Great thinkers of the world in the likes of Plato, Aristotle and Karl Max among others proffered almost the universally accepted ideas on which the society harmoniously live and most importantly , develop till today.
For perpetual development and growth of the society, Aristotle (384-322 BC) posited that “the Salvation of the State Lies In the Trained intelligence” if this deposition is strictly analyzed, one would basically understand that virtually, everybody is intelligent but requires additional specific training for perfection especially for those who seek political power, to bring a harmonious society.
A successful nation like America was shaped by trained intelligence from the likes of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th American President (1861-1865), Woodrow Wilson, 28th American president Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd American President (1933-1945) and host of others. These trained intelligent people that governed America in the past, proffered models of idealistic values that formed the organizational standard that brought about developments and growths of today’s American society.
However, in Nigeria especially in the contemporary, the story is different. Citizens from all works of life: traders, artisans, civil servants etc who have acquired wealth through one way or the other rush into politics to lead a nation of agitating multi-ethnic groups with little or no knowledge of governance. With the electorates’ parochial knowledge of politics, these businessmen, unleash money on them, win and take mantle of leadership without rudimentary knowledge of politics. One can imagine how far personal intuition can lead our societies and as such structural and service developments become charade.
It is worrisome that a nation of over 50 years of independence is still battling with high level of unemployment, astronomical corruption, crass materialism, degrading economy, poor infrastructure and many more associated with underdevelopment. The heartbreaking issues are non-availability of basic amenities; government cannot provide pipe borne water which necessitated people to sink private bore holes to generate water. Leaders cannot provide citizens with adequate electricity and people resort to buying power generating sets to use light. If roads constructions could be done privately, people would have ventured doing it as virtually all roads remain in their worst state. All these could be attributed to poor knowledge of leadership cum politics.
To put our nation on the path of rebirth in achieving the anticipated societal development and growth, it is of utmost necessity and concern, to subject all our candidates for elective positions to leadership cum political training where they would be taught the true meaning of politics as an authoritative allocation of shared values that are all inclusive (David Easton -1965). This implies the equitability sharing of societal values bearing in mind the vagaries of resource generation.
Our leaders need to be taught that politics and democracy are for the greatest good and for the greatest number and anything short of that is a failure.
Our leaders need to know that politics is all about who gets what, how and when (Harold Lasswell -1963), which also entails that in the distribution of shared values time and appropriation are of the essence.
They should be taught that they are the custodian of public conscience and by implication, life, properties and development of citizens are in their hands.
Our politicians need to be taught that history plays a vital role to determine the present and it also repeats itself ad nausea. As such, the societal history should be made educational to foster societal progress.
They should be taught the inextricable link between politics and economy to foster comparative cost advantage and also get to know that if an average man is made comfortable his prosperity will grow by the ranks (Franklin D. Roosevelt -1933).
They should be taught that to salvage this nation-state, it requires a formidable judiciary system that is wary of aspersion and calumny in the dispensation of justice.
To avoid nepotism and favoritism, they should hold bureaucracy sacrosanct as a bloodless mechanism devoid of capriciousness and colour (Max Weber-1864).
They should be taught that the major problem facing politics today is how to convert resources into force and good heads are required to achieve it (C.B. Nwachukwu-2003).
They are to be taught that Probity and Accountability are the golden rule of any administration for transparency and performance weighing purposes.
Pertinently, we stand in a world of turbulent social transformation and we need to subdue the placidity of our leaders’ behavour and create a new wave for development before our human societies decay mentally and culturally.
In that parlance, as the election period is drawing nearer, the electorates are required as part of their civic responsibility, to get their voters’ card ready in order to vote and thrust our dynamic societies into the hands of those who can give us the anticipated growth and development. We cannot stand idly-by to watch non- desired individuals lead us into economic, political and socio-cultural impasse.
Mr Obijuru Valentine
Umuosuagwu Village of
Owalla Autonomous Community Uratta,
Owerri North LGA Imo State