Authenticity

The plans of the diligent lead surely to substance… (Proverbs 21:5a)

DURING the Second World War, Dwight Eisenhower had been stationed in Germany, where the network of high-speed roads known as the Reichsautobahnen had left a deep impression on him. After he became president in 1953, Eisenhower was determined to build an intricate network of roads that would eliminate unsafe roads, inefficient routes, and traffic jams. In 1944, American lawmakers had attempted something similar, but offered no way to pay for it. What was remarkable about Eisenhower’s vision, however, was the thoroughness of its plan. Because his intentions were authentic, he had a clearly thought out scheme for its implementation; the resources needed in the short to long-term, and where it was going to come from. He pushed a law through for a non-divertible Highway Trust Fund and increased gasoline tax from 2 to 3 cents a gallon. This was a fine moment in leadership. 

  Every leader who intends to create long-term value must first be definite of what contributions it wants to make and have a convincing plan of how to execute it. Otherwise, the authenticity of its motives would be in question. The Chinese leadership from the late 70s moved millions out of poverty, built world-class infrastructures, and created a global production hub through careful planning. The truth is, the painstaking demands of careful planning and execution is the direct result of a genuine, authentic desire to achieve something great for the benefit of all. These are lessons that cannot be neglected by any aspiring leader. 

  The truth is that much of Nigeria’s leadership appeal in the past has been based on bogus promises, which are short of impact. And this is because most of these leaders never had any serious intention to achieve anything worthwhile. 

And if the campaign rhetoric in the last few weeks is anything to go by, then the current political landscape is not showing much promise. Faced with dire economic straits and a security situation that threatens the very foundation of our nation, it is important that the parties vying for leadership demonstrate the authenticity of their intentions by outlining clear-cut programmes with convincing plans of action. 

  In the final analysis, it would then be easy to hold accountable all those who make it into office. If there is one thing the reaction to the present electioneering campaign has shown, it is that Nigerians are now more aware, vigilant and questioning than ever. It definitely will not be business as usual. It is only responsible then that incumbents seeking reelection and oppositions seeking to take over at this critical moment have thoughtfully developed creative solutions. The welfare of over 170million Nigerians outweighs the desperation of returning to or assuming an office. This is no time for games. This is serious business. 

Nigeria Has a Great Future. 

Pastor Taiwo can be reached at pastortaiwo@tfolc.org 



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