By Charles Igbinidu
Being a good leader isn’t easy. While a leader’s actions may be scrutinized when things are going bad, it is their leadership qualities that shine through the worst of times. It is these same qualities that employees look up to, respect, and work very hard for. This is why it is so important for every leader to work hard to gain the qualities of great leadership. –Peter Economy, The Leadership Guy
In her article titled “Seven Personal Qualities Found in a Good Leader”, Barbara White said “A leader — needs to function in an orderly and purposeful manner in situations of uncertainty. People look to the leader during times of uncertainty and unfamiliarity and find reassurance and security when the leader portrays confidence and a positive demeanour”. The more the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari speaks on the prevailing economic situation in the country, the more convinced some of us are that he lacks the competence and confidence to lead the nation out of the woods.
Sixteen months into his 4 years tenure, Buhari has refused to refrain from the blame game which has become the hallmark of his administration.
Just last Sunday, the President once again said: ‘‘I want Nigerians to realise that what this government inherited after 16 years of the PDP government was no savings, no infrastructure, no power, no rail, no road and no security,”
Continuing, he said: “The present recession is as a result of cumulative effects of worldwide economic downturn and failure in the past to plan and save for difficult times,”
When will the President start communicating his plans and strategy for taking Nigeria out of the present dangerous, perplexing and difficult situation? What the country needs now is a very analytical and confident leader whose constant focus is the main goal of getting Nigeria out of the current recession.
That is why I agree with the statement credited to the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Dayo Adeyeye that “The president and his APC were elected to further better the lots of Nigerians, and not to dish out constant complaints on the situation which they mindlessly created not minding the attendant consequences of their actions on our collective destinies,” adding: “It is, therefore, high time they stopped this unnecessary grumbling and concentrate on how to redeem our economy by providing good governance to the people.”
Prior to his election, President Buhari was abreast of the global economic trend, he presented himself as a man who had the solution to all the problems of the nation. In one of his interviews, he promised to stabilise the price of crude oil. When the immediate past regime devalued the Naira, Buhari promised to make Naira at par with Dollar in terms of value when elected. Immediately, he assumed office, he removed his focus from providing solutions. If he doesn’t blame former President Goodluck Jonathan, he blames PDP or the Niger-Delta militants. When will Buhari roll his sleeves and take the bull by the horns?
From his utterances, it is obvious that Buhari expected his predecessor to save billions of dollars for him to spend. If he was appointed the Chief Executive Officer of a company, will he keep telling the Board of Directors that he is unable to fulfil any of his strategic promises because his predecessor did not save money for him to spend?. That, would definitely, earn him a sack.
Am I therefore saying there are no problems or that all the blames should be heaped on Buhari for the current economic recession?
The answer is NO. What I am saying is that Buhari should be honest enough to tell the nation the problems and his vision for the country and the strategy for achieving his goals. In addition to being able to ruminate systematically, a good leader must be able to keep the main goal constantly in focus. Not only is the goal in view but a good leader can break it down into manageable steps and make progress towards it.
Rather than being querulous, Buhari’s public communication should focus on his goals, steps already taken and progress so far made. By so doing he will be presenting himself as a competent leader.
These, unfortunately, he has not been able to do, what; he keeps telling Nigerians is that he is not responsible for the problems. For God sake, Buhari was elected to provide solutions and to inspire confidence.
In the words of Barbara White, “a good leader “walks the talk” and in doing so earns the right to have responsibility for others. True authority is born from respect for the good character and trustworthiness of the person who leads.”