By Onyeka Chidi Njoku
Leadership, no matter the academic definition and explanation, involves standing in front, taking responsibility, initiating ideas and pursuing the implementation of such ideas and setting the pace for others to follow. Leadership which takes the coloration of the leader both economically, developmentally and psychologically and inadvertently imparts and impacts positively or negatively on the followers.
Leadership is normal and natural among men. In essence, leaders of men must come among men. God’s choice of human leadership is summed up in 1 Samuel Chapter 16 Verse 7: But the LORD said to Samuel, “GOD does not look at what people see. People judge by what is on the outside, but the Lord looks at the heart”. Leadership among men is mandatory. Men must have leaders as they must be led but it is the prerogative of God to utilize human systems for the emergence of leaders. At all times, God uses human invented methods to work out the mystery of His will for the emergence of leaders.
Leadership is both an act, a process and ability of a person, individual or group of persons to influence and guide the people and or members of an organization or establishment, team or society to the accomplishment of a common goal.
Leadership is associated with these words, which include but not limited to charisma, inspiration, Power, credible, fore sight, action, persevering and uniting. As well as wisdom, energetic, responsibility, drive, passion and sensibility. These and more are qualities a leader must possess in driving the ship of leadership.
Democratic processes being human invented and oriented are not near perfect but fraught with deficiencies and flaws. If God physically leads the people, the world would accuse Him of manifesting too much attributes of holiness and righteousness because His administration would be an epitome of the nature of God. Inadvertently, the coloration of His administration would not be the same as man. It would manifest the nature and character of God. God would manifest God and man would manifest man. In fact, humans would accuse God of being too much sanctimonious and holy.
After the eighth years of Buhari administration with its attendant economy challenges and its effort to contribute to the growth of the economy for the future, the Tinubu administration came on board with the RENEWED HOPE AGENDA meant to give Nigerians the faith and hope for a new and better country wherein there will be equal and better opportunities for all.
With the removal of the fuel subsidy which was long overdue as it profits a few, the administration knew it was not going to the easy coupled with its attendant spiral effect on other areas of the economy. It is better the subsidy is removed now than later.
Let me quickly state that what the life of Mr President depicts to me is that no matter your background, origin, foundation, academic records etc, God can raise anybody.
When it comes to leadership positions, God does not elevate the best in terms of academic records. HE does not promote those who are faultless and blameless. He raises men despite them as long as they are willing to be instruments of His will and ready to obey Him. The righteous would say one day that God did not raise.
Hitherto, Nigerians have been complaining of the weight of economic hardship in the country which, in the first instance, was neither the fault nor caused by this administration. Prices of everything has never remained the same and will never remain the same. This seems to be the trend throughout the world and Nigeria does not operate in isolation .
Interestingly, this administration has been a listening one. An appraisal of the journey so far shows that government had heed the yearnings, feelings and complaints of a wide spectrum of Nigerians on several occasions.
The government, recently decided it was going to pay lower level federal workers the sum of Thirty Five Thousand Naira (N35,000) per month for six months to cushion the effect of the hardship occasioned by the removal of the fuel subsidy. The organized labour rejected the offer on the ground that it should go round to all federal workers despite the grade level. This labour insisted should be till a new minimum wage is announced. Without hesitation, the government agreed and side stepped on its original plan to only lower level federal workers from GL 1 – 6.
Watching the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila announce that Mr President has agreed and approved the position of organized labour for all category of federal workers to benefit from the wage award is a glaring instance of a government with listening ears and willing to carry the people along.
The withdrawal of the nomination of 24 year old Imam Kassim Imam, whom Mr President recently appointed as the Chairman of Federal Roads Management Agency, FERMA, which brought a national uproar and public outcry is a good example of government of the people. The precision and immediacy with which the administration responded to the demand of a generality of Nigerians to let him go is a glaring instance of responsiveness.
Not long ago, there was an increase in school fees of Federal Unity Schools also known as Federal Government colleges. When Nigerians complained, the administration which was not adequately consulted before the unilateral decision was taken by the managers of the schools, halted the decision and directed that the increment should not be implemented thereby ensuring that the increment in the fees paid in Federal Government schools throughout the country did not see the light of the day.
In response to the demand of the University Unions – the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, et al for their respective salaries which were withheld as a result of the strike they embarked upon from February and August last year to be released, the Federal government recently approved the payment of four months of the withheld salary. If this is not a government being responsible and responsive to the hues and cries of the people, I do not know what it would be called.
Tinubu’s leadership style has shown his willingness and preparedness to listen to the demands and cries of a generality of Nigerians.
At the international scene and worthy of mention is government’s response to the coup in Niger Republic and the impending war with Niger Republic, our neighbour. Though, there was international pressure on the country to intervene in that neighbouring country, but majority of Nigerians were not in support of it. Different reasons were adduced by Nigerians for and against what should be Nigeria’s position on the incident in that country.
But the will of the people prevailed because of an administration headed by a leader who is willing to carry the people along. Democracy is known by its acclaimed definition: Government of the people by the people and for the people.
Talking about democracy. One wonders if there is any perfect democracy anywhere in the world as there is no near perfect human endeavor. All democracies have their different flaws and inadequacies and Nigeria is not immune to this.
Another crucial point worthy of mention is the appointment of youths into the administration. The administration may have given youths the opportunity to lead more than any other administration in the history of Nigeria’s public service governance.
It is instructive to note that nothing has been done so far for personal or pecuniary motive but all in the interest of the country and for the benefit and prosperity of the people.
Dr. Onyeka Chidi Njoku writes in from Abuja