It has become extremely difficult to ignore the #ENDSARS protests in Nigeria. These protests against harassment, extortion, torture and extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the unit of the Nigeria Police Force called SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) have been ongoing for days and have received international attention.
Similar protests have been held in major cities across the world in solidarity with the protests in Nigeria. Whether the protests have been hijacked by hoodlums and thugs or whether the protesters have achieved their aims or not, the protests have changed Nigeria forever and revealed something important about Nigeria: missing leadership!
I stand to be corrected but I can boldly say that we do not have leadership in Nigeria. We do not have leadership in Nigeria! What we have is looters, embezzlers, deceivers, liars, manipulators and thieves who steal public funds legally and publicly without any sense of concerns for the millions of people suffering in poverty as a result of their wicked acts.
We tend to differentiate between good leadership and bad leadership but I think bad leadership is no leadership at all. It is either a leadership or no leadership and in Nigeria it is more or less no leadership. Make no mistake, having leaders does not translate to have leadership. There can be leaders and no leadership but there won’t be leadership without leaders. What we have in Nigeria are mere leaders who are not providing any leadership but only concerned with enriching themselves, their families and friends at the detriment of the ordinary citizens.
Where is the leadership when our police force routinely and systematically extort, harass, brutalise, torture and even kill unarmed civilians because of bribe on a daily basis and no one says anything about it? Where is leadership when no one can address the protesters and the nation for several days? Where is the leadership when the army opened fire on unarmed protesters and no one has been suspended or sacked or prosecuted?
Where is the leadership when no one is taking responsibility for the deployment of army to a largely peaceful and unarmed protesters? Where is the leadership in Nigeria when more than 150 million people live in perpetual poverty despite billions of dollars in oil revenues? Where is the leadership when thousands of young people graduate from the higher institutions just to be roaming the streets? Where is the leadership in Nigeria? Can someone tell me please? #ENDBADGOVERNANCE.
Although our problems largely rest solely on the political leaders, I am sorry to say that our problem is not limited to lack of political leadership because religious and traditional leadership has also failed Nigeria in nation building. Where is religious and traditional leadership when the corrupt politicians regularly visit and mingle with the religious and traditional leaders without any scrutiny and chastisement?
Where is religious leadership when the corrupt politicians are not afraid to seat in the front rows and even speak at religious events without any fear of God or fear of men? Where is religious and traditional leadership when our religious and traditional leaders appear to directly or indirectly endorse and condone the corrupt politicians? Where is the leadership in Nigeria? Is there any? #ENDSARS.