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Leading from the front: The Tinubu challenge

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Political analysts and management experts are in agreement that  Nigeria is suffering from absolute leadership failure to the extent that the component units appear to have nothing to emulate from the centre in terms of models, roadmaps, structures or guidelines even as the powers that are presumably provided for in the constitution have been interpreted and implemented in the reverse order.

Leadership, in the face of it, provides direction for a company and its workers as well as for a nation and her citizens. Employees need to know the direction in which the company is headed and who to follow to reach the destination. Leadership involves showing how to effectively perform responsibilities and regularly supervising the completion of such tasks as to meet set targets and vision. Any nation without effective leadership, as it seems to be in the case with Nigeria is obviously on a wide goose chase.

Effective leadership is all about the exhibition of strong character, honesty, integrity, trustworthiness and ethics. Leaders act in line with how they speak and earn the right to be responsible for others’ success in companies, organizations and indeed nations. Strong leadership as in president of nations and institutions involves clear communication skills.

Leaders speak with and listen to the various stakeholders, respond to questions and concerns, and are empathetic. True leadership sees where the country is headed and plans the steps needed to get there. Visualizing what is possible, following trends of the comity  nations including taking risks to grow the countries’ economic, social, political and cultural components are all required of leaders. These Nigeria lacks in absolute terms at the moment.

Nigeria in her over 63 years of independence appears not to have been lucky as to produce enough charismatic, committed and productive leaders in the mould of Harry Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore, Indira Gandi of India, Chairman Mao of China and currently Paul Kagame of Rwanda.

Productive leadership which shows optimism usually provides positive energy for the populace. Good leaders are supportive and are truly concerned about the well-being of others, they struggle hard to find answers to challenges and reassure and inspire those that they lead when things go awry. Good leaders lead by example considering that they lead from the front.

Tinubu should be told in unequivocal terms that Nigeria demands his undivided attention. Insecurity, hyper inflation and abysmally poor business environment which are indices of a failed nation sprouting from corrupt leadership are currently stirring Nigeria in the face and Tinubu who is currently on a private visit to France appears indifferent about all these.

And these are part of our major worries when we observe that the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration is reluctant to lead from the front considering that there are currently no good examples to emulate from Tinubu’s foot steps. It is rather worrisome that eight long months into the life cycle of the Tinubu administration, the government which he claimed to have spent over a decade preparing for lacks direction.

There is no gain saying that the government is yet to record any single quick win in all parameters of governance; not even with low hanging fruits which include raising the hope of the populace for a better life standard. On the contrary, the Tinubu appointees  in partnership with state actors are rubbing their lavish life styles on the noses of the ordinary Nigerians who are being told daily to tighten their belts. Simply put, the Tinubu leadership as it appears does not inspire any hope and not to talk of renewing either.

We are of the opinion that President Tinubu ought to be leading from the front in words and in deeds to the extent that himself and  family members and appointees of government should be the sign board of transparency, accountability, sincerity of purpose in objectivity and commitment as well as being the model of the new face of the country.

Our biggest concern for now revolves around government’s evident rejection of benchmark of good governance which comprises of equity, fairness, accountability and transparency. The nation is still being allowed to bleed on all fronts with some government officials consciously plundering the nation’s resources with no one raising neither a voice nor finger.  Infractions in government cycle and among state actors pass without consequences just as matters of insecurity and food inflation are been treated with levity.

We had expected a Tinubu that would have hit the ground running especially in the areas of fighting corruption and insecurity if only to renew the hope of Nigerians for a better tomorrow. But what the nation has in her hands are tranches of questionable deals all pointing to a nation in self destruction.

Should the government have waited for former Vice President Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to question the opaqueness of the $3.3 billion NNPCL’s emergency crude repayment loan with the African Export-Import Bank which will see Nigeria repaying whopping $12 billion before providing the nation with details of that transaction? Atiku is definitely not a rabble rouser in this case; he is acting the script of all Nigerians who are genuinely interested in institutionalizing transparency, accountability and probity in governance.  Are there hanky panky in this and related mega deals that are domiciled in the Tinubu presidency?  Should Nigerians have waited on Atiku for the nation to be told that the deal was being driven by Project Gazelle Funding Limited, a Special Purpose Vehicle incorporated in the Bahamas. Is this likely going to be a sad revisit of the Pandora’s Paper scandal?

It is difficult to understand why Tinubu will want to embrace irresponsibility in governance very early in his administration by not wanting to hold his regime accountable thus encouraging the reign of corruption where state actors are encouraged to loot the country dry. The allegation of his family members living in opulence amidst  hunger and insecurity stands as dark poster on the president’s integrity which has always been characterized by controversies, debates and arguments contrary to what the garment of a leader of a country should  be.

Tinubu’s body language tends to suggest that he is at home with his crowd as opposed to standing out as to lead the nation from the front thus attempting to be the model of all that good leadership represents. It is under Tinubu watch that Betta Chimaobim Edu, the Minister of Humanitarian and Disaster Management was accused of doing the unthinkable when billions of naira were diverted to personal account as part of the cost of verifying the register of vulnerable Nigerians. The gavel would have been dropped on the Minister big time assuming Nigeria is a saner society if only to send strong signals to government officials who are still pretending that national treasury are market places for pathological thieves.

We bring it as a strong charge on President Tinubu to stand up to the occasion of leading the country by the examples of the things he does and say to the point that his disdain for corruption and firm grip on the enforcement of the instruments of law and order constitute pointers to the direction of his regime as honest efforts at rebuilding a Nigeria where hopes are not only renewed but are seen to have been realized.


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