Samuel Ejah's take on African leadership
Updated: Mar 12
Africa’s greatest obstacle to attaining the global status that befits her has been the cause of leadership, a major drawback to a supposed impeccable sustainable transformation that the continent deserves.
A wise man simply puts this in real terms “Common sense dictates looking both ways before crossing a street, or risk being hit by a truck,” For the leadership in Africa, they have always looked one way, no wonder the continent experiences so much setbacks at every turn.
How come a continent so rich in terms of natural resources, still fails to provide her citizens basic social amenities?
As the world’s richest continent which has 50% of the world’s gold, most of the world’s diamonds and chromium, 90% of the cobalt, 40% of the world’s potential hydroelectric power, 65% of the manganese, millions of acres of untilled farmland, as well as other natural resources including (crude oil), it’s unacceptable for her to remain home to the world’s most impoverished and abused people on planet earth despite all this wealth.
A Japanese diplomat told me some time last year that he wishes Africans can agree to swap continents where all the people in East Asia will come over to Africa and Africans going the other way which looked odd to me. However, before I could respond, he went further to say if that was to be the case, Africans would not recognize the continent they left in 4 years.
This strikes a chord, making it abundantly clear to me that Africa leadership needs a paradigm shift on a massive scale, based on a shared purpose with a global perspective.
“Leadership for the people and by the people in real terms,” meaning it is time to end this self -centered leadership style driven by greed, obsession, intimidation, oppression and power grab with massive corruptions issues and ethnic under tones which has resulted to so much blood shed because of inter-tribal wars and ethnic cleansing pitching one community or tribe against another.
In relation to Nigeria, we have seen kinsmen, family members and relatives of the then candidate who were begging for transportation fair every now and then during the election campaign, become shareholders overnight in major multi-nationals in the country since he became President with no qualifications, no business experience, a clear sign of corruption yet he says he is fighting corruption.
Intimidating everyone, who dares to criticize them, and even destroying the lives of peaceful agitators like my people of the south eastern Nigeria who are legitimately asking for the right to go their own way and be called Biafrans, because it is obvious that the Nigerian project is not working for everyone which in my view we were forced into in the first place by our colonial masters.
We were labelled terrorist with so many killed or constantly intimidated, their means of livelihood and businesses destroyed, while the ones they created to drive their ethnic agenda Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen are been shielded, committing serious killings and carrying out ethnic cleansing in the process with no consequences for the perpetrators.
Currently, a lot of communities have been sacked by these people and even renamed while the real owners are now displaced, and the security apparatus infiltrated by these folks, that is why they are hardly caught, instead the military had the greatest causality in this fight. To quote one of the top general in the military “ANY BOKO HARAM member who decides to give up their evil ways has the right to become the Nigerian President of Nigeria one day.” Not to mention, the hijacking of the judiciary which is supposed to be the defender of the people.
Furthermore, most recently using the resources from the south eastern part of the country (our motherland) which is crude oil as equilateral to get loans from China to develop the north at the expense of the region. What betrayal to the oath of office of the President!
Besides so much insecurity across the country, the height that the country has never experienced before with so many killed, thousands, this past year, record numbers mostly those of the Christian faith by herdsmen and Boko Haram terrorist.
However, instead of fixing the problem they created as a result of their policies and deliberate actions, the leaders in Nigeria just like others in the continent result to the quickest avenue to shift the narrative by blaming it on others “so called foreign influence or interference” and will be very confident to have the support from their new master China who will be ready to veto any resolution in the security council that will affect them aside other dimensions like, culture, climate and bio-geographic factors as the explanation to the why? of Africa’s problems.
Quoting Nkrumah, I can confidently state that the independence of one country in the continent is meaningless unless the rest of Africa is free from bad leadership, meaning we will be running around in circles, because when one is up the rest of the bad bunch will pull them down. Our rise as a continent to being genuine influencers in the global scheme of things is long overdue and Africa deserve better.
2020 must be the beginning of this new dawn, let’s build our continent with selfless and visionary leadership. It is not too much to ask, for the sake of our children, so the efforts of great African freedom and independence fighters will forever live on, let’s not destroy all they have sacrificed and lay down their lives for.
Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere, Kwame Nkrumah, Jomo Kenyatta, Kenneth Kaunda, Patrice Lumumba, Nnamdi Azikiwe, and many more, so much a perfect fit to describe African leaders then, What about now? Where are the Donald Trumps of Africa that will drive the Africa first agenda, and a continental self- reliance government for the people and not for their selfish interest?