‘’Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it’’ Proverbs 22:6
‘’My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother. ‘’For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck’’ – Proverbs 1:8 & 9
This piece is written to encourage our youths. Stepping into the shoes of geniuses and highly successful people commands and demands extra efforts. The present generation of young Nigerians is increasingly getting restive about political ambitions. These emerging leaders, usually referred to as: ‘’leaders of tomorrow’’ are in every sub-sector of our national life – family businesses, places of worship, and even in politics , a vocation that has lately been afflicted by effects of feverish struggles and ambition to replace incumbents. To succeed and make remarkable impressions, the personality being groomed must be prepared for the envisaged assignment. Failure to plan and understand the intricacies of the society and particularly organizations to be led, accounts for colossal failures. Mentoring is a very important phenomenon.
THE ISSUE AT STAKE: Preparations made by the noble figures named below are what we are constructing upon today. Many countries of the Far-East, widely known as the Asian Tigers were at the same level of development as Nigeria in 1960; but they have all now pulled far ahead and transformed their economies. Countries like China, Malaysia, India, Japan, and South Korea have performed economic miracles through massive investments in their human capital and have been able to develop their manufacturing sectors. Singapore remains a case study in commitment and dedication to the common good. Nigeria is still in search of a common set of values that all Nigerians can relate to. Largely, they employed the concept of visioning and long range planning and total commitment and dedication to ideals of their societies
NIGERIA’S NATIONALISTS & INDEPENDENCE HEROES: We will not use this paragraph as a quiz because it is sure that many Nigerians would fail the, should we ask questions on who they were and what are their contributions to national development. And most of them, and their good deeds have evidently been recorded in the hall of fame. They were freedom fighters who gave their all to ensure that Nigeria got independence from British colonialists. Herbert Macaulay, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balewa, Michael Okpara, Ahmadu Bello, SL Akintola, Mbonu Ojike, Adegoke Adelabu, Ernest Ikoli, H. O. Davies, Sapara Williams, Mokwugo Okoye, Suad Zungur, Raji Abdallah, Aminu Kano, Osita Agwuna, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti and Margaret Ekpo, all fought relentless battles against the colonialists, utilizing the Nigerian media to promote the evolution of a new political order. Others were: Samuel Akisanya who later became the Odemo of Isara, Michael Imoudu, Ernest Ikoli, Osita Agwuna, Mbonu Ojike, Mokwugo Okoye, H.O. Davies, and Aminu Kano. It is possible that we have in our midst geniuses who are better equipped than these great Nigerians.
PLAN FOR A GREATER NIGERIA: The Vision 2010 document of the Federal Government of Nigeria points out that: ‘’What is required is a paradigm shift in the country’s political, socio-cultural and economic values’’ It concludes that “politically, Nigerians need to build a society that upholds and defends the principles and practice of democracy, respects fundamental human rights and the rule of law, cherishes and promotes unity in diversity. ‘’Socio-culturally, Nigerians need to build a society that emphasizes national identity and merit, rewards excellence, honesty, integrity, respect for the rule of law, caring for one another and the environment, as well as co-operation and harmony.’’ Economically, Nigeria needs a change in philosophy, in favour of a strong public and private sector partnership to achieve sustainable economic growth and development that is private sector-driven with the government as an enabler”.
EFFECTS OF MORAL TRAINING & RESILIENCE: Nothing disturbs our youths from aspiring to astronomical heights and beat the records of the early nationalists in Nigeria. These people were very successful because they received proper moral training from their parents and organizations with parental responsibilities. Parents of majority of these great patriots were not educated. But they realized the importance of education and so, laboured to place their children in schools. Those fortunate to be enlisted in schools, on their parts, were highly resilient and determined. They proved their worth; studied very hard, with majority combining their educational pursuits with farming and other vocations. Many of them went to family farms in the wee hours of the day, before going to school.
Only a few ‘’silver spoons’’ were available. Most of these great Nigerians had no access to electricity, potable water supply and boreholes, the Internet and computers. They used lanterns in very difficult situations. Many of them were afflicted by poverty and ate unbalance rations once a day. Yet, these great Nigerians excelled. Those who came after the early nationalists also became geniuses and some of them became Ministers of the Federal Republic at circa age 30 years. These include Matthew Tawo Mbu, and Richard Osuolale Akinjide. In the legislative arm, people like Anthony Enahoro, Remi Fani-Kayode, Dennis Osadebey made waves.
SECRETS OF SUCCESSES – ENDURANCE: Then, they moved further by pursuing their various goals with dedication and huge commitment. Obafemi Awolowo in one of his publications stated that: “I will, more than ever before, subject myself to severe self- discipline. ‘’Only men who are masters of themselves become easily masters of others. ‘’Therefore, my thoughts, my tongue, and my actions shall be brought under strict control always.” He went further in his autobiography to assert that: “Those who desire to reach, and keep their places at the top in any calling, must be prepared to do so the hard way.” On his part, Nnamdi Azikiwe in his speech at his inauguration as Governor-General of Nigeria stated that: ‘’I hereby pledge solemnly to render faithful and loyal service to my country. As in the past, I shall not have consideration for personal comforts or safety or even life itself, if these are the price I must pay for leadership in order to preserve the freedom and unity of my country.
PREPARATION: Those leaders of pre-independence Nigeria knew what they wanted and prepared very hard to locate themselves in strategic positions. History records them as having done well. They found their mission relatively easy to accomplish because they were very prepared psychologically, emotionally and educationally. They had very broad horizons because they developed their intellect to be able to compete with just anybody in the world. They were matured in behaviour and practice as they moved the country to greater heights with increasing skills. None of them was 50 years old at the time they fought for Nigeria’s independence. There are feelings that these great Nigerians have an edge of aspiring leaders of this era because they equipped themselves and developed their brains very significantly, by reading voraciously and with fortitude, while also having their strategic plans for total development. Some schools of thought have argued that Standard Six – the terminal class in elementary schools before 1950; could easily be equated with a university degree of the current era.
DEVOLUTION OF POWER TO THE YOUNGER GENERATION: The responsibility for leading Nigeria to greatness is gradually devolving to youths of today. This is why this piece is coming under family FAMILY VALUES because leaders of tomorrow have to realize the responsibilities they would shoulder early enough. We would be deceiving ourselves if we fail to agree that a lot of things have gotten rotten in the society and we must collaborate to put things right. TERRIFIC HEADLINES is a strong advocate of adopting proactive options, while also employing damage control measures. This is the essence of our campaign on FAMILY VALUES. Parenting is one of the hardest tasks as divinely ordered by God. Children are blessings from God. It is one task that is continuous until the whistle is blown in the fullness of time.
FULFILLING GOALS IN LIFE: Standards have fallen drastically. There are fears that these brilliant young ones could just come and go through the world like that without discovering their talents, creative abilities, missions and themselves these days of global information explosion. This is why the target audience for our social development campaign must pay greater emphasis to youth development. Governments must provide the enabling environment, parents that have the God-given responsibility of bringing their children up must tighten their belts; schools, churches, mosques and other organizations with parental responsibilities must do more, civil society organizations, and the civil society combined have huge roles to play in developing and preparing leaders of tomorrow for the important task of governance. Whoever wishes to lead must be prepared to expand his frontiers of knowledge. This is because a leader must always be knowledgeable than the team she/he is leading. That earns leaders the respect of their subordinates.
DEDICATION IS A CHOICE; NOT A GIFT: Just take a look at the photographs of personalities used to illustrate this report. They all made it into the privileged class of famous people before attaining the age of 30 years. Some of them have rich parents. But being affluent does not translate into commitment to excel. None of them is 40 years old yet’ but they have ‘’arrived’’ Dedication is a choice not a gift. Sijibomi Ogundele commenced with a risk management portfolio in 2004, and manages investments in New-York, Dubai, Accra, Paris and Madrid; Bella Adenuga-Disu is currently the Executive Vice-Chairman of Globacom Communications; next to her father in leadership hierarchy; Ola Brown (Orekunrin) graduated from Medical School at the age of 21 years to later establish the Flying Doctors service, the first Air-operated Medical Emergency Service in West Africa in Lagos; Uche Pedro, blogger, writer, social media expert and entrepreneur founded BellaNaija; and has distinguished herself as a thorough and consistent professional with impressive credentials.
Others are: Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola, aka DJCuppy could afford to fold her hands and collect fat cheques from her rich parents monthly; but has come out forcefully in the music industry with her Red Velvet Music Group. Nasir Yammama, on his part hails from Malumfashi, Katsina State is an IT Specialist and mentee of Virgin Atlantic’s Richard Branson. He is the inventor of an agronomy mobile app. There is no reason why their peers should take to crookedness and other negative practices. They sat down and drew up achievable goals for themselves in their journeys through this highly competitive world. The fact remains that good and bad deeds both require planning. But it is better to deploy energies into productive ventures and live clean and enviable lives like these younger ones are doing. They are shining examples of what positive utilization of sense could do. Their parents must be proud of them. Who wouldn’t? Please keep on the good work and show the world that Nigeria will very soon be a major global power as ordained by God Who speaks and makes His words come to pass.
RECIPE FOR DEVELOPMENT – GOOD GOVERNANCE: Without good governance, no society progresses. Apparently, there is no magic wand for turning the situation around, beyond good governance, leadership viable democratic culture, planning and visioning, as well as commitment and dedication of the part of all Nigerians. The consolidation of democracy and good governance are very two important factors of development that African nations are grappling with. The world is indeed changing. It is important for a definite political philosophy or a coherent set of principles It is on the premise of the foregoing, and the need to educate the younger generation and expand the frontiers of knowledge that TERRIFIC HEADLINES will tomorrow, yield this space to a discourse on GOOD GOVERNANCE by Joaquim Alberto Chissano, president of Mozambique, that was a war-torn country that was liberated through good governance. In spite of odds, Chissano led the nation into reputation as one of the most successful African democracies. Chissano also served as Chairman of the African Union from 2003 to 2004. He previously served as Mozambique’s foreign minister under political activist in the Frontline States, Samora Machel. Chissano won debt reprieve for his country from G-8 that wrote off £22 billion of Mozambique’s debt in 2005. Thereafter, he stepped down after being president for two terms; though Mozambique’s Constitution allowed for three terms. After relinquishing office, Chisano was appointed a United Nations Peace Envoy. Chisano’s achievements were recognized through the award of the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership by the Mo Ibrahim.
REWARD FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE: President Chissano received the inaugural Ibrahim Prize for his achievements in bringing peace, reconciliation, stable democracy and economic progress to his country following the 16-year civil war which lasted until 1992. The Prize also recognises the major contributions he has made outside his country’s borders. Tomorrow, we shall discuss Chisano and his contributions that earned him the covetable MO IBRAHIM PRIZE FOR LEADERSHIP. to a UNICEF publication. Remember, you must endeavour to read widely and acquire more knowledge to be able to function effectively as a leader. A leader must always be knowledgeable than members of the team she/he is leading. Otherwise system of chaotic administration would prevail. Knowledge earns leaders the respect of their subordinates.