Nigeria News

Nigeria; Between Leadership and Followership

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Nigeria News takes a look at the leadership and followership syndrome in the country.

A few numbers of adults from Southwest Nigeria will hardly criticise the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo despite that he died about 32 years ago.

They deify the late politician and kick whenever anybody tries to soil the legacy of the Yoruba leader. To them, Awolowo had made it possible for many of their children to have an education.

As the Premier of the old western region, Awolowo introduced free education and built the economy, using tax policy to finance the economy.

He did not pretend about tax, it was the biggest financial strategy of the late sage, even when the citizens complained, Awolowo did not shift his strategy.

Of course, Awo, like Sir Ahmadu Bello and Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe was not a saint but his integrity and sense of direction was the only thing the populace needed to entrust their taxes in his hands.

The government then was symbiotic between the leaders and the followers. The tax bracket was expanded to absorb the rich and the poor until the military took over and disrupted the strategies that had been working for the country.

The soldiers operated with decrees to favour their businessmen friends and cronies. They threw the idea of taxation away and ran the mono-economy of oil.

The military destroyed agro-economy, grounded the health, education, aviation sectors, which eventually led to a mass exodus of brilliant Nigerians out of the country. There was massive brain during the military era.

But there was jubilation after the exit of the soldiers in 1999 when a former military ruler came in as a civilian president.

Many had thought that Olusegun Obasanjo would change the destiny of a fallen country. They voted massively for an ex-soldier instead of an economist, Chief Olu Falae.

Since the return of civil rule 20 years ago, the country has been groping in dismay with the hope that things will change and Nigeria will flow again with milk and honey.

Over the years, four presidents have ruled, yet the complaints have not subsided. Nigerians are poorer than they were four years ago. Small and Medium businesses cannot thrive anymore.

Companies are closing shops, banditry, kidnapping, internet fraud and terrorism have taken the centre stage. Nigeria security system has collapsed despite the promises by the foreign powers to assist President Muhammadu Buhari to fight insurgency. The growing rate of abduction has created more confusion for the security plan of the government.

The Herdsmen have become ruthless in the way they operate, killing and raping innocent Nigerians and kidnapping for ransom. It seems that the breeding and sales of cattle are no more in vogue. The quickest way the herdsmen use to make money is through kidnapping.

The government has failed to nip in the bud the activities of the marauders, rather the government meets with the herdsmen for dialogue.

What a country? As a matter of fact, the present crop of leaders were once followers. We chose them even though we do not deserve this.

Buhari was chosen based on his integrity but he lacks the brain of Awolowo and the brilliance of Ahmadu Bello?

Buhari has limitation. Integrity without strong economic policy and intelligence to query actions of his subordinates is nothing but a loud noise.

The weak among the followers took their own lives, the frustrated Nigerians seek greener pastures through the Mediterranean Sea and perish while the fool and the wise grope with poverty in an oilrich economy.

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