Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A POINT OF VIEW: Leaderless Nations

With Suntou Touray

Nations are built on the spirits of great leaders. A good leader possesses qualities that drives his nation forward and enhance the development of the people in every facet. No nation is great with weak and selfish leaders at the helm of its affairs. Leaders have a different comport and outlook on life, but what makes a leader great is the unconditional love and care he/she has for every single person of their nation. These leaders would do whatever it takes to accelerate the growth and development of their nations. More importantly great leaders put in place legislations that would provide for and defend the fundament rights of the people. These legislations are what many nations are lacking today.

One can argue that there is no nation without a leader, but being a leader for the sake of it is the same as existing without one. The majority of third world nations are leaderless. This is why the entire fabrics of these nations’ institutions are in disarray.

As an African, the evident reason that is causing our slow growth in human and structural development is nothing but the lack of innovative and charismatic leaders. There don’t seem to be any progress in our entire economies.

The fore-runners of global dominant nations always possess leaders who love them and would do anything to protect the honour and rights of their people. The embarrassing condition of the African man and woman is nothing but the presence of leaders who has no glue as to what the solutions of our society’s woes are. They go about their business as if nothing is wrong. We are the nations with the least respect in terms of development and riches, yet our continent is endowed with the resources that make others great. Where are the leaders?

We can discuss and argue over the few leaders who should have lived longer and lead us into greatness. Unfortunately, they couldn’t live to witness their dreams.
Why is it that our leaders don’t care about our lives collectively?

Why is it that, our leaders don’t seem to grow up and let go of petty enmity and be bigger men in situations of media melee and political critics? How can they call themselves leaders when they are so fearful of the oppositions; they are willing to kill and imprison unnecessarily?

Leadership is about delegation of duties and policies to the right technocrats.
Leadership is about taking decisions on behalf of the nation for the longer term and by consulting the opinions of experts.

Leadership is about overlooking critics and personal attacks; it is not about trying to proof how tough one is by locking up and meddling in the legal and media institutions.

Leadership is about providing safety to ones people in food, health, water, security, education and all the basic necessities of life.
Our leaders always have done the opposite of what nations with great leaders do. They don’t like us; their words and actions often create enmity among us. They hate us and we hate them. They deceive us, we deceive them, they don’t trust us and we don’t trust them.

This circle of discontent leads officials to continue practising corruption and malpractices detrimental to the development of the nation’s progress.
Which African country’s leader can we place our hand on heart and say he or she is worth leading us.

Our own brands of so-called ceremonial leaders cherish their titles and power. They put in places cultures that will only make every department of our institutions function only for their benefits. No one can change their mindset, they hate anyone who is willing to be different and do what he/she is paid to do.

They trifle of self-aggrandisement and false glory. Lavish parties and ceremonies are one thing they believe will make them look honorary. Yet developed nations with educated and selfless leaders are rarely seen in public, let alone partying beyond acceptable limits.

All we ever have is men who thought they are leaders because of wining sham elections and surrounding themselves with sycophants and chicken brains. These leaders know they are nothing compared to the real leaders in international conferences and deal making. Even protecting their country’s interest in trade deals and environmental matters are mostly inadequate and poorly executed.

I don’t see African presidents as leaders; all they are is just mere cult figures with time and resources to waste, simple. If they are credible and effective leaders, they would be good at overlooking the comments of critics and continue to protect the lives and rights of their perceived enemies no matter what. From North to South and East to West; our African leaders are nothing but robots for the nations with credible leaders. Ours are just beggars. They begged so much, they forget how to do it anymore. Aid dependencies make others not consider our leader’s opinion in international matters. It is just like somebody that feeds on your unwanted crumbs. Would you have any respect for such a fellow? Real leaders can always rely on a tap on our own banana leader’s shoulder to silence the bravest amongst us. What a pity!

Finally, continue to be bullies you uncaring and unloving men calling yourselves leaders. Living in a presidential residence doesn’t make you a leader. Working for the people and feeling their pain and doing something about it makes one a leader. Whoever that may be and wherever he/she resides, that is what makes one a leader.

The power to jail, to play the judiciary, to institute harsh laws against the media, creating competitive disadvantages to your opponents, and extra-judicial executions, these all show one’s lack of leadership qualities.

Use common sense now pretenders! Change the course of history. Be a true leader and be willing to hand over the nation’s baton to your political rivals when you know they can do a better job than you.

Every true sons and daughters of Africa will cherish to see that day when real leaders step up to the plate and end the suffering and shame of people of colour.

May I live to see that day. Amen.