If you want to truly understand something, try to change it. – Kurt Lewin
The announcement made by retired General Muhammed Buhari that he’s running for the presidency spread through Nigeria and the Nigerian community on social media faster than the ten plagues through Egypt. Buhari ran unsuccessfully for the presidency in 2003, 2007, and 2011. President Goodluck Jonathan is also running for second term.
Governance in Nigeria today is crude, archaic, unresponsive, and ineffective. The political reforms that can truly transform Nigeria hinges on new forms of governance. This will involve broader range of active players. It will require a deep commitment to democratic values, human rights and equal opportunity. And most importantly, it will require to put frameworks in place that assure high levels of transparency, accountability, and integrity.
A leader is, by definition, an innovator. He does things other people haven’t done or don’t do. A leader does things in advance of other people. He makes new things. He make old things new. As one author puts it “… leaders must be right-brain, as well as left-brain, thinkers. They must be intuitive, conceptual, synthesizing, and artistic.”
Other requirements for my next president of Nigeria stem from the expanded definition of a leader. Nigeria needs a president that will lead brilliantly not just from his mind, but also from his heart. In other words, a president that will serve with greatness and goodness.
My next president of Nigeria must have an exceptional intellectual skills with deep humanitarian instincts. A president that does not romanticize or sentimentalize the difficult circumstances of his childhood. Rather, use his acutely painful experience as a source of life-long compassion and concern for Nigerians especially the poor majority.
A president that will exercise incomparable drive and determination. A president with the belief that he has a purpose to fulfill. A president who will engrave his name in history. With our nation greatly embroiled in economic and social turmoil, and other age-old dilemmas, the president’s purpose must be to preserve the true meaning of democracy “government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
A president who will consistently find the courage to invigorate the spirits of our citizens at this period of our nation’s most dire and desperate times. A president who is compassionate, kindhearted, and immodest. A president that will wield the vast powers of the presidency more tenderly and forbearingly.
A president with extraordinary empathy that will put himself in place of poor Nigerians to experience what they are feeling and to understand their motives and desires. A president with crowning gift of political diagnosis of what is wrong with our nation and with solutions.
A president with rare wisdom of temperament that consistently display magnanimity toward those that oppose him. A brilliant thinker and masterly orator who will move Nigerians through his humor and kind personal presence. A president whose honesty and eloquence will produce conviction in Nigerians because of his own convictions.
A president gifted with quick and benign wit to soften wounded feelings and dispel anxieties of the poor and other marginalized elements in our society. A president whose engagement and performance will be influenced by feelings and emotions of Nigerians. A president that will show he’s a human being who is able to identify with the challenges our people face and the sacrifices they make.
A president who gets up in the morning and is more excited because he’s nervous about the burden of 170 million Nigerians squarely placed on his shoulders. And if the president is not nervous everyday he gets up in the morning, then he’s dead.
A president who is willing to learn by leading in the face of obstacles knowing full well that as weather shapes mountains, so problems make leaders. So far, the two aspirants who are running in 2015 for the presidency, in my opinion, do not meet these qualifications of my next president for Nigeria.
Article written by Bayo Oluwasanmi firstname.lastname@example.org
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