Nigeria is blessed nation with a diverse and large population; with some 250 ethnic groups. Nigeria’s three largest ethnic groups are: Hausa-Fulani (29 percent of the population), Yoruba (21 percent) and Igbo, or Ibo (18 percent). Northern Nigeria is mostly Islamic and dominated by the Hausa-Fulani ethnic group. There are over 521 languages that have been spoken in Nigeria (at least 9 of them are now extinct). The official language of Nigeria, English, the former colonial language, was chosen to facilitate the cultural and linguistic unity of the country.
One major challenge that this nation is facing is its complexity in terms of diversity of her population. This major challenge should be a major factor when electing our leaders to critical and sensitive position. A man that cannot work through our diversity to bring out the best in us is not fit to lead us in any capacity. Since 1999 up till today, I discoverd that our voting pattern has been more subjective than objective. The way we elect our leaders do have religion and ethnic undertone. These undertone must not be placed above who they are and what they can achieve over the period of time given to them. I hear some people say ” two years is not enough to write the wrong of a bad organisation or nation”, this kind of statement shows that such leader has a problem getting his/her priorites right. I think you can still remember Pareto principle “20 percent of your priorities will give you 80 percent of your production IF you spend your time, energy, money, and personnel on the top 20 percent of your priorities”. It doesnt take eternity for you to know a competent leader.
To measure a good leader the most important ingredient of leadership which is integrity should not be overlooked or relegated. I think our definition 0f integrity in Nigeria need to be revisited. Some believe integrity is “this man doesn’t have money so he can’t steal our money”, to some it is ” this man is a military man, so he will deal with our enemies” and to some it is ” this man talks about integrity so he must be a man of integrity”. All these definitions are far from the real definition. Let me give you the definition of integrity that I love so much by V. Gilbert Beers, he says “A person of integrity is one who has established a system of values against which all of life is judged.” A person of integrity must have established a value system for himself that will not allow his lips to violate his heart. Socrates reminds us that the first key to greatness ” is to be in reality what we appear to be”. To earn trust a leader must be authentic. What people need is not a motto to say like “change”, but a model to see. In the physical realm seeing is believing.
People are not sadist or wailers or hate any leader but they want to see credibility and performance. The more credible you are, the more confidence people place in you, thereby allowing you the privilege of influencing their lives positively. The less credible you are, the less confidence people place in you and the more quickly you lose your position of influence.
There is one evil I have seen in this country, our leaders are not readers. Majority of them doesn’t have a functional library to equip them for better delivery. This is a great evil.