Unarguably, it’s on the back of leadership that battles are won or lost; nations burnished or blighted; so also are businesses and other endeavours. Indubitably, good leadership is a proven transformative tool which has remained elusive in Nigeria with devastating impact on its development.
The bar of leadership has been brought so low making it an all comer affairs. The leadership recruitment process remains largely unsophisticated, undemocratic and prejudiced against qualified candidates. It’s against such background that the attempt at instituting order through electoral reforms by stakeholders is salutary.
Mercifully, Nigerians are now more aware of the place of informed decision in rooting and electing those to lead them. Really, it’s on the scale of personality and track-records that we need to weigh people presenting themselves to elective position.
We are on the threshold of an important election with aspirants placing their cards on the table. The presidential category is commanding the most attention owing to the governance system in practice, which concentrates enormous power to the centre – practically pushing other constituent parts to the shadows. Though, the constitution is clear on the functions of the various parts, however they remain weak in asserting themselves.
It was in a bid to buck the trend as Lagos State governor that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu courted public attention and sympathy. With funds withheld as comeuppance for exercising his constitutional powers, his administration didn’t cringe in fear for what may become of its development plan and legacy instead it awakened the state potential with amazing results.
Tinubu successfully reimagined the development of the state through uncommon creativity in governance. Since then, successive government in the state have had their job cut out for them in building upon the brave vision. Today, Lagos remains a pacesetter and a shining light in the drive towards development in Nigeria.
Tinubu has consistently evinced the courage of his conviction in his political struggle and staying the course as an opposition and protecting his stronghold from incursion by then ruling party speaks to his tenacity. He is a dogged fighter and has paid his political dues—he has an intimate handle on Nigeria’s political terrain with bridges built across the country. His political heft and track-record on leadership is not in dispute which made him a part of the brick and mortar that strengthened the APC.
We are paying dearly for routinely placing the weight of national responsibility on thin shoulders untested by time and the onerous task of governance. For the most part, they simply happen on the scene without a clear blueprint. In fact, building a decent team to work with has proven to be a difficult proposition which really reveal a poor understanding of the nexus between a quality team and successful leadership.
Essentially, a leader is as good as his team! It is my considered view that Obasanjo remains a gold standard in this regard. He amply understood the significance, which informed the rich assembly of men in his administration and he as well did put forth the capacity to rein in on them to run with his vision. Tinubu has proved himself on this score which helped him in weathering the great Obasanjo storm against his administration.
Tinubu is well grounded in statecraft and possesses the aptitude to cherry pick the right men. He literally pulls them from the dark hole of obscurity. And, that is clearly one of his long suits. Under his wings, great guys have emerged and are doing the nation proud effectively proving the effectiveness of his mentoring capacity. However, his not free from controversy- beaming our searchlight for Angels will always return a disappointing result.
Tinubu remains the poster child of progressive politics in Nigeria. Though, it’s difficult to excuse him from the current socio-economic snafu especially with the failure of the APC in successfully dealing with the weight of expectations and promises –.
However, it is well known that within party so many daggers are pointed at him and he will have to contend with the state of affair throughout the life of his campaign. Tinubu’s presidential ambition didn’t promise to be a walk in the park. The end SARS incident provided a sobering glimpse to the pent-up frustration with his ‘hegemony’- the attack on businesses linked to him speaks very loud on this score.
It’s already a night of long knives- the treachery and betrayals are in the open. My hunch is that, his political successes, strong and wide influence and the much talked about proprietorial hold of Lagos has stoked the considerable bad blood.
Passing a health test is consequential in the presidential attempt in view of Nigeria’s place as a fitting case of the impact of poor health on performance at the top flight of leadership and a replication of such experience will not augur well for our development. So long as he is fit as a fiddle to match the rigour of the office, let the electorates be the judge.
In the final analysis, the nation is adrift with public hope and trust on the lowest ebb- which has to be stopped with a refreshingly different approach through the agency of the forthcoming general election with better prepared candidates. Tinubu possesses the quality needed and whether he succeeds or not he remains an Icon in the pantheon of progressives in the country.
- Ungbo writes via email@example.com