A Nation In Crisis – 2023: Leadership, Creativity And Innovation By Richard Odusanya
Nigeria is entering a crucial period in its history. Surely, given the state of the nation today, it would appear perverse to be exercised by the 2023 elections. So weighty are the problems that we grapple with and so fluid their composition that many worry that there may not be a country after the coming year. Today, as a people, we confront our worst identity crisis since the end of the civil war.
As a nation, we are, on a daily basis, confronted with issues ranging from killings, banditry, kidnappings, insurgency, hunger, job loss, 33.5% unemployment rate and separatist agitations in the South West and the Eastern region of the country. In reality, it is our light, not our darkness that most frightened us. To my mind, this is part of the reasons why we need to strike a balance for equity and peaceful coexistence.
The economic crisis seizing our beloved country Nigeria; fuel scarcity, tariff increase on many levels and the killings all over the country, is worrisome, particularly in the North-East, North Central and the South East of the country.
The insecurity has become so alarming. The recent news of bandits killing 23 persons in Jema’a and Kaura Local Government Areas, LGAs, of Southern Kaduna on Sunday night with several others injured, while 20 others were killed in Ganar-Kiyawa village of Adabka District, Bukkuyum Local Government Area of Zamfara State, on Sunday morning sent cold shivers down my spine.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record or an alarmist, the need for a TRANSFORMATIONAL leadership has become absolutely necessary if Nigeria must come out of this quagmire. This is because transformational leaders have the Midas touch to tackle these worrisome issues using systemic approaches to local solutions, which require intimate and empathetic knowledge of the contexts, needs, and culture.
Disappointedly, leadership is a very big challenge in Africa, and Nigeria in particular. Having a competent, effective and purposeful leadership that is capable of turning its highly chorused great potential into real economic and political power has been quite elusive for over six decades of her independence.
This is simply because of the failure to identify the essential values that sustain the various societies now constituting the modern Nigerian society and infuse such values into our social system so as to balance the issues of equity, fair play and justice.
It is often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Therefore, as we approach the 2023 general elections, it would be insane of us to cast our votes for the same calibre of persons who plunged us into this mess in the first place.
At this point in our national life, we need a creative and transformational leadership that can reunite us as a nation destined for greatness and navigate us through the storm. We need a leader that can stop the rot and stem the tide; we need an innovative and creative mind as a leader.
ARISE ‘O COMPATRIOTS.
Richard Odusanya is a Social Reform Crusader and the convener of AFRICA COVENANT RESCUE INITIATIVE (ACRI).