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Author Name: Suleiman Nasiru
Number of articles: 76
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Nigeria: Leadership failure: Cause of post-election violence
Author: Suleiman Nasiru | May 09, 2011

Leadership in Africa can only be described as a failure, in most African countries our major problem has been that of leadership. People are becoming tired of the inability of those in leadership position to deliver. Very few leaders in Africa are role models because of their leadership style, aside the corrupt tendencies of our leaders, it seems they are clueless as regards what to do to bring about progress in our continent. Their sit-tight attitude has also done the African continent more harm than good. Like what we are witnessing presently in Libya, where many lives were lost and are still going to be lost for no reason, Muammar Ghadafi has spent about 42-years in power and is not willing to get out of the seat of power, Laurent Gbagbo also tried this and over three thousand lives lost in the battle to oust him out of power. Not to talk of Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Paul Biya of Cameroun, we have heard of the Mubutu in Congo DR. the Eyadema in Togo, the ousted Hosnni Mubarack of Egypt, Ben Alli of Tunisia and so many other sit-tight African leaders. It has been said and it is true that most of the unnecessary bloodshed in Africa is traced to leadership failure. Perhaps and in fact one of the Africa most respected leaders remains Dr. Nelson Mandela of South Africa, who sacrificed most parts of his useful years fighting for the liberation of his people and got the opportunity to lead his country, only run for one term and decided to take a rest and the country is reaping good of that wonderful leadership of one and only good leadership role-model Africa can really be proud of. The story in Nigeria has been the same. Also over the years, we have witnessed poor leadership, which has lead to the many woes of the nation. As a nation we have never got it right in terms of leadership, perhaps and in fact, the only time we thought we have gotten its right in this regard was during the nationalists, our founding fathers. Yes, these are the only sets of leaders Nigerians hold in high esteem and also can say they led the country in the right direction. But after these men, which many even believe are responsible for the discord that still exist in the country today, the other sets though contributed their quota to nation building, have not been well credited for the role they play while serving. But come to think of it. When we are talking about leadership, it must not be limited to leadership in governance, but leadership is all-encompassing, leadership in government, spiritual leadership, traditional leadership, even in the family there are leaders, the corporate leadership, all these sets of leadership has fail in Africa as a whole and in Nigeria in particular. It is because of the failure in the family leadership that led to failure in spiritual leadership, because family been the smallest unit of the society provides the religious body with members and even provides the leadership of our various churches, Mosques and other traditional religion and the family has fail. So, the other must fail, even those in government are from a family, they are not leaders from the space they all came from families and since leadership from the root has problem the entire leadership system is now sick and need to be revisited for us to have direction in Africa. A number of breakdowns of law and order in our country today are just indications of failure in the system of governance, which has its root from the family. Since parents can no longer talk to their wards, irresponsibility of various heads of families has cause their authority to be taken away from them. Poverty, unemployment, idleness, drug addiction, political thugs, illiteracy, religious bigotry and a number of vices as been blamed for the recent post election violence in Nigeria. Yes all these are responsible, but the question we must not fail to ask ourselves is what is the causes all these vices? It is failure on the parts of those responsible for the provision of employment for instance that causes unemployment. If over the years successive governments are sincere in their crusade of providing jobs for the teeming Nigerian populace there will not be unemployment or unemployment will be curtailed to the bearest minimum, if education has been taken seriously by government, there will not be a large chunk of illiterates that we have today. People abuse drugs where there are no regulations on how to use drugs or where lapses exists in these regulations, in fact idle mind they say is the devil’s workshop. It is very obvious and very clear how our religious leaders have fail by preaching hates messages in our various places of worships they have allowed themselves to be use by politicians as they suddenly became campaign tools in the hands of power seekers. Failure of politicians became more glaring as they recruit thugs, which they use to harassed their perceived political opponents and also assist them in other illicit act such as ballot box snatching, political killings and the rest of them. The inability of the various security agents to guaranteed the protection of lives and property of Nigerians is a clear sign of failure on the part of the leadership of the various security agents. Like in most parts of the northern Nigeria that witnessed the post-election violence, our leaders have fail us, we have the highest number of illiterates as education is not taken seriously by our leaders we are meant to study in dilapidated buildings and substandard educational equipment are use in most of our schools, our teachers are the less motivated in the country. In fact teaching in this parts of the country has been the most degrading job as teachers are left demotivated and demoralised because they are badly remunerated, that is why we lack teachers in key subjects like Mathematics, English language and other key science courses. Employment of teachers have been politicize and those who have godfather are employed at the expense of few qualify ones. The situation is bad that many children are out of schools and the region has the highest number of school drop outs. Despite the fact that this parts of the country has the opportunity to stir the affairs of government for a very long period of time in the country they do little or nothing to improve the lots of the northern Nigeria, poverty is very high, the rate of unemployment very alarming, little wonder our youths are always handy to be use as agents of destruction. Drug abuse very rampant among us I believe that should explain the senseless killings that was witnessed across the northern Nigeria, as it will be very difficult for anybody in his right senses to commit the crime of killing a fellow human being. Hate messages by religious leaders in different places of worship and ineptitude of our politicians aggravated the madness that saw a number of lives loss in just two days, the blood of the following corps-members will surely be required from the perpetrators of this dastardly act: Adewumi Seun (Ekiti state), Teidi Olawale Tosin (Kogi), Adowei Elliot (Bayelsa), Okpokiri Obinna (Abia), Gbenjo Ebenezer Ayotunde (Osun), Ukeoma Ikechuwku Chibuzor (Imo), Nwazema Anslem Chukwuonyerem (Imo), Adeniji Kehinde Jehleel (Osun) and Akonyi Ibrahim Sule(Kogi). Others were Adowei Elliot, Ukeoma Ukewchuwu Chibuzor and Aknoyi Ibrahim Sule, these men wouldn’t have been killed if our religious leaders have not allowed themselves to be use by politicians to preach hate messages, the under-performing politicians who are clueless on how to convince the electorates to vote for them resorted to religious sentiments and using propaganda aided by a media that is already awash with regional and religion sentiments. Forgetting the issues in the polity and dedicated their strength on a myopic and a more parochial zoning which is the arrangement of one political party the PDP and this give the ruling party more popularity among Nigerians, as the media continuously to reports issues on the party thereby making most Nigerians to begin to see the party as the only party to beat in the election. We are first Nigerians before we can lay claim to any region, now national interest must be put ahead of any other interest, this crisis has its gains and pains, indeed I believe most people will agree with me that the pains outweigh the gains, but its important to mention both the pains and the gains, even though the pains are very obvious, the lives of the gallant corps-members, property worth hundreds of millions lost and the discord already created. In fact the greatest pain of this crisis is that the perpetrators of this wicked act will not be brought to book. Yes they will not! You said how? We have seen many commission of enquiry what is their outcomes, the commissions were set up in Plateau, Zaki Biam the father of all is the Oputa Panel that shows clearly that we have the untouchables in the country. I know you are waiting to here the gains of this madness which led to killings of many youths and brains which the country could have benefited from. Yes there are gains. This crisis has set agenda for the incoming administration, haven seen that a larger percentage of the teeming Nigerian youths lack employment, high level of illiteracy in the northern Nigeria, our eyes also have been open to the proliferation of small arms in the country, inadequate security in the country. These gains of this crisis could be turned pains if the right thing is not done. As the new administration come on board by May 29, their top most priority should be how to gets these teeming youths employed, beefed up security in the country. In fact the quantity and quality of the security personnel in the country need to be improved, as for employment that should starts immediate, find way of curbing drug abuse among Nigeria youths, education should be improved and made available to Nigerians and in fact should be made compulsory, all the campaign promises must be fulfilled, government should check the proliferation of arms in the country, all the affected areas must be properly scrutinized to ensure all the arms used for these barbaric acts are taken away from people. One angle of the crisis which causes too much damage is the attack on the members of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC), the scheme must be reviewed a law must be put in place that will make it mandatory for state government and community leaders to take personal responsibility for the safety of corps-members posted to their various communities, it will be of help if government make a law that will check the utterances of politicians and Nigerians we must learn to dissociates religion from politics. SULEIMAN wrote in from No1B Rimi Road off Rimi Drive Angwan Kudu, Angwan Rimi, Kaduna. And can also be reached on 07030476699 or

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OMOTAYO, J. A.    Lagos, NIGERIA    May 10, 2011
Thanks Mr. Suleiman. May the souls of the dead rest in peace. Your postulations are good and they agree with those of millions of Nigeria. But I disagree on many grounds. First, the post-election violence had nothing to do with illiteracy. In 1983 when the old Ondo State (now Ondo & Ekiti States) had post-election violence, the State had the highest number of academics in tertiary institutions in Nigeria and there was no family without an NCE, HND or University graduate. In fact, the UPN regime in the State had free education at primary and secondary schools. Bursary award at N500 (equivalent of $735) per student was provided at tertiary education level within Nigeria. Yet over 1,500 were killed apart from millions of Naira properties destroyed in post-election violence.

Why then the riot in Ondo State with such a high literacy level? Injustice. Which type? Rigging of the governorship election. The post-election violence in the North was caused by rigging, though the mediocrities and sectionalists would not agree. Second, there was a growing pent-up feeling. Most underprivileged have been displaced and their sources of livelihood abruptly terminated by fantasy chasing executives who preferred the planting of flowers and grasses instead in Abuja, Lagos, Port-Harcourt, etc.

Those displaced would be forced back home with so much bitterness in their minds. Third, there is so much squander in Nigeria since the coming to power of civilian administration in Nigeria in 1999. Over $300 billion have been realised between 1999 and 2010. All have been wasted. No motorable roads, no stable power supply, no adequate water supply, no good school, etc. Yet almost all our collective inheritances in government hands have been sold. And we are now in over $5 billion external debt!

The party that destroys the most at federal, State or LGA is the most celebrated on media. Under such scenerio, any little misunderstanding can cause violence. Let me pause here for a while. God bless Nigeria.
dosase    Houston, USA    May 09, 2011
Thank you so much for this piece, I wish others are reading and most especially, I wish the authorities are reading this, I know the whole country has said thi over and over again, but I think it should be repeated until we start to see positive changes..
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