Historically, Nigeria like other country evolved along many paths of growth and development, this can be acknowledged in the contributions of few exceptional leaders known as the founding fathers who sacrificially devoted their time in making Nigeria better. With politics, geography, culture, religion, the founding fathers wished that Nigerians live peacefully ,and that yields from the groundnut the groundnut pyramids , tubers of yam, barrels of petroleum and other products are used for the uniform development of the country.
With leadership change over the years, priorities have changed. As the cycle of leadership continue to reshuffle, the changes have led to depleting outcomes. This has reflected in the choices made by the masses and the actions taken by the leadership. Any nation that shortchanges merit for anything else will experience retrogression or fall, Nigeria has the brightest people, yet, we are where we are as a result of such tendencies (Osibanjo,2016)
In 2014, several other Nigerian University graduates had been shortlisted to write the Presidential Special Scholarship (PRESSID) designed exclusively for First Class Nigerian graduates who wanted to pursue both master’s and PhD in any top 25 Universities in the world. Former President Goodluck Jonathan had set the scheme up and the idea was to build a strong team of brilliant Nigerians who will come back to serve the country years later.
There were a little above one thousand of merited individuals who wrote the exam at CHAMS, Abuja. At that time,101 individuals made it through the computers based test.
Sometime in February 2015, the list of 101 successful candidates was shortlisted in the National Dailies.
Fast forward to March 2015, Goodluck lost the elections to Mr. Muhammadu Buhari. That was where things started to take a new turn. Shortly after Mr Buhari was sworn in, he had recalled the list and complained that there was no single northerner on it.
He believed it was an agenda of the South. Meritocracy was shortchanged for Federal character and other sentiments. It was first like a joke as the scholarship was worth about $250,000 per person (tuition and living expenses inclusive across 5 years). This was no joke but supposedly to be a revamping in our academia, but poor leadership leash it out
Currently, with the rise of new diseases like Ebola, Lassa fever ,AIDS HIV and corona virus in the world trends, recently Nigeria FGN said that for every one doctor is to ratio of two thousand five hundred and seventy three (2,073) patients to treat, thus putting the creepy and dilapidated state of health sector on the spot light in the face of these global health emergencies.
More worrisome is the relation of scientific research from the academic fora which has also resulted in poor or limited interest from the upcoming generation into science and other forms of relevant discoveries; the imprudence in the country’s leadership is beginning to have a torn on other spheres of the society, including previous functional areas, hence limiting further growth and advancement necessary to catapult a developing nation in the 21st century. hip
Should a nation like Nigeria, with a persistent rise in population and known as giant of Africa remain ignorance of this direction of leadership where its contemporaries are making advancements in science and research?; should a nation with the brightest people settle in muddy waters of leadership where security and good governance remain a challenge, ,where boko haram fighters, bandits and insurgents s are rehabilitated while victims and survivors remain in traumatic conditions
Era of complacency should be ushered out and our literacy end enlightenment should be coopted in relevant spheres of leadership. In a country where leadership strategy and policy making barely impact citizenry, ,where jobs are hijacked by the few individuals in the red and green chamber, where honourable members are celebrated daily as they lobby for their friends and cronies to have lucrative jobs despite not being qualified, the youths and the enlightened few will have to take the lead in salvaging the nation.
Leadership in this 21st century should create a balance that mediocrity or recycled past governors shouldn’t see it as birth right to be elected into red and green chambers respectively but their entries into those house should be a reward for hard work rather than a birth right. What the citizens demand from their leaders is nothing much but to have good lives, enjoy good health, promote quality education, be employable and be incorporated into governance which will create new pattern in building the desired leadership system by default, etc; it will be so dangerous to leave the youth population of a nation behind as trans-generational growth and development will be distorted.
Good leadership remains the only route for meaningful living and corporate existence!!!
in conclusion Rome was not built in a day, hence our strive for good leadership should be sequential and logical, wherein conscious attempts should be made on a daily basis to incorporate and sharpen the positive aspects of leadership into mentorship schemes that which is then copied as a lifestyle; LEADERSHIP AS A LIFESTYLE which summarizes the role of exemplary leadership which forms a generic template for all.
“Leadership in the 21st century has met various interpretations and applications. Some consider leadership as exerting power or authority over followers. Others consider leadership in terms of position or prestige, as such, they clamor for leadership at all cost.
However, leadership transcends power, position and prestige. It is a lifestyle that exerts positive impact and influence on the led (followers). This is the crux of the book Martins Marc succinctly established, that leadership is not about lordship, but about service”.