By Ayegba Israel Ebije
A true leader is does not really need a title to exude best standard leadership quality. A true leader must follow his people because he is their servant. A true leader must understand the concept of servant leadership and that properly defines leadership in its actual sense.
Dr. Mu’azuBabangidaAliyu has defined himself as a servant leader who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. He has become increasingly progressive, creating a style of leadership many in his class would prefer they do not contemplate. He is a Chief Servant in a country of ‘thief servants.’ At 59, he has been able to combine intelligence and brilliance to rally human and material resources to achieve predetermine developmental objectives in Niger state. Now Niger state has left the brinks to one of the topmost developed states in the country. Yes, he has indeed distinguished himself as a leadership example for future Nigerians.
Yes his leadership style has managed to make political thieves cringe with fear, mercantile politicians change occupation in Niger. Yes the people are more secured and united towards common developmental agenda. That is why he is being celebrated for his resounding and consistent physical and psychological agenda for the hapless masses within and beyond Niger state. As a result of his consistent advocacy for all Nigerians on myriads of issues, his landmark achievements in Niger state, Dr. Aliyu is seen as a messiah, liberator, a prophet born before his time. Expectedly however, he made friends and at the same time managed to have a few enemies (those who think he is exposing the prebendal class of Nigerians).
We must therefore understand that Dr. Aliyu suffers has managed to endure blackmail and poisonous constructions each time he harps on the need for change on skewed national issues. He is critical, very revolutionary and as such vulnerably disposed to elitist conspiracy and ethnic sentimentality. We must also understand that in the midst of all the perceptions however, the truth remains that he is among top Nigerians that have poured out fountain of their knowledge towards charting a direction for Nigeria in its journey to nationhood.We must indeed understand that Aliyu, just like the Mahatma Gandhi’s, Martin Luther King Jnr, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Schweitzer – lived before their time and as such were at one time subjects of critical appraisal. They however stood their grounds to chart golden pathways towards positive human social existence for generations to come.
We must understand that Servant Leadership propagated by the Chief Servant is our best bet towards managing the systemic rot in our polity. It is indeed a veritable escape outlet from impending disaster as Nigerians are becoming restive, disenchanted and set to go against a system characterized by a vicious circle of bad leadership.We must understand that its instructive to advocate for a servant leader who takes all the blames and share successes. Who draws conclusion from bottom up communication from across all spectra of opinion. We need a servant leader who can tell everyone the same story, even when it is inconvenient or difficult. We need a servant leader who work hard and inspire others to do the same.
We must not forget that the type of leadership we have had do not care about solving soaring crime rate, stalled economy and crumbling infrastructure. They however choose to spend time settling personal vendettas, fueling ethno-religious issues, enriching personal connections, and dividing our commonwealth for their own selfish purposes.
Yes, Nigerians are tired of systemic corruption perpetuated by the political class saddled with the responsibility of directing the affairs of the country. These revolving chair of corrupt elites have achieved gravely in institutionalizing firm foundation of impunity. The masses are tired and are desperately searching for a servant leader.Nigerians are tired of carrying deadly virus of systemic rot, poverty, insecurity and mistrust. They are tired of virus that has subsequently spread from political dramatis personae to the private sector of the country and to the common man on the street.
Nigerians are tired of this virus that would soon eat off the very reason why Nigeria exists as a nation. They are tired of this virus that must be killed through the principles and practice of servant leadership. They are tired of being the world’s eighth largest exporter of crude oil, a country endowed with many resources – human and natural, but yet with more than 70 percent of its population living below the poverty line as a result of corruption and economic mismanagement.
Aliyu is 59, Nigeria is 54. He was a future leader at 5 when Nigeria was declared an independent state. For him, he has achieved but what about those who are still future leaders of Nigeria 54 years after? The ‘thief servants’ have saturated the polity and that is why the youths will remain future leaders of an elusive tomorrow. That is why it is imperative to celebrate the Chief Servant for indelible leadership quality aimed at paving way for a generation of reformed leaders. 59 happy cheers for a Servant Leader.
Ebije A. Israel is the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Niger state