Lest I write without foundation, I must make it clear that the purpose of my article is to drive at basic qualities and preparedness needed in the president of Nigeria in 2015. This is a period when Nigerians are enduring the policy of our government at every level and that such sacrifice may not be in vain but gain. We must begin to see, purposefully, to the character, the President of Nigeria.
These questions I hope to get a quick answer to: How many of our past and previous president or illegal heads of state are quotable both at home and abroad? If there are at any point: Does their quote serve as motivation for Nigerians in pursuit of personal happiness or private victory and greater Nigeria? What is the passion of our previous and present political leaders?
Today we can rarely point to previous head of states and president of Nigeria that has capacity to move Nigerians into action or effectively sell the dream of new Nigeria.
Nigeria is in the social media, information and creativity age, a time where globalization is driven by knowledge economy and season of profound transition into wisdom age. My heart sees hope in Nigeria and with consciousness we must collectively define the destiny of our country by having the leader fitted for Nigeria.
In my personal research based opinion, these three points are vital for such president.
1. A President with a Dream
More than any other country in the world, America define itself by a collective dream; the dream of economic opportunity and upward mobility.
The role of every president and any political leader is to give, clearly, direction for fulfillment of dream with capacity to motivate the citizenry to action. Except where the president lacks greatness of soul, that he or she prefers forceful compulsion of citizenry to align with his social and economy policy.
On 2 July 2006, I asked one among my leadership mentor a question: what does it take to be an effective leader? The answer was; you should be ready to off your skin for others to step into it. Be the model you want your people to follow in principle, discipline, and values. A leader with a prosperous soul will eventually raise citizenry with prosperous souls. In USA: JF Kennedy; United Kingdom: Winston Churchill; Egypt: Anwar Sadat, South Africa: Nelson Mandela; Indian: Mahatma Gandhi just to mention few that serves as symbol of National values and global motivation.
More than ever, Nigeria needs a president that will not only be a leader to Nigerians but a source of motivation and model for the citizenry and people of different nations on earth.
2 A president that communicate
In my wide-awake three decade on earth and in Nigeria I have experienced and participated in Labor strike action and protest against government policy by sitting at home. I have seen this culture grow among Nigerians, especially my age group, as a tool for Nigerians to force government to back down on any unwanted policy. Protest against leadership is not a popular culture among Nigerians if we consider our diverse cultural history. I have since look at it in this perspective that many of our Presidents and our illegal heads of states lack both communication and public speaking skills. Ghostwriters often write their presentation and thus reading it often lacks articulation. Most of them lack persuasive expression to convince Nigerians to align with their government policy irrespective of the intention.
A good communication skill is vital for anyone who want to lead Nigerians and at a time when economy reform, infrastructure development, and various changes are in process in our country. My belief is that if our president will persuade Nigerians of her government agenda and the implication Nigerians are very sympathetic to support.
It is evident that the most challenging age is the information age where people have surplus of information and diversity of opinion that conflict in processes and usage. Therefore, the most powerful tool of a leader in information and social media age is effective communication skills. The simplicity of what a President says to people adds to the effectiveness.
When US economy appears to be in a period of transition, true transition will always demand for effective communication. Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of Federal Reserve Board, handed over to Ben Barnake at a crucial time of challenge for US economy. The point here is effective communication approach of Ben Barnake that motivates Americans to buy into policy of the US Government. Ben was asked at the senate, about the American blooming deficit. “He answered crystal clearly: “Deficit matter because they represent addition to debt our children and grand children will either have to pay through taxes or reduced services”. Economist 2006
The present situation in Nigeria is that many people cannot understand the vision of our political leaders for the country due to lack of effective communication about the policy of government to Nigerians. If you have to test my knowledge, call Nigerians on the street and asked if they understand their President program and if they buy into it. Worse, off, ask about the vision presidential candidates of the opposition parties and all you will hear is “he will tackle corruption.”
3. President with guiding principle
Among the reason for the successful Presidents of nations in the world is the principle centered leadership and respect for the constitution of the country. The first law of any nation is her constitution. The big responsibility of a President is decision making in personal life and productivity in the private assignment before assumption into the office of president. I doubt the success of anybody who has no evidence of personal productivity as President.
The Nigeria President must be a well-groomed person with self and social awareness while character will mean maintaining such strong identity.
I look forward to president of Federal Republic of Nigeria with responsibility to identify and understand timeless and universal principle; understand that his or her responsibility is to preserve lives and not in slightest manner encourage destruction.
I seek days of President whose life is a model to our young Nigerians by communicating principle to our youths and measure the effect of the principle by the success of the Nigerian youths in the global village.
Base on my perspective, a healthy constitution of federal Republic of Nigeria has to consist in two things: principle of life and Justice. By the one, the maker of earth and its fullness we give His due acknowledgement as creator of the property and the people of Nigeria; by the other Nigerians have what suit them as corporate custodian of the common wealth. Government, under the effective President, is the good and preservation of the state.
To preserve Nigeria great potential and destiny, our President, must first see the need for the nation to possess and maintain healthy constitution by the people and for the people in honor of the maker of the people.
The challenge at every level of our government is the excessiveness of the counsel of young and old men who are not nourished on principle of preserving human dignity, communication, vision and 21st century knowledge society public affairs which have resulted into an unhappy effect.
The thinking of Nigeria 21st century President has to be in the direction that enhances policy that promote the productivity of knowledge and not see printed books, journals, media and spread of knowledge as a threat to her or his authority.
Editor’s Note: This op-ed was written by Mamora Olusegun Victor and solely represents the opinion of the writer and not of CP-Africa.