A LITERAL RECAST OF JIMADA’S 4
THE PIETY OF A LEADER AND HIS CONSCIOUSNESS TO GOVERNANCE
DR AMINA LAMI ABDULLAHI
The books revolve round on Leadership, Beliefs, Services Orientation and Governance Reforms. The author opined that leadership, discipline and commitment of leaders in a challenging environment like Nigeria, require the right knowledge and skills to deliver on the expectations of the people. Nigeria has witnessed colonial, military and political governments which have left much to be desired. However, with experiences so far recorded, the author has provided paths to improve on the credibility of our political process, leader’s behaviours and attitude. It is the hope of the author that through the reading and application of his highlights, the books will help leaders, politicians, political parties, and believers deliver on their mandates of corrupt free leadership. The author efficiently and effectively captured the major pervasive challenge of indiscipline we are all roped into. The believers, the political party members, the leadership, the elected and appointed leaders are provided useful insight into some likely scenarios and offers helpful suggestions on suitable ways for managing situations.
The books focus on four major subsections for ease of comprehension by readers and users. In the first book, the author captured issues of a leader’s companion. In it, the author brings to the public attention a fundamental issue that concerns our future. The message the author seeks to spread concerns our Leadership and Leadership values. The book writing style is simple, direct and easy. The author, although obviously from his style is a devout Muslim took his time and made the effort to explain that he was not a Muslim Scholar but a student of the faith. Those who are thus exceptionally provided for either by knowledge and discipline, or through entrusted authority over others or by resources, as individuals, families, groups, organizations or nations, have the minimum responsibility to submit more to Allah and to serve or support fellow mankind more. The book draws from Islamic sources including the Quran, the Hadith and other authoritative scholarly works, clearly addressed to mankind of whatever faith. This is why if Godliness of constant and consistent compliance with what is Godly is the goal or objective of a society, that right knowledge and discipline must be returned to. This is no doubt a sound principle in Islam and has a basis for its practice or realization. The explicit provision is that any believer who is firm on obligatory compliance and tops it up voluntarily is on course of true guidance by the grace of Allah.
This can logically invite to expositions that will give a glimpse into the graceful evidences from what Allah has offered. Many Nigerian political leaders have acknowledged this fact. The current demand is that we Restructure the Country or else! Those who advocate restructuring, however, have not properly or deliberately articulated the form of restructuring they want beyond resource control and the demand for the decentralization of the policing system. The author emphasized that we should put all issues on the table so that we can thrash them out and take the fundamental decisions for the future of our country to determine how we would like to be led. Where things begin to go wrong is when people of influence fail to respect the choice of people and impose surrogates that the real leaders are sidelined and those that are imposed lack the support and credibility that should be accorded to leaders. This is the honourable option and status of professionals and skilled individuals or specialists. The knowledge and discipline that such people possess and utilize, ends up in making life or living better for them.
The choice of leaders and representatives should be the choice of the people at the grass roots. Until and unless our political parties allow internal party democracy to determine policies and actions, the right leaderships cannot come forward. For a true and credible leadership to emerge, the platform which incubates and projects must be a principled and able one to deserve the respect and trust of the followership. What is consistent with the standard set by God in all respects is what right discipline is. Any variation is corrupting and hypocrisy, because it is totally of God, it is Godly of men and women of mankind who believe and rightly comply. His reward of blessings that are originally not physical will therefore apply only to those who are this Godly. In general, they will serve as the connecting windows for what is right.
In Nigeria, these principles are absent in all our political parties. Our parties are like companies formed to provide access to state patronage and for profit. A party leader, who fails to secure a nomination for a particular office, simply walks out of the party he or she formed to secure the nomination of another party which he always opposed and campaigned against. In such situations, no one should expect the ordinary members of parties to have owed loyalty or show any respect or faith in the leadership that the process throws up. Those who so excel and are able to develop personal experiential values that make them valuable to the larger society without discrimination, with explanation of insight into the purpose of life, living and the best ways to such realizations are the Scholars.
The Leadership Question that this book tries to address is important. We should take it seriously. We should address it frontally; because it is important that we have good and credible leadership that see Nigeria as one in which all share the same obligations and the same rewards. To sustain this idea and practice is right; collective actions are required, including the government, organizations and at family levels. This is because it is individuals that begin to bear opposition to or corruption of this principle and practice. If they are checked at family level, they will not grow to form a group. And it will be easier and cheaper in terms of the collective time and resources that will be required to correct the menace. Education on the ideas that are Right is therefore a Great responsibility of every family, a Greater responsibility of every group, informal or corporate and the greatest responsibility of the Government. The integrity of the leader is not superior to the basic integrity of the followers. It is equally both unreasonable and senseless to generate a government within a government. Both the leaders and followers will be wrong and irresponsible. This is why it is possible for such leader to be either in hiding, on the run or away from the followers. But the right standard is to be together with the followers and according to established rules and procedures in the society.
Book two identifies the reflections on one term of governance for political reorientation. This centres on the history of our democracy by identifying and analyzing the problems after the abuse of governance process by the military and those before them, divisive politics and the culture of impunity have stifled the strengths of the political parties to emerge as institutions of good governance. The author reaffirmed that our being in political race is for the good of the masses. The author stressed that the essence of the government is to implement policies aimed at promoting the interest and the welfare of the people. Thus, political parties should design programmes and policies purposively intended for the realization of the desires of the people. Inputs from political parties as agents of political mobilization in the political process provide windows of opportunities for the political system to function in shaping the direction of the policies of the government.
The author efficiently and effectively captured the major pervasive challenge of indiscipline we are all roped into. The political party members, the leadership, the elected and appointed leaders are the providers platform for political participations providing opportunities for like-minded people with the singular objective of contesting and winning political power within any state. In an ideal setting, the responsibilities expected of political parties are important to the political system. The author further buttress his point by critically explaining the constantly define pains as the real pains of all and has a solution to this. At this level, it is not a political party issue, because there is no evident difference between them. Those outside the ruling party are drumming incompetence and failure even with monstrous contrary evidence. The author made the best explanation for the character of legislature-executive relationship in processing the governance of Nigeria by the ruling government. Indeed, the inconsequential role of the political party in oiling the governance process adds more credence to this explanation. Again, the author said that Nigerian political parties, because of their composition, origin and the environment they operate lack the capacity to institutionalize the culture of accountability in governance.
In the third book, the author deals with a believer’s leadership and service orientation. The author made an extensive contribution on the reflections of our common identity that is often difficult to understand by any sincere member and indeed the ignorant members, not to mention non-members and those who dispute the rightness of such identity.
The author X-rays issues in specific relation to members who have assumed public leadership at various levels, the tenets consistent with the Truth and Guidance bearings can be safely said to have been abandoned, ignored, or made irrelevant or inconsequential. This is indicated through the feasting in corruption by both members and non-members, against God and humanity. If Muslims, the platform the author identifies with and belongs, will be responsive at all levels of leadership within the limits permissible by our constitution, according to these reminders, a good proportion of our challenges will be crushed. And with Christians who do not differ in these tenets, we will undoubtedly make our democracy, our culture and history reform positively for our collective safety and prosperity. While it is true that God is the One Supreme, believers are to strive in ensuring that our self-made constitution permits for the safety and prosperity of all, without entrenching the abuse of the limits set by God as an express standard.
However, the author emphasized that the scope and level of abuses that have given credence to the arguments of the manipulation of religion is not sufficient. This is because the seeming manipulations will continue with success until either the general members resist being manipulated, by ensuring consistency between the overt and covert tenets of the manipulators or the manipulated abandon their belief and clinging to the tenets – regardless of the level and depth of corruption they may be equally swimming in. Therefore as believers, the requirements of leadership are not different, with those who get elected or appointed to positions of responsibility. It is important to start by pointing out that, the constitution of Nigeria does not require or prefer you to drop your faith or religious identity, to succeed. What it positively provides for is that, you must not impose your faith or calling upon others. Therefore, the problem of non-performance in the case of Muslims in formal political leadership positions is rooted in two levels. The first level is what applies to present traditional rulers. And the failure that has infected the traditional rulers is what the elected or appointed political leaders have not escaped from. It is the weakening of the ummah and ulama. In effect, what is expected is that, no fellow human being is expected or required to be at risk, in the hands of the people to be served.
The author pointed out that the promise of Allah is that whoever engages accordingly and sincerely will be facing Him, moving towards Him, and when they meet, the seeing, grasp of the believer will be His. Whoever patiently perseveres to attain this and sticks to it will have no need to ask another believer to assist him and will be fulfilled. The required arrangement is the direction to what is commonly right by knowledge and transparent commitment to it across the society. The inside and outside have to be consistently, goodly, rightly and transparently committed. Leadership is not magic and secrecy cannot add value to it.
In the fourth book, the author deals with what believers must give for our nationhood in our own interest and for the protection of all others. It is for this reason that the author reaffirms that our being in political race is for the good of the masses. This covers every individual who accepts the certainty of Almighty God as real and absolute. In Nigeria, we commonly have Muslims and Christian. A Christian does not have to be a Muslim and a Muslim does not have to be a Christian, by requirement or compulsion. Therefore, there is no absolute inhibition or difficulty in either one or the two relating with others. In Nigeria, we have government machineries in the Executive, Legislature, Judiciary, and Security Services, manned by Nigerians to serve all citizens equally without discrimination on the grounds of language, religion or geography. The principle and practical expectation is that, the needs, wants and fancies of each and all citizens will be realized by the engagement of any suitable persons regardless of the specific language, religious or geographical identity of the persons. In other words, such differences will not and should not be a yardstick of measure, even though we can make them to inhibit or abuse the common objectives by enabling less. Consequently, the beliefs that are common and positive should not be a rational and sensible obstruction to our pursuit of collective safety and prosperity. We can safely, effectively and responsibly believe in Nigeria, our constitution, our national anthem, our flag, and so on.
In essence on secular matters, relationships and responsibilities, the author emphasized that Nigeria can be much better with leaders who have religious identity but do not care about the canons. In Nigeria, even the civil war we experienced was not driven by nationalism. And those now gambling with language-cum-geopolitical moves are native ignorants of the requirements for nationalism in whatever sphere it is to be planted. The author emphatically pointed out that Nigeria is our country with believers who are Muslims and Christians in the majority. Nigeria is our country in which we have decided to live together in unity while respecting our differences. Nigeria is our country in which the widest most superior factor that we identify with is religion. Nigeria is our country in which language and geographical regions are both inferior to the scope and value of religion and indeed cannot serve our unity. The unity, safety and prosperity of all Nigerians can be reasonably, sensibly, effectively and successfully pursued and realized with our present constitutional principles and arrangements. This is why unless and until we adjust, the principle of federal character representation and zoning will neither serve us nor be overcome by their practice becoming only a colour, with no other or different member being at risk or disadvantaged. Finally, the author concluded that believers, Muslims and Christians are the central problems of this country and need to transform into the solutions to our collective challenges. The earlier we admit this prospective the better for our future. This simply means that we must not compromise the standard setting of being for Him by being for everyone with ourselves and the abounding resources for our general safety and prosperity.