Home Latest Insights | News The enduring strength of Nigeria will depend on the values of its leaders – and the citizens

The enduring strength of Nigeria will depend on the values of its leaders – and the citizens

The enduring strength of Nigeria will depend on the values of its leaders – and the citizens

We have Obi, Tinubu and Atiku – pay attention to #values as you choose. The enduring strength of Nigeria will depend on the values of its leaders – and the citizens.

In the ancestral Akan kingdom (of Ghana), citizens were encouraged to follow leaders because of Values, not because of their personalities. They were told that whenever those Values shift, in ways they do not like,  they should disconnect their allegiance. 

When societies follow and elect leaders without preconditions, set on values, they fail and fade. Sankofa – a Twi word from that kingdom – makes it clear that looking back is vital for the current.

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Personality cults have destroyed empires but values have built new empires. As Nigeria goes to the polls in 2023, ask yourself: who shares my values among the contestants? It is a vital question because besides competence, all enduring institutions are built on VALUES.

– Ndubuisi Ekekwe

Comment on LinkedIn Feed

Comment 1: This is spot on. Indeed ‘Sankofa’ re-echoes the need for us to go back in time and pick values shared in the past to reshape the present and future.

On the elections, there’re great expectations from the Nigerian youth. The youth constitute about 70 % of the Nigerian population with a median age of 18.1 years.

This makes them a formidable force and potential kingmakers ( decide the tides of the elections)

However, it remains unclear how tribalism, ageism and gerontocracy could deepen factions among the potential kingmakers.

Comment 1: Good point Nd. But in Nigeria most talk about values is all lie. People are not that deep in thinking to identify values. Some people don’t even know what their own values are. Here most follow bandwagon

My Response 2: Nigeria is a religious country and people actually know values. From villages where elders summon young men for doing despicable things in the community to churches and mosques, people know good and bad. You can argue that knowing what is good and doing it are different things. That is where leadership comes. If an accountant general can steal billions of Naira and get caught, he negotiates for a plea bargain with EFCC. If the state agrees and gives him maybe 18 months in prison, and while he is serving, he gets a presidential pardon, you shift many things.


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2 THOUGHTS ON The enduring strength of Nigeria will depend on the values of its leaders – and the citizens

  1. The values of Nigerian leaders cannot be easily ascertained. We have a situation where people over glorify the values of their preferred candidates, totally castigating others.
    Among the prominent presidential candidates, we have one who some said is corrupt based on speculations that are not backed up with facts, another who had invested State money in beer production, another who has held grip of power over an entire state to promote his political ambitions.
    When it comes to values, then, I will tell you authoritatively that the best way to start recalibrating values is from our primary and secondary schools.
    In common entrance examinations in primary schools, malpractices are happening, not to talk of WAEC examination halls where different tricks are employed to abet examination malpractices.
    Nigeria’s problem is deep seated. If corruption is not addressed from the grassroot first, if you like make an angel our President, his subordinates will frustrate his government.
    When you talk about voting leaders with the right values, I give it a nod, but the question is how many of our electorates have the right values?
    How many of our electorates can say they are ethical in their day to day engagements.
    Nigeria is a funny country, we want good leaders, but majority of us have not personalized the values we expect from our leaders.
    Go to different offices and see the kick backs, virtually sixty percent of internet users in our country are into one form of impersonation or the other.
    And we want to employ a man with values to govern us, what an irony.
    In the words of Dora Akunyili, good people, great nation. But in Nigeria today, we want to reverse it and rephrase it to good President good nation.
    Our leaders imbibe our values, so, I can say, good society with good values will most likely produce good leaders who project those values.
    Nigeria needs a President who understands how to deal with corrupt people, a President who knows the rubrics of our social ineptitudes, a leader who is ready to deal with our corrupt system.
    If a President with good values is surrounded by people with bad values, he will most likely be frustrated.

    • “Nigeria needs a President who understands how to deal with corrupt people” – in the 1960s, late 1970s, Zik and Awolowo , etc published their properties in their unusual transparency. Today. we cannot even get presidential/governorship aspirants to publish their WAEC, primary school results, certificates of birth, etc. If you think people who cannot be open on such little things will fight corruption, River Niger is available for auction [give me your quote]. Fighting corruption comes through moral authority, not by talk. You cannot fail to graduate with BSc and one day claims to hold a PhD – and expect people to respect that PhD.

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