Posted by News Express | 2 August 2017 | 2,082 times
“We cannot solve the problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we caused the problems” — Albert Einstein
Nigeria, as it is, needs fresh political thoughts, as against the uninspiring climate of leadership currently being experienced in the country since the return to democratic dispensation, 18 years on.
Contemporary leadership-thinking has shifted from the classical theme of experience and age maturity, to the post-modern dynamics of innovation.
Giving the architecture of modern societies, governments around the world are voting significant resources in securing the future of their nations, grooming young leadership talents, not just in political leadership, but in other strata of human endeavour, to business and other technological, vocational areas of relevance in the society.
It is on record that China, in the last 10 years or thereabout, has unveiled a new set of young leaders who are stepping into the shoes of their fore-runners. The major set-back in achieving sustainable political leadership succession in Nigeria, Delta State inclusive, may step from two reasons: first, the stereotypical perception of age as synonymous with experience and wisdom.
Again, the superstitious belief within Nigerian societies, especially within the political enclaves, is that old people should enjoy the eminence and rights to all forms of leadership, including political leadership and otherwise. Political parties within their own peculiar internal democracies are also guilty of this menace that has plunged political parties into the abyss of decline in recent times, choosing older persons to be their party flag-bearers during elections.
Mediocrity, which is apparent not only in the political life of a nation but in all spheres of national life and belief, is a result of nothing but sit-tight mentality of old political bigots, without them making deliberate, systematic attempts to cede political, vocational, business and entrepreneurial leadership to the youth.
For instance, in the just-concluded Delta Central’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), reception in your honour (James Ibori), itinerary visitors since you returned to the country, were the same crop of old leaders who has not only disappointed their family but party faithful, loyalists, and the society. Even those in power in the state are not an exception. Furthermore, your recent endorsement of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for 2019 gubernatorial election has not only tempered with our thoughts of new lease of life for a regenerative society, but has kept some of us in that school of thought in a state of grief.
It is a heart-breaking irony that ‘our’ Oghara, which boasts the best human and intellectual resources in the state, many of whom are leading lights in their various fields of endeavour, are right now crippled by a dearth of constructive, visionary and progressive leadership.
The era of political superstition has run its course. The state has been imperiled by conservative thinking, which has made vigorous efforts to undermine the prospects of youths being in the mainstream of politics. There would be no better time than now for change of orientation, from being conservative to that of progressive mind; the youths have the power to recalibrate the political thrust and tempo of our dear local government, Delta State, and Nigeria at large. The political elites still see the youth in their past perception, as expendable political rockets, which they used and discarded, after exploiting their brains and innate creativity to launch their political shuttle to the orbit of power.
Then, the youths were only deemed fit as political hatchet men, thugs and trouble-makers: but our youths can now retrace their steps. Our boys and girls of yesterday are now young men and women who can afford to wrestle the destiny of our dear local government, state and country from the current political predators, by refusing to be seen and treated as cheap foils.
They can now resist to be bought with cheap perks, monies and political promises of oblivion. If we are not seeing the genuine green light of injecting the youths into the system, we would channel our energies and creative resources, like the animal community did in George Orwell’s epic novel, Animal Farm, to oust the greedy, puerile and ethnocentric leaders, who still sell our local government, state and the country at large cheap.
His Excellency has also erred when he was at the Presidency: none of our youths were made executive assistants, special assistants and senior special assistants, nor directors-generals, permanent secretaries, neither were they fixed into juicy positions at the Federal level. What a mistake!
We must infiltrate the parties and recreate their charter and form the hub and spoke, handle and seat of political visions. We need not be violent, but with our sheer energy and thinking power, shift the axis of power and swing it onto the path of progressive and true greatness.
The current leadership at the local government and the state can also start by establishing a synergy with the youth, bringing them under their wings, and facilitating the much-needed transitional dream of handing over part of political leadership to the younger generation.
Our political systems need the best hands in the state and elsewhere, without allowing the obstructive considerations and the red-tape to truncate its vision of political goals to be at par with its philosophy.
If our political gladiators would for once muster the courage to put their best team forward, by giving the youths ample latitude to express their potentials, The system could take a leap towards its promised land, and it’s possible if our old leaders can be magnanimous in entrusting political power to the younger ones which, of course, the youths cannot afford to betray.
•Kparobo Ehvwubare, a journalist, analyst and publisher writes from Oghara-Delta State; could be reached on email@example.com or +2347067546856 (sms only
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