DREAMS: The father of modern psychoanalysis and an Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud, described dreams as ‘’the royal road to the unconscious.” Freud, one of the most influential and authoritative thinkers of the 20th century, submitted that dreams are ‘’visions or portents of what the future might hold’’. In modern times, his postulation considers dreams as a window into the unconscious mind.’’ There are precognitive dreams; just as there are prophetic dreams. Scientists have proven that everyone dreams during sleep, but not everyone is able to recall the mental adventure.
One of the most popular never to be forgotten dreams that projected into the future was the one titled: ‘’I HAVE A DREAM’ a public speech that was delivered by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963. That very patriotic dream was not sleep induced; but inspired by patriotism and human rights. And Martin Luther King’s name will forever be carved in gold. He was not rich; but left a legacy of honest intentions.
SIMILARITY – MARTIN LUTHER KING Jnr & MY OWN DREAM: Martin Luther King’s dream could be somehow literally infectious, because it had to do with improvements in the lives of the ordinary people. A replica of this great design and one of the most expressed compilations of polices is the one enunciated by a presidential aspirant, Kingsley Moghalu, 55 years old; part of which reads: ‘’I don’t make campaign promises. ‘’I have a plan, and my plan is to implement my plan. ‘’I have offered myself for the task at hand because I have a passion for my country’s progress; and because I believe I have been well prepared for that task by the level, quantum and quality of my leadership experience. ‘’From nation-building around the world to economic management at home, from international diplomacy to the global academia, I have demonstrated a track record of creating superior value.’’ But will circumstances and our political culture give people with brilliant ideas any chance? Time will tell.
I HAD A DREAM: The foregoing is the catalyst for this treatise. During my public service outing spanning some years, I had the opportunity of serving wonderful patriots who gave people on their personal staff wide latitude to express themselves and prove their worth. It was during the tenure of one of these wonderful bosses that ‘’I HAD A DREAM’’. Two of us on the personal staff reasoned; jokingly though, that we wanted to prove our mettle and so requested our boss to sponsor us. We put forth our demand. Sponsorship will commence from the stage of purchase of nomination forms, through campaigns and party primaries. It will end when we get elected. We were prepared, like Chief Obafemi Awolowo suggested, to ‘’subject our competence and character to public scrutiny’’ in the course of dreaming to occupy top sensitive elective offices, I HAD A DREAM.. For whatever it is worth, I will go ahead to share the ‘DREAM I HAD’. It was all about coordinating my personal interest for the common good of all. Indeed, I saw myself in the DREAM, broadcasting to an audience. Just condition yourself now to feel that you are now in front of your television set and imagine me deliver the story of the DREAM.
THE DREAM: My Fellow Compatriots: Let me commence by stating very emphatically, that I have come with a very strong resolve to move our society forward along the envisaged path of progress. It is important that we stay committed to our agenda of providing decent political leadership that emphasizes respect for the rule of law, discipline, viable political visions, and the restoration of sanity into the polity. As a democratic dispensation that drew its legitimacy from the massive support of the generality of the masses, we shall respect the principles of accountability, probity, integrity and transparency. Therefore, we shall lead by example and precepts, while also encouraging the citizenry to make government accountable to the people.
GOOD GOVERNANCE: I am convinced that a leader must also naturally have a vision; and must be goal-driven. In recognition of these important factors, our Administration will be driven by visionary and transformational leadership that will set enlightened priorities, utilizing the policy of visioning and long-range planning. This is the fulcrum upon which the fulfillment of our targets will rest. As you all may be aware, good governance is the major prerequisite for development. It is very critical to successes in a society. Lessons of the past have indicated very clearly, that the inability of those in leadership positions to take rational decisions without recourse to some extraneous influences has been one of the banes of good governance. For the avoidance of doubt, good governance, according to the World Bank, is predicated on proper management of human and material resources, including economic institutions and public sector management, transparency and accountability, regulatory reform, public sector skills and leadership, the enthronement of due process, as well as respect for the rule of law.
We are not unaware, that the popular campaign all over the world, particularly in developing nations is that of embracing the principles of good governance in both the public and private sectors. Generally, we have come to realize the need to challenge negative tendencies that militate against good governance. Our administration will, therefore, take appropriate steps to fight poverty, economic hardships, environmental degradation, political instability, disharmony, and all forms of intolerance. We will pay particular attention to debts control and repudiation, trade policy reform, human resource development, and the management of technical change. Furthermore, good governance, in political parlance connotes the running of a responsible and responsive administration, in which the feelings and desires of the populace will be respected. Accordingly, we will strive to carry you our good people along in the scheme of things. God willing, we shall justify the confidence reposed in us by other shareholders, through exhibiting sincerity of purpose by the leadership under my watch, consistency in policy formulation, honesty, integrity and fiscal discipline. I will not allow anybody within or outside our organization, by acts of commission or omission, to tarnish my hard-earned reputation and name, because I will be held accountable at the end of my tenure.
TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP: It is a truism, that the type of leader an organization or society has, determines its direction, purpose, vision, mission, and drives the development of the society. It is the responsibility of leaders, to chart the course for growth and development as chief drivers, in order to make better use of resources, improve extractive capacities and pursue rapid growth. In adopting the servant-leadership style, due attention is to be paid to the operational principles and policies that drive the system..These include poor leadership culture, poor political culture and pattern of governance, lack of commitment to set goals and aspirations, corruption, lack of clear understanding of the importance of visioning and long-range planning, ignorance, and lack of political will. This development just didn’t arise suddenly. It is a product of planning, resilience, diligence and foresight of the leadership, with the support of the people. I, therefore, appeal to you all, to support our diligence and foresight, as we join hands in our march towards prosperity and the building of an egalitarian society.
THE BUREAUCRACY – MY TEAM: The challenges faced by leaders in strategically implementing complex and long-range consequential decisions demand that they be sophisticated with respect to issues of leadership, power and influence. Leaders must be able to anticipate and read situations clearly and correctly. In realization of the fact that I must be more knowledgeable than my team members to be coordinated by me, I have read and studied extensively our constraints, problems and solutions. Members of my team will be kept on their toes, to bring about increased focus on achievement of our vision and mission, whose successes are predicated on collective responsibility.
As you may be aware, collective responsibility commands and demands forthrightness. We must base our actions on the fact that we could together succeed, or fall. It is the rule that only men and women of integrity who are prepared to offer selfless service, and who are free from blemishes would be entrusted with leadership roles. I am not unconscious of the fact that I am the captain and the buck stops on my table. Therefore, I will not condone laziness, sycophancy and other acts that could draw us back. I assure you of my resolve to assemble the best team in public interest, and for public good. If we must progress, we must break away from the subtle control of powerful forces outside the system that may wish to subtly attempt to influence conduct of government business.
APPOINTMENTS INTO POLITICAL OFFICES: Let me state emphatically here, that I will take personal responsibility for appointing members of my cabinet. This step will definitely promote loyalty to the appointing authority, and reduce friction that usually accompanies such exercises to the barest minimum. Whoever has assisted with funding and other issues pertaining to how we came into power should kindly regard his or her investment as gestures made for public good. Otherwise, it becomes a ‘’bad investment’’ as one former leader stated. Let it be known that I will not accept nominees into political offices from individuals. This breeds disloyalty and obeisance to outside influences. All such recommendations should be passed through the party secretariat.
THE PUBLIC SERVICE & POLITICAL OFFICE HOLDERS: Periodic reforms will be given proper attention. In order to be able to monitor achievements and improve thereon, the relevant department in my office, charged with Policies, Programmes & Plans Implementation Monitoring will be strengthened to observe compliance with set targets by government establishments, as we go along our defined destinations. It is our avowed intention to build a meritocratic public service cadre that attracts and retains the best. We have dug into the past and discovered that competence and prestige could return to the civil service if very skillful people are attracted into the system. Institutional legitimacy will be promoted. In realization of the important role of the public service in policy formulation and implementation, our administration will reform and rejuvenate the public service for efficiency, responsiveness and quality performances.
The public service should be composed of men and women of integrity and high intellectual calibre, as well as considerable detachment and impartiality. Public servants must be prepared to serve the citizenry diligently and efficiently in accordance with civil service rules and regulations, in accordance with the principle of Management by Objectives. We shall demand measurable performances and results. The Obafemi Awolowo/Simeon Adebo model in the defunct Western Region will be thoroughly studied to bring out the best, in realization of the fact that the civil service is the hub for the implementation of policies and programmes of government. The ideal situation, accordingly, calls for honesty, dedication, probity and commitment on the part of public servants.
CARRYING SHAREHOLDERS ALONG: In summary, we shall operate a system that is characterized by responsiveness, fairness, firmness and justice. Since democracy is about persuasion, we shall put in place an efficient information machinery to coordinate our information dissemination activities, with the important objective of carrying the people along, so that the citizenry would believe, respect and trust our leadership, as we make attempts to convince our people to come along with us in repairing the ruins of the past. We shall educate and sensitize our people about the prevailing situation from time to time, and where necessary embark on reasonable campaigns of the desirability of the citizenry cooperating with us for the implementation of policies and plans that are in public interest. I have given directives that our information dissemination system be thoroughly revamped with the possibility of restructuring this to situate this important organ in my office, like it operates in the United States. This is important for proper coordination of information management.
THE RULE OF LAW AS A MAJOR PRE-REQUISITE FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE AND DEVELOPMENT: One-time American president, Harry Truman said: ‘’No community anywhere suffers from too much rule of law; many do suffer from too little.’’ We only require a strong political will to implement reforms directed at development. Arguably, some of the obstacles to development in the developing world could be traced to the failure of the appropriate institutions to introduce legal and institutional reforms capable of advancing socio-economic and political development. For instance, any society that aims to turn problematic situations around must be able to evolve coherent implementation policies for the enforcement of rules and regulations introduced for economic and political transformation. Some of the most important issues that crop up from time to time include violations of the rule of law and provisions of constitution, protection of the rights of individuals that are constantly injured, fulfillment of the obligations of the state to the society, and to individuals; reform of the electoral process, prisons system, penal code, political processes, and other salient issues capable of re-engineering economic development.
The plausible way of advancing in an increasingly competitive world is for political leaders generally to stand committed to building a society that upholds and defends the principles and practice of democracy and good governance, respect for fundamental human rights and the rule of law, and cherish, as well as promote unity in diversity. Therefore, we shall promote and enforce respect for the rule of law as a basis for the improvement in the quality of life of the people and the construction of a viable polity. All of us shall have respect for the Constitution of the Federal Republic and the general rules put in place for the running of a purposeful government and peaceful and orderly society.
Fellow compatriots and shareholders, these are some of my plans. I believe very sincerely in the maxim that: The path of truth may be long, arrival at its destination is definite. Let us all, therefore, uphold the truth and above all, fear God. I will continue with briefing you regularly, as a responsive and responsible team, on major policies and actions of our organization. Together, we shall succeed in leaving behind our names for engraving on the positive pages of history.
I thank you all.
May God bless our organization.