Let us have a look at our current state. What type of leaders do we envision in the Nigeria. Certainly one that truly cares for the people and that is headstrong in upholding justice and bringing prosperity for all, one that is prepared to sacrifice his or her own interests to obtain that goal.
Unfortunately, it would seem that our history has shown that most candidates are anything but that. Campaigning for a position in the government is an expensive undertaking; it costs billions of Naira.
If this amount of money came from the candidate's own coffers, a most natural attitude would be to regain the lost wealth after the election.
Financial support for the campaign comes from various sponsors, who very likely have their own agendas and expect favors in return.
Eventually, the desire to win the election becomes more obsessive than caring what's best for the people. A shameful example can be seen in the the just concluded elections, where candidates would not accept the election results.
This is the dark side of democracy as we know it. The candidates are not alone in sharing the guilt. The voters are just as guilty. How many voters vote for the good of the entire nation despite the fact that this may conflict with personal interests? Or even worse, how many voters truly know who they are voting for and why they are voting?
It would seem that many prefer certain candidates, even candidates that have had a history of failure, out of a tendency to conform to the opinions of others, rather than making an informed choice.
When a person wants to become a doctor, he or she undergoes years and years of medical education, training and certification.
When a person wants to become an election candidate and determine the future of our nation, what certification or prerequisites are needed? How is it that being a doctor, responsible for the health of thousands of people at most, has more stringent requirements than being a president, legislative member, governor, mayor, or even the most basic voter, responsible for the livelihood and future of hundreds of millions of people?
It may be the doctor or nurse who goes to disaster areas, leaving the niceties of their cities to tend to the victims. It may be the artisan that preserves the cultural heritage of our country, lest it be claimed by other countries. It may be the teacher who, despite the low salary, is willing to educate children in remote areas.
It may be the reporter, determined to uncover a web of crime and corruption despite the risks to their life. It may be the farmer, choosing to plant rice to feed his countrymen instead of succumbing to the temptation of planting higher paying agricultural commodities.
Our society does not wish for leaders with a pedigree or celebrity status. Those leaders have been proven many times to be flawed and selfish. What our nation truly wishes for are leaders that care for the welfare of the people and the future of our nation.
Recognizing the individuals capable of selfless service and distinguishing them from the unproven folk may be the first step to obtaining a truly great national leadership and securing a bright future for Nigeria.