True leadership will steer our ship in the right direction, by Usman O. Abdullahi This is an in-depth analysis. It’s not a review or an executive summary of profound papers on Leadership Question and the issue of Nigerian’s National unity by S. A. Tanko Yakasai, OFR; Optimal Rotation of Political Power in Nigeria by Dr Phillips O. Salawu, FCA; Leadership Challenge in Nigeria by Ambassador Haruna M. Wando, MFR. Presented on different occasions.
I don’t want you to be bored with unnecessary protocol, but a brief introduction of the Authors will give a premium to their submissions and see how best their recommendations can come to a reckoning.
Alhaji Salihu Tanko Yakasai, OFR is an Elder Statesman, a consummate Politician, and a Political Analyst. Aged 95.
He has been a key player in Nigerian politics for more than 50 years with a zeal for emancipation. He served in various capacities in the Government of Kano State and Federal Government of Nigeria.
Phillips, FCA, FCTI, FCS, FFIA is 63 years. He was Deputy Governor of Kogi State for 8 years. He was a Delegate to the 2014 National Conference and a financial Expert. His loyalty as Deputy Governor had earned him special status and made him the most comfortable and powerful Deputy Governor in Nigeria during his tenure. Salawu is a Ph.D. holder and a Professional who demonstrated expertise in politics and good governance over the years.
Ambassador Haruna M. Wando, MFR, mni is a retired career Ambassador with cogent experience spanning over three decades in diplomacy. Aged 70. He is not a Politician but has developed an interest in both national and international politics.
Haruna Wando is an Analyst with the capacity for accurate prediction. He is well informed and have a lot of experience in Diplomatic relation, Security, and Administration.
Devoid of chauvinism and other primordial sentiments, any fair analysis of our leadership, governance, and economy in comparison with advanced and developing democracies, will succumb to the fact that we are in deficit and have a lot of challenges. Indeed, we are faced with a leadership challenge and poor national planning in Nigeria.
Our peers have shots to stardom several years ago and Nigeria is not only lingering but in serious disarray with a lack of planning on anything and nothing appears to be working up to now. We need visionary leadership, good governance, and a viable economy that can be achieved according to the permutations of the resource persons aforementioned.
Tanko Yakasai in his paper not only mentioned but explained some key important factors that make a nation great. They are education, social re-orientation, effective leadership, and good governance.
He further explained that his trip to China sixty-five years ago convinced him of this experiment. According to him, the People’s Republic of China was almost at the same level of development as Nigeria, but today China is next to the United States of America in terms of economic development and other areas of human endeavour. Mainly for Chinese investment in human development and exhibition of strong leadership.
Therefore, Yakasai holds a strong conviction in human development and good leadership. He insists that even now Nigeria is endowed with human and materials resources that can be effectively harnessed to bring faster growth and development for the benefit of all. What is needed to take Nigeria to the promised land include competence and effective leadership as well as commitment and patriotism?
Phillips who concur with the submission of Yakasai in certain aspects has differed slightly on the road map to achieve greatness and strong leadership for Nigeria. While, Yakasai is relying on proper planning and intervention of strong Political Parties equipped with vision, agenda for national development, and effective process. Phillips is looking at the enforcement of certain mechanisms in our democratic system.
Therefore, he called for not a total overhaul, but serious reforms in the system of our Political Parties, governance, and Government.
Phillips advocates for optimal rotation of Political Power. This concept is to provide a viable civil democracy that may take care of all and sundry. Phillips’s hypothesis on a leadership challenge and poor national planning in Nigeria suggest a peculiar Presidential system of Government that may probably ensure long term political stability and economic prosperity.
This peculiar Presidential system as pleaded below will be applicable to all levels of government in the Country;
1. There shall be an alternation of the Presidency between the North and South with simultaneous rotation of same among the six geo-political zones.
2. Adoption of the political model at the State and Local Government Areas with governorship seat to rotate among the three Senatorial Districts of the State.
3. Chairmanship position also to rotate among the different components of the LGA such as the wards.
However, Salawu’s credible recipe to the leadership challenges that exist in the Country cannot be viable without adding to the suggestions of Tanko Yakasai, positing the necessity of building strong and focused Political Parties that will be guided by their Constitution and Manifesto.
Each leader produced by the Political Party must be instructive to implement People-oriented developmental programmes. Not the current situation in which some elective Officeholders have no respect for the Political Parties that brought them to power. They claimed superiority over Party Officials and Stalwarts and deployed public resources for their personal use.
Ambassador Haruna Wando did a good job also by coming up with rolling plans for Nigeria and some African Countries. Surprisingly, Wando’s observations and recommendations in a paper he wrote in 2005 which were ignored, later became the beacon of hope.
The paper was published by one of the national dailies and appears to provide reliable solutions to many prevailing circumstances and huge threats to security in Nigeria.
Specifically on leadership challenge, Haruna Wando, even though not an authority in this field, sounded very convincing and profoundly stated that in absence of patriotic and charismatic leadership, corrupted elites model the State to serve as their narrow interest, instead of the interest of the citizens.
As a consequence, the State itself is unable to fulfill its purpose or perform those functions of protection, delivery of basic social services, and provisions of institutions to respond to legitimate needs and demands.
According to him failure to perform the functions mentioned above create three gabs viz; 1. Security gab. 2. Capacity gab. 3. Legitimacy gab.
Ambassador Wando who gave an elaborate explanation on Leadership Challenge and the gabs said, Nigeria provides a good case study on the problem of leadership because only a few countries in Africa have experienced greater trauma in an attempt to fill the three gabs aforementioned.
GOD save Nigeria!