Why We Need New Thinkers…


Chinua Achebe – one of the finest minds ever birthed by the African continent – in his book “The Trouble with Nigeria” declared: “The trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership.”

Any stakeholder in the Nigerian project would surely identify a number of other “troubles” hindering her from sailing to her promise land. However, I think Achebe’s statement quite captures perfectly the MAJOR trouble – failed leadership!

Essential for understanding the gravity of failure of leadership in Nigeria, is first an understanding of what efficient leadership entails. I would say; efficient leadership is the ability of a person or group of persons to inspire a given set of people and channel that inspiration into the pursuance of a goal. The drive towards achievement of the set goal gradually, but steadily moves the led people from their original position to where they want to be.

Leadership in Nigeria has failed in the sense that, politicians and regimes have come on board with promises of a seeming paradise in the near future, but have left us each time with our spirits deflated and our minds terribly uninspired. Even more painful is the fact that, there is a huge gap between the magnitude of our challenges as a people and the smallness of our politics and governance principles.

Now more than ever before, there is a need for a new generation of thinkers to take over the leadership of this country. This is because; present day Nigerian leadership (in the best of terms,) has lost focus. The path charted by the founding fathers of this nation has been regrettably deviated from; and there has arisen a fierce urgency for new vision to navigate the Nigerian ship away from the uncharted waters she finds herself.

The truth is, the so called “new thinkers” Nigeria needs are not and have never been in short supply. The problem however, is that rather than stand up to be counted and speak out to be heard, these men and women have existed right from time only as political analysts and gladiators in their bedrooms. They have existed only as challengers of government ineptitude when politicians have appeared on TV screens. Above all, they have often been defeated even when they tried to make a move, by the apathy a greater percentage of Nigerians show towards national issues.

The time has come for a kind of intellectual revolution. More of the “new thinking” persons of this age have to start talking and pressing to direct the affairs of the Nigerian state. The sleeping giants of this generation must begin to challenge the status quo in our society. These new thinkers must leave stone dead every Goliath that has sought to obscure their “Davidly” aspirations. Our social media space has to become colonised by discussions concerning the affairs of this country. Our youths need to move beyond the myopic mentality which has for too long hindered Nigeria’s progress. We need to begin to think of the future rather than the now. We also need to see ourselves first as Nigerians (as difficult as it may sound) before we see ourselves as members of whatever ideological standpoint to which we belong.

These ideas expressed may not solve all of our problems as a people. They would, however, give the people a voice. The voice of the people may then one day return the government of the people to the people.





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