In another 24 hours, Nigerians will be going to the polls to choose a leader in an election being promoted as a free, fair and transparent exercise. In the last three months or so, we have witnessed tumultuous crowds of party faithful gathering in various parts of the country in their conventions usually characterized by music, dancing, drama, and speech making, with the intention of wooing ordinary citizens to vote for their candidates.
Who is a leader anyway and do these individuals who emerge through the internal selection process of these parties qualify to be called leaders?
By definition, a leader is an individual who influences others by what he/she knows, what he/she sees, what he/she feels and what he/she does to achieve visionary goals for their own benefit and that of others.
If this definition is used as a basis to measure the performance of many of the candidates being bandied about by the different political parties, not many of them will pass the test. It is strange to note that many of the individuals do not have deep knowledge of the problems of Nigeria neither do they have a well-defined solutions or action plan that will result in their effective resolution. Their vision about Nigeria and where it should stand in the next 5, 10 or 15 years are blurred, indefinite, inconsistent and lacks substance.
At this time of our history, our nation needs a leader that inspires, motivates and encourages people to achieve visionary goals.
In choosing a leader, Nigerians should judge them using the following parameters:
- Establish a clear vision for the nation.
- Sharing that vision with others so that they will follow willingly.
- Providing the information, knowledge and methods to realize that vision.
- Coordinating and balancing the conflicting interests of all members and stakeholders.
- Lead the vision and instill the idea of its destination in the minds of their fellow countrymen/women.
- Lead and create strategies with other peoples, across different geopolitical zones and nations, that defines, implement and execute a plan that helps the development of the country at large.
- Lead and motivate the nation through goal establishment, by providing infrastructural developmental support.