Let Nigerians say amen! (3)
Continued from yesterday
IN line with this idea of justice, while we praise the new courage being demonstrated by the judiciary, we would expect the following government institutions to also display justice: EFCC, the Armed Forces in the way they treat captured Boko Haram members and how the party of President Buhari relates to those in opposition and non-party member Nigerians.
This concept of trust stresses the idea of responsibility towards organisational stakeholders, and holds true whether those entrusting something to Muslims are themselves non-Muslims and vice-versa.
“O you that believe! betray not the trust of God and the apostle nor misappropriate knowingly things entrusted to you”(Q.8:27). “Owe no one anything”, “ let your yes be yes and your no be no.”
As a core value, trust fits within the overall Islamic as well as Christian etiquette governing social relationships.
Application of trust to leadership.
Trust is explicitly linked to leadership in the Qur’an. We refer to the story of Prophet Joseph (as). After the king had indicated that he placed great trust in him, Prophet Joseph (as) deliberately asked to be put in charge of the granaries and storehouses, and the demanding task of establishing them and guarding them. As one translator of the Qur’an, Abdullah Yusuf Ali, points out, Prophet Joseph (as) understood the need to build reserves better than any one else, and was prepared to take on this task himself rather than throw on to another the burden of restricting supplies in times of plenty. (Ali, commentary:1716) Could this explain why President Buhari, like Joseph of old chose to supervise the oil sector of the Nigerian economy?
Let all those who are trying to read politics of vendetta into the decision of the President know, therefore, where the President is coming from.
All who have, therefore, enlisted to serve in this administration are reminded that as godly women and men, once an individual has accepted to be the leader of a group or organisation, he has become their trustee. The implication here is that like in a for-profit organisation, the management of the organisation is entrusted with the shareholders’ investment, so is the allocation to each state and local government as well as allocation to each ministry.
Furthermore, as in a non-profit organisation where the management of the organisation is charged with watching over the property in the trust, so also all in this administration are entrusted with the resources of this nation. Consequently, any managerial decision from the President to the local government chairperson must be balanced with respect to this trust.
Righteous behaviour is described as follows from the Islamic point of view:
“It is righteousness to believe in God and the Last Day and the Angels and the Book and the Messengers; to spend of your substance out of love for Him for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask […]; to be steadfast in prayer and practise regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which you have made; and to be firm and patient in pain (or suffering) and adversity”.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8 ).
Application of righteousness to leadership
Based on the above verses, several moral attributes of righteous leaders become salient: They act justly and do not allow their personal feelings to hinder justice, they take care of those in need, and do so for the love of God, they are steadfast in prayer and practise charity, they observe all contracts, and they are patient no matter what type of adversity they may be experiencing.
In general, then, Nigerians as leaders and those being led irrespective of religious affiliation expect Buhari’s call to godly leadership to be met by a type of governance that will treat all Nigerians with basic human decency and dignity, fair play and justice. All Nigerians expect this crop of new leaders in Nigeria to be sensitive to their needs.
All Muslims and Christians – whether leaders or followers – are urged to keep their promises. They also cannot make promises that are ungodly in nature.
O you who believe! fulfil (all) obligations. (Q.5:1)
“Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” (Mtt.5:37).
Keeping one’s word characterises a godly leader, Muslim or Christian. Breaking one’s word is tantamount to hypocrisy. Based upon the above discussion, keeping promises is very important for all, and a leader is not exempted from this important principle.
I bought something from the Prophet (peace be upon him) before he received his Prophetic commission, and as there was something still due to him I promised him that I would bring it to him at his place, but I forgot. When I remembered three days later, I went to that place and found him there. He said: I have been here for three days waiting for you.(Abu Dawud)
Our leaders are used to making promises in order to get elected into offices, irrespective of whether they are religious leaders or politicians. We look forward to this government living out their promises and giving full explanations to situations that make it difficult to fulfil any promises made while canvassing for votes.
Good leadership depends on attitudinal qualities, not management processes – hence, the need for the above listed values. Much of the misery that has come into Nigeria in the name of religion can be avoided by reintroducing these shared values. And it is not necessary to use guilt and fear to promote these values. You will find in the history of all the religious systems in the world that guilt and fear were used to control people, but such discipline is not needed today. At this time, we need only to cultivate love and understanding.
The President of this great nation, Muhammadu Buhari has called on all Nigerians to join him in governing this nation with the fear of God by promoting the culture of godly leadership. Let Nigerians, irrespective of religion or politics say, ‘Amen’.
• Archbishop Idowu-Fearon Ph.D (ABU) is the Anglican Archbishop of the Province of Kaduna and Bishop of Kaduna Diocese.