Home Opinion Followership and Nation Building: Lessons from the 2023 Presidential Elections

Followership and Nation Building: Lessons from the 2023 Presidential Elections

by Isiyaku Ahmed
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By Gaddafi Mu’azu

The idea of leadership has always been pivotal in the lives of men. Since the old Greek days, democracy and many other means through which leaders emerge have always been a serious and mindful fit. One very important feature of democracy as we practice it is that, as soon as we elect leaders, we have surrendered and forsaken a large part of our rights and powers to those we have chosen amongst us. It is then at the purvey of these leaders to rise up to the desired expectation to lead right.

Nigeria is a very difficult and complex nation-state to lead. Please let’s get this on strong terms. It is not like many countries we tend to relate it with or make comparisons with. We have a complex history, and how well do we follow and understand these histories; There have been crossroads we have passed, and it is these crossroads that influence many things that happen in our present day and influence what is going to be tomorrow, how well do we understand and appreciate these crossroads? It should be noted that this is not an excuse for our current leadership predicaments, we should be better than where we are.

As the momentum gathered and became stronger, I was very happy and felt right about the Nigerian nation-state. Why? For two reasons:

1; Despite our misgivings, resentments, and other ills, we all, irrespective of region, religion, political class, or party believed in the Nigerian dream. We all of a sudden stopped many things that hurt this beloved country:

2; Many political elites became very ambitious and widely contested for the Office of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Meaning all of them believed in the democratic process and committed entirely to it. These two have defined Nigeria and Nigerians as a county and people of reason.

My fellow compatriots, this is a big plus. It shows we have come of age; it shows we have committed ourselves to the promising path. On this, I congratulate us all, I am proud of this, and I feel we all should.

The political elites are very deliberate in their actions. They know what they want, and they all know the truth. The worry here is, do they tell us all of what they know? Most definitely NO. The jungle gradually matured, and they tested its popularity and structures.

I must congratulate all of the contestants. I congratulate the President-elect, H.E Bola Ahmed Tinubu; I congratulate H.E Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; I congratulate H.E Peter Gregory Obi; I congratulate H.E Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso. I respect these real men of timber and caliber. Do you know why? For the first time, they gave us a real political contest, and the first-ever multi-party democracy results in Nigeria.

Even though, the voter turnout is the lowest the country has ever recorded. The election is all not about ‘coverage right’ it’s about ‘content right’. And I am very happy that contestants that have grievances have headed to the court. This is as civil as it can be. Don’t think that when you lose an election, that is it. In fact, just like how he who wins an election manages his/her win, that is how those that also lose have to manage the lessons learned.

And I observed a more serious and professional security engagement in elections. More particular is the involvement of our military in the defense of democracy. “The white band ops” worked…when am talking of security, please don’t mistake it for what we saw in the polling unit. Far far beyond that…many of them didn’t sleep for 3-4 days, day and night, analyzing any credible Intel, sending same to ground formations, making arrests, raiding areas, providing security cover, escorting sensitive materials and data after the elections…some high profiles are already in court, and so on.

The youths are roaring, tempers are high, some are smiling and some are in despair. Behold, the indefatigable ones, for the first time, the youths of this country have made their mark. They have spoken in strong terms, and I am sure the leadership has heard us loud and clear. Beyond doubt, the youths of this country would never be forsaken again, they are no longer pushovers.

However, it is not yet Uhuru…organize more, you must be mentored, pay your dues, be patient, have content or value to add to the system, don’t just follow; read books and relate with older ones to have a proper grasp of the Nigerian journey, before independence what happened? What role was played, who played what role; at independence, in 1966, the military rule, know what transpired and roles played by actors; the NADECO movement, what played, the return to democracy or as my teacher says, return to civil rule, what happened, how did we return, don’t even tell me it just happened, contracts and promises were made, scores were settled and pacts were formed…know all these please my compatriots. Go into whatever it is you do with value to add and carefully choose your tents.

A new era is about to set in and we must get it right because we are at the brink, we cannot slide. The leadership should know that new ideas must be injected into solving contemporary challenges, we shouldn’t beat ourselves as a nation, we should rather encourage ourselves and be right-minded. Solving the problems of Nigeria is difficult and it is easy, it depends on the will, the assets brought in, the working template, and the ability to build a formidable system in the polity that can wheel out true dividends of democracy to the country.

Let’s hold the hatches here.

Mu’azu can be reached via gaddafimuazu11@gmail.com

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