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Human face of leadership in Nigeria

King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian Empire took glory unto himself as having built, designed and orchestrated everything in Babylon. Julius Caesar of the Roman Empire…

King Nebuchadnezzar of the Babylonian Empire took glory unto himself as having built, designed and orchestrated everything in Babylon. Julius Caesar of the Roman Empire desired worship and took himself as a god. These emperors ruled with a mighty hand and subjugated the people, collecting tributes, taxes, customs, dues and honour. Who are you to dare such kings? In traditional African society, whoever becomes a king owns all the beautiful women, and the entire unoccupied land/territory belongs to him. Not just that, he performs several rites to remain perpetuated in power.

Some of the rituals may require defiling a virgin, burying a young man alive or sacrificing a virgin or human head to the deities. That was the condition of Africans before the missionaries and colonisers came. Our traditional kings do not want to die, be killed or stay out of power.

Therefore, they fortify themselves through a series of rites while belonging to occultic groups that may be drinking human blood. That was political leadership in Africa.

Today, there could be challenges and confrontations but it is still the same meat inside the pot. The Russian Putin mimicking Stalin, the West imbibing Marxist ideology and African leaders holding on to the rules stated by Niccole Machiavelli in “The Prince”. We witnessed a former president being convicted in America because the rule of law is enforced or maybe the incumbent does not want to take chances. You will have yourself to blame if by any means you find yourself in a leadership position without amassing wealth and enriching your generation.

One would argue that leadership has a human face but that’s faltered already. Civilised societies have a way of making citizens and leaders accountable. Even at that, there are several lapses. In Africa as a whole, black magic, voodoo and other occultic manipulations surround leadership positions.

Again, someone would think and consider himself an atheist who believes and adores humanity. For such individuals, humanity is the bedrock and fulcrum of effective leadership. According to them, religion is deceptive and gimmick while humanity sustains life and existence. Such individuals are naive and unenlightened. There has never been and can never be any humanity in leadership, especially political leadership. The ancient Greeks saw no good in humanity. Religions like Judaism witnessed the atrocities in humanity. Christianity knew there was not anything noble or edifying in humanity. Why then do we clamour for humanity in political leadership?

In Nigeria for instance, politicians utter all sorts of nonsense, deceit and fantasies in a bit to cling to power. Any politician in Nigeria who achieved any remarkable deed was not out of sympathy nor inclusivity rather pressure mounted on him to do such a thing. There can never be any humanity in politics, religion or culture.

Let us consider it again. In Nigeria, have we witnessed any catastrophic disasters? Have you heard of firestorms, dust storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, storms or other geological mishaps? All the natural minerals and resources in Nigeria are tapped and appropriated but the citizens on whose enclaves those resources are found do not benefit from anything from the government. Can you mention any single political leader in Nigeria who has integrity?

Political leadership is a cornerstone of societal development; embodying the principles and aspirations of the governed. In Nigeria, a country with rich cultural diversity and vast potential; the humanity of political leadership becomes crucial. If there’s anything like empathy in leadership, Nigerian citizens would not be in IDP camps, kidnapped, prevented from accessing their farms, killed or robbed. Then, the heartfelt commitment would have restored the dignity or livelihood of the majority of Nigerians.


Obiotika Wilfred Toochukwu wrote from St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Awgbu

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