Leadership by example: Barack Obama the great …Elsewhere in America (1)
It is actually the title of that my book “Only in Nigeria …….Elsewhere in America” (copies always available at the ASSUMPTA Bookshop, Owerri, Nigeria) that gave rise and meaning to this regular column in the LEADER newspaper – ONLY IN NIGERIA! A lot of Leader Newspaper readers, hard copy and Online, have encouraged me not to drop this my important contribution geared towards creating awareness and especially initiating discussions on most crucial issues, political and ecclesiastical, that touch the lives of Nigerians, home and in the diaspora. I appreciate readers’ reactions and welcome ‘rejoinders’ and follow-ups’. It is in retrospect therefore that I call the attention of our numerous readers once more to a very and all-important issue of Leadership which has really troubled many nations of the world including Nigeria. When the incumbent governor of IMO state assumed office in 2011 we were all excited, full of expectations that the messiah was around and it was the time for the liberation of the long oppressed people of Igbo nation! What Odimegwu Ojukwu could not achieve in the BIAFRA struggle for self-determination, Owelle Rochas Okorocha must accomplish, hence bring to fruition the liberation of a conquered people, who unbelievably have become second-class citizens in a country they had spear-headed its growth right from amalgamation to independence and beyond. Igbo people would no more suffer humiliation in a country they had fought hard to make great at least among the African nations. The lamentation would come to an end:“We NDIGBO have become the taunt of our neighbors, the mockery and scorn of those who surround us…We have become fewer than any nation and are brought low this day in all the world because of our sins. At this time, there is no prince, or prophets or leader. There is no burnt offering, or sacrifice, or oblation, or incense, no place to make an offering before you or to find mercy. God, Chukwu, will you not restore again our life? How long will your anger burn like fire! Please, Biko nu! Do not hold the guilt of our fathers against us. Please restore again the glory and dignity of Igbo nation…..We are on our knees!” All Rochas Okorocha needed was our support and behold re-emergence of civilization and progress, hence Igbo renaissance! I, personally and without equivocation went mad with faith and enthusiasm and published my book ROCHAS REVOLUTION…..Leaders,hip by Example (American and Nigerian editions, Visit also Amazon.com). The story of our expectations, disillusionment and disappointments with “Leadership by example” as regards NDIGBO, Nigeria and Africa as a whole will continue to make sharp and often frightening headlines in newspapers today and are topics of public and private discussions everywhere. The results are plastered all over hungry and angry faces of both young and old people of Nigeria.
AMERICA VIS-À-VIS NIGERIA: EXEMPLARY LEADERSHIP
I have always been intoxicated with issues of exemplary leadership. Where can true, honest and dedicated leaders be found? It is not only Nigeria and African nations that are in turmoil. The whole world, East, West, North and South is in crisis and not even the big powers and erstwhile colonial masters are spared of bad, corrupt and scandalous leadership. We have every reason to return to the topic of LEADERSHIP BY EXAMPLE anywhere and anytime we find any example in the modern times. It is a time for celebration and thanksgiving to God Almighty, who can visit His people through the leaders. Nigerians know much about America and perhaps too, United Kingdom. A lot of Nigerian opulent families in the big cities watch CNN, BBC and ALJAZERA more than they watch any local television station. Most Nigerian children, including toddlers now know DONALD TRUMP and BARACK OBAMA more than BUHARI or state governors. Most Nigerians find it easier to discuss American and foreign political issues than local ones, hence the often reference to “if it were in America……”Truly funny enough, Nigerians in general are fond of comparing the two nations, a world power and a third world country. Where do we find the basis for comparison? Really ridiculous! We can learn a lot of good stuff anyway from America. Let’s at this moment consider the OBAMA LEGACY.
THE LEGACY OF PRESIDENT OBAMA THE GREAT:
It is in the area of governance and political leadership that we take a closer look at what Nigeria can learn, borrow or copy correctly from America. It is therefore quite topical to examine the personality of the American president BARACK OBAMA (January 20th 2009 – January 20th 2017), in fact his legacy. What foot prints does OBAMA leave behind as he hands over to a new president-elect? Obama may not have had complete success like any other world leader. Surely there were moments of sadness, regrets and even failures. But as far as I am concerned many lovers of truth, progress and success have every reason to celebrate OBAMA as one of the most successful presidents in the American history. At the same time we feel Nigeria and Nigerian leaders and politicians have a lot to learn from OBAMA.
Described by many seasoned journalists as the “most improbable and consequential president in American history”, can the first black American president in all honesty receive the appellation “THE GREAT” – BARACK OBAMA, THE FIRST BLACK AMERICAN PRESIDENT, a designation, a title reserved for most powerful men and women who should be remembered for their most remarkable good deeds in history? Where will history place Obama in the line of great leaders? What is Obama THE GREAT most well-known for? There are many people in history whose names are commonly appended to the phrase “The Great”. In world history we still remember such figures like “Alexander the Great”, (A ruler of ancient Greece in the 4th century who, as a general conquered most of the ancient world, extending the civilization of Greece east to India), “Pope Gregory The Great”, “Albert The Great”, “Pope Leo The Great” etc.