, unifier, commander-in-chief and consoler-in-chief. Nigeria needs healing. Nigeria needs a president who will openly declare in words and in deeds – ‘’I am for every Nigerian, regardless of ethnic origin, religion or political affiliation.’’
People with leadership ichors dot the Nigerian landscape. They are in every group and zone. No region is more endowed than the other in leadership stuff distribution. We can have a great Nigerian president from the north; we can also have a fantastic one from the south. Candidates for leadership are in profusion here.
I understand that power must be sensitive to diversity; hence the mantle must be orbital. When a section of the country has had its turn, another should have a go at it for the sake of inclusion, justice and fairness. This is only natural. While I agree that power at the centre should orbit, I strongly believe that premium must be on the content of any candidate.
Nigerians should judge any candidate by his antecedents. If there is anything we have learnt lately, is that antecedents matter. Any candidate who claims he can fight corruption, but his antecedents say otherwise is obviously a defective product. We should not also discount rumours about any candidate; we should rather probe those gossip and speculations. As regards political candidates in Nigeria, sometimes in idle talk and tittle-tattle is eternal truth revealed.
It is a few months before 2023 electioneering begins, make we shine our eye well.