‘’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
LEADERSHIP: 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 load 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 and preventing options, while also employing damage control measures. This is the essence of our campaign on FAMILY VALUES. And parenting is considered one of the hardest of tasks. Parenting is one of the hardest tasks as divinely ordered by God. Children are blessings. It is one task that is continuous until the whistle is blown in the fullness of time.
Those leaders of pre-independence Nigeria were alive to their responsibilities and were very prepared psychologically 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. It is possible that we have in our midst geniuses who are better equipped than these great Nigerians. Nothing disturbs our youths from aspiring to same heights.
FULFILLING GOALS IN LIFE: 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.
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 to evolve that will give meaning and direction to a country’s political culture and institutions for development to be recorded. 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.
Many countries of the Far-East, widely known as the Asian Tigers were at the same level of development as Nigeria in 1960; 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.
The Vision 2010 document 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”.
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 monthly 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.ON GOOD GOVERNANCE: 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 yields this space to a discourse on GOOD GOVERNANCE by Joaquim Alberto Chissano, president of Mozambique, as a war-torn country who led the nation into reputation as one of the most successful African democracies. Chissano also served as Chairperson 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 G8 that wrote off £22 billion of Mozambique’s debt in 2005; after which 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 Foundation Fund. 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 contribution he has made outside his country’s borders. Chisano contributed this piece 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 the team she/he is leading. That earns leaders the respect of their subordinates.[
WHY GOOD GOVERNANCE MEANS GREAT THINGS FOR AFRICA’S CHILDREN: by Joaquim Alberto Chissano Joaquim Alberto Chissano, 80 years old was the second President of Mozambique, from 1986 to 2005. He transformed I have been privileged to lead my great country, Mozambique, and in the course of that I learned practically and precisely how leadership can and must inspire and propel nations and peoples forward. Now, eight years before we reach the Millennium Development Goals target of 2015, I want to share what I’ve learned as a Head of State in Africa about governance and its huge potential for good in my beloved continent. The Millennium Development Goals have a very human face, the face of children and their families, all of them hoping and struggling towards better, healthier, safer lives. Achieving the MDGs will not be an abstract, intangible accomplishment but will be an enormous human success, a dramatic material leap forward for all the children and families in all countries. For that, if for no other reason, leaders in Africa must direct their energies towards achieving the MDGs.
WIDENING ECONOMIC RENAISSANCE: Sub-Saharan Africa is now poised at the cusp of an economic renaissance. However, its benefits will only be realized when our children start benefiting from better health care and education, better nutrition and social services. In this way, the renaissance will deepen and widen equitable resource distribution and our societies will flourish, leading to ever greater contributions from Africa to human culture, science and art. Yet, we know that as a continent we stand at the rear of the field in this great race towards 2015, with farther and faster to go than other countries. The grim example of child deaths suffices to illustrate just how great the distance is. Half of the 9.7 million children who died before their fifth birthday in 2006 were from sub-Saharan Africa.
We are losing our children at a far higher rate than anywhere else in the world: 160 children under the age of five die each year in sub-Saharan African for every 1,000 live births. In South Asia, with the next highest toll, the child mortality rate is 83. The factors that take so many children’s lives and compromise the development of so many others may seem overwhelming. The conspirators against progress include the lack of economic development, leading to poverty, wars, disease and corruption. Against these enemies, sub-Saharan Africa has made gains, but our successes are overshadowed and too often inadequate. It is, therefore, vital that leaders look afresh at the priorities that must be set and at ways to redirect energies and resources to what is right, effective and valuable.
COST OF INSTABILITY: Africa, for example, loses around US$18 billion a year due to wars, civil wars and insurgencies. In conflict, an African nation’s economy shrinks by 15 per cent annually. That represents not only human suffering and loss but surpasses the roughly $12 billion that our continent needs to improve education, access to clean water and sanitation, and protection against tuberculosis and malaria for our vulnerable people. It also represents more than what it would take to tackle HIV and AIDS in Africa on a yearly basis: $16.3 billion. My own country endured 16 years of armed conflict in which an estimated 1 million of my compatriots perished.
Soon after I became president in 1986, I initiated wide-ranging reforms and made attaining peace my number one goal. Today, the commonly shared view is that Mozambique is strong and vibrant, averaging 8 per cent in economic growth between 1996 and 2006, one of the highest rates in Africa. As a result, the poverty headcount index was reduced by 15 percentage points between 1997 and 2003, according to the World Bank, bringing almost 3 million people out of extreme poverty (out of a total population of 20 million). Many African countries are enjoying a peace unparalleled in the history of this continent, yet they continue to allocate resources as if they were at war. I call upon our leaders to re-examine their spending priorities and consider the opportunities lost when these monies are not invested in providing health and education to our people.
HEAVY DEBT BURDEN & BRAIN DRAIN: Another huge drain on our treasuries and our people is the heavy debt burden the continent carries. In 2004 alone, for example, sub-Saharan Africa paid $15 billion on debts of $220 billion, an outflow of $41 million every day. Thanks to the Multilateral Debt Initiative and other bilateral initiatives, these debts have been slashed for several countries, but many still continue to carry far too heavy a debt burden. The flight of resources from Africa is compounded by the departure of almost 20,000 of the brightest and most skilled Africans estimated to leave the continent for industrialized countries every year.
GOOD GOVERNANCE IS THE ONLY RECIPE: Good governance is our best hope against these challenges. Governance entails choices. It demands a visionary leadership that will set enlightened priorities and redeploy resources and retain skilled talent. Compassionate and committed leaders can and must create the policies and invest the necessary resources in infrastructure and services, empowering people to improve their conditions and safeguard their children’s lives, thus accelerating progress towards the MDGs. As I said, we are making progress. Child mortality rates declined by 29 per cent in Malawi between 2000 and 2004 and by 20 per cent in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania.
There has been tremendous progress made in the Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Sao Tome and Principe, Togo and Zambia in getting children to sleep under insecticide-treated mosquito nets. This is helping to drive down deaths from malaria, one of the biggest killers of children in sub-Saharan Africa. Partners from around the world are needed as sub-Saharan Africa pushes for enlightened leadership and progress towards the MDGs. But the work is Africa’s. As we have risen to many challenges, we must and will rise to this one. The African Union is determined to tall good governance as a main pillar in sustaining the continent’s effort to develop.
ON NEPAD: The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) is another initiative that consolidates efforts in this regard. Participating countries are working through NEPAD to strengthen their political and administrative frameworks in line with the principles of democracy, transparency, accountability, integrity, respect for human rights and the promotion of the rule of law. In addition to a political governance focus, the countries are also addressing the important issues relating to economic governance, which, in conjunction with political issues, will contribute towards development and the eradication of poverty. Africa does not need convincing. What is needed is committed leadership at national and community levels, committed partners, resources and excellent governance for substantial and positive change for children. – Culled from UNICEF Publication
Joaquim Alberto Chissano served as the second President of Mozambique for 19 years, from 1986–2005. Mr. Chissano has served as the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General to northern Uganda and southern Sudan. He also chairs the Joaquim Chissano Foundation and the Forum of Former African Heads of State and Government.