By Shade Babalola
Take a look around you – what do you see? You see discord, misery and confusion, tribes, individuals pitted against one another and committing of abominations which causes desolation instead of living in peace and enjoying the good things of life becomes the order of the day.
A cursory gaze at social, political, cultural and religious actors in the Nigerian stage paints man as a wolf in human skin. A reason responsible for these maladies is the insatiable and selfish hunger for power, status and money.
It is true that everybody desires and deserves a good life accompanied by money, clothing, cars and other beautiful things. But, the length a typical Nigerian man could go to acquire these is fearsome.
This entire rancor, distrust and suspicions throughout the country are because of our perception of the idea of good living and the methods we employ in the quest for happiness and contentment.
Indeed we all want food, clothing, shelter and the luxuries of life. These desires are natural – almost the birthright of all human beings.
But must we kill to achieve these things? Must we attack our brothers and sisters? Must we steal or loot Government treasury? These are pertinent questions because we have all the resources needed to cater for every Nigerian soul. But this has continued to be elusive as the larger segment of the population is faced with abject poverty.
What Nigeria needs is a capable leader! Nigerians are desperately in need of leaders, good leaders who are willing to put the needs of the people first before their own and take responsibility for their actions.
Leaders who will lead by example, a unifier who will take responsibility for the welfare of the people, someone who will not shirk his responsibility nor leave his conscience behind when making tough decisions that may not be popular but necessary, leaders who will inspire citizens into action by showing their capabilities, leaders who will develop their visions and encourage the country to unite and work together.
The country does not need leaders who will be a rulers and dictators. We need a leader that can inspire and encourage citizens to act responsibly and of course it will be a collaborative effort to achieve this.
No one has the right to feel that they can hold on the vestiges of power and take for granted people’s loyalty because, ultimately, the people matter and they should be allowed to exercise their constitutional obligation, choosing a leader to lead Nigeria and not a leader who is ruling over the masses and consistently fails threaten to listen to the people and make changes to improve the lives of the people, real change is what is needed in Nigeria.
Indeed we need leaders not rulers, Leaders of conscience that can change the face of misery, not rulers that will continue to perpetuate excruciating economic hardship on the citizenry. At the back of every politician in Nigeria today is greed for self, everything he wants is to enable him and his kind to survive and to impose his will upon others.
But it is not difficult to change human nature; it is of no use waiting for the other fellow to change, the leadership should live by example, because for change to be effective it has to start somewhere.
A community can change, a nation can change, we can change not because we are necessarily right and others unnecessarily wrong, but because we feel being human, we are not always right-the question here Is it right that we should always squabble among ourselves? Some are Christians, while others are Muslim and some traditionalists, some are atheist but the difficulty confronting us all today is to have a moral courage to be our brothers’ keepers but why are we tearing at each other’s throat?
Today our road are death traps, armed robbers maim and kill in broad day light our children do not enjoy qualitative education, public health services have collapsed, our industries are closing down , our youths are jobless and restless.
Nigerians lack access to portable water supply, our electricity supply is epileptic. Indeed life in the country is desolate, brute and nasty.
What matters is the basis for our political relationship in order to maintain and sustain our democracy.
We have a war on our hands, a war to make life worthwhile for every Nigerian, irrespective of tribe, religion, ethnicity, city or class.
The future of our children is at stake.
We need leaders, not rulers to effect these changes. Despite our educational advancement we are making no efforts to bury the hatchet, instead conflict (boko Haram conflicts) is at every corner of the country.
I do not think God intended this beautiful country to be destroyed because God created this country for peaceful co-existence, just as God put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to keep and tend it, so also God has placed you and me in Nigeria to keep and tend Nigeria and guard Nigeria.
It is time for a generation that will lead Nigeria to emerge. Ours is a generation that will lead Nigeria. Are you a Ruler or a Leader? Nigeria needs leaders, Africa needs leaders and as leaders, we must become exemplary.
Shade Babalola is a 300 level student of the Department Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri, Borno state.