Nigerians have been unanimous in a few things like our Nigerianness, the need to live in peace, increased national development, affordable living standards, food security, employment and productivity, social justice and the rule of law, etc. Both citizens and the government agree that the pursuit and the achievement of the lofty ideas these commonalities represents will increase the chances of national integration, better living standards and a better society.
These are societal development themes each time they are raised by the leadership, the citizens lend their voice and they are ready to march with their leaders and fight by their sides.
What is missing is that these discourses even when advanced by the leadership, there seems to be no definite blueprint to achieve them and where it exist, the greater proportion of Nigerians find the solutions as poorly thought out and incapable of delivering the result.
Our leaders are yet to come to terms about the composition of the Nigerian citizenship. They are intelligent, articulate and they know what they want. They have a vision of a great Nigeria and they believe that that vision can be realized by insourcing, through the ingenuity of the citizenry. They are the bride who have been waiting endlessly for a leadership that can win their hearts and minds with proposals about what is possible, how to get it done and a few examples to raise their spirits.
Unfortunately, what is being thrown at them to win their hearts are primordial divisive accusations of who did wrong and what went wrong. We have spent several years doing this to the extent that if a day passes without someone being held up as reason for our failure, our life seems to be incomplete.
Our leaders must rediscover the power of purposeful leadership. They must have direction, point the way, act to make their plans relevant to their people, win their hearts and minds through effective engagement, build momentum among the people and act purposely.
Purposeful leadership means being a promise keeper. The easiest way leaders use in winning the hearts and minds of their people is through promises of a better tomorrow. It doesn’t matter what a leader does thereafter, a broken promise opens a flood gate of doubts, skepticism criticism and self-denial.
As we approach the 57th independence celebration of Nigeria as a sovereign state, let all leaders and their people commit to purposeful leadership for her greatness.