“Our problems are man-made; therefore, they can be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. – John F. Kennedy
Nigerians have written millions of words in books and opinion pieces in magazines, newspapers, journals etc on Nigeria issues or with Nigeria. The appearances in celluloid regarding this problem also consumed countless yards of celluloid.
Writers have written about Nigeria’s problems, even though some Nigerians see them as part of the problem – because they don’t write enough. Politicians whom everyone thinks is the problem have themselves mourned the problem, with solutions seemingly beyond their reach. Filmmakers, artists, singers and poets have all pointed to the problems. The soldiers who removed their epaulettes have spoken and written about the problems despite some historians labeling them as the beginning of the problems. Leaders have always talked about these issues as if we were sending them over there to mourn.
Among the retired military, there are a privileged few to have several things in one. Some of them are also politicians and leaders for sure. Retired General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida is one of such a rare class. He recently came up with a solution and his solution is about what kind of leader we should have in the future.
And his insight is a welcome development. It is time that we Nigerians let go of the grieving and show where we went wrong as to how to right these wrongs. Until the rivers dry up and the world ceases to exist, the problems will never end. Problems became part of man the moment he took a bite of this apple and was banished to earth to come and find the solution that would bring him back. And so, looking for solutions to problems should be our habit.
However, just as Albert Einstein put it, “the important problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thought as when we created them,” so we have to think differently and separate ourselves from all the things that matter. blocked us. to where we are now. As many of those who have taken it upon themselves to point out the problems have pointed out, Nigeria’s problems are all condensed into one leadership.
And perhaps this is what informed General Babangida, arguably one of Nigeria’s greatest leaders, of the view that people in their sixties should be the focus of Nigerians as potential candidates. for the presidency in 2023. IBB, as he is affectionately known, the Apostle of the New Race, said the person should be someone with contacts across the country and who has traversed geopolitical areas, marketing their acceptability and their capacity.
“I visualized a good Nigerian leader,” he said. “He’s a person who travels across the country and has a friend pretty much everywhere he goes and he knows at least one person he can communicate with.
“He’s a person who knows the economy very well and is also a great politician, who should be able to talk to Nigerians and so on. I saw one, or two or three of these people already in their sixties.
Well, it’s better to do something than nothing and therefore we have to congratulate him for starting a discussion in this direction. As IBB himself has often said when exerting influence as our maximum ruler, “Better to act than not… history can forgive you for making the wrong decision, but no not to have acted at all. “
But what’s in a number when it comes to quality leadership and leadership qualities? History has recorded many outstanding leaders who conquered the world and left it in a shine of glory before they reached their thirties. God made Jesus (AS) great in his thirties. Billions of Muslims and Christians revere him. Chaka the Zulu was a great king and leader who conquered southern Africa and placed his people, the Zulu, among the best. He founded the Zulu Empire, and for twelve years before his assassination on September 22, 1828, he shaped his people into a dominant fighting force never before seen in southern Africa. He was 29 when he became king and he died at 41. He also achieved all of his exploits when he was in his thirties.
Mao Zedong, known as Chairman Mao, was the founding father of the People’s Republic of China and he laid the foundation for modern China. He was not yet 60 when he founded the People’s Republic of China. He was 56 years old.
Cuban Fidel Castro was 33 when the fate of the Cubans fell on his knees. He made Cuba one of the most humanitarian and educated nations in the world. Muammar Gaddafi of Libya was 27 when he started pulling his country out of the woods. Dr Martin Luther King, who awakened the conscience of black people, was murdered when he was barely 39 years old. Dr Muhammad Mahathir, perhaps Malaysia’s greatest ruler, became prime minister at age 56. Lee Kuan Yew, often referred to as LKY, is recognized as Singapore’s founding father. He became Prime Minister at 36.
Likewise, history has recorded late starters who shaped the world in the twilight of their time, between the ages of 70 and 90. Between the two, there were many more.
But do we still have to go far? General Yakubu Gowon, the apostle of “No Winner, No Loser,” did very well when he took control of a crisis-torn nation in 1966 at the age of 32. General Murtala Mohammed, whom our nation still overthrows, was 38 when he took over from Gowon. . IBB himself was 44 when he ousted General Muhammadu Buhari and took over Nigeria. He did it all and left before he turned 60. He will be the last person to say he hasn’t done well as military president.
Therefore, it is not more about age than ability. What we need to look for is capacity. I totally agree that a president shouldn’t be provincial and shouldn’t be ruled by such sentiment in pluralistic Nigeria. Most leaders, unfortunately, are clans – an attitude that has helped to deepen our primary divisions.
Our next president does not need to be an economist to be successful, but he must be able to identify good and patriotic helpers to whom delegated responsibilities are delegated. And sanction those who cannot perform. He doesn’t need to be a military man, but he must be prepared to support our armed forces to the hilt to ward off internal and external threats with ease. Such a man does not need to be 60 or older, but must be visionary and earnestly want Nigeria to recover, and have a practical idea of how to do it.
He must be a man who can soothe raw nerves, smooth out rough edges and give every Nigerian a sense of belonging. He must be a man capable of resuscitating a dying institution and infusing it with the elixir of life. Such a person can heal the wounds of our country, cover it with the shroud of fairness and bring justice to all.
All Nigerians should seek out a leader of this description and support him, no matter where he comes from. From now on, we will expose the attributes of the leader that we need and hopefully contribute to this national discourse.