Written by James Eze
‘Foresight’ is a pregnancy; only time reveals it. Foresight is the most ignored attribute of leadership. But a leader without foresight is blind in one eye.
Throughout history, great leaders have often complained about the likely injuries which a lack of foresight might bring.
Angered by the slippery nature of foresight, the great French revolutionary and statesman, Napoleone Buonaparte once observed that, “forethought, we may have, undoubtedly. But not foresight.” Not many people understand the elusive nature of foresight as Napoleone Buonaparte.
Indeed, foresight is a crucial gift of a great leader. The founding fathers; the great Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, and Bello all demonstrated remarkable foresight which can be seen in the legacies they left behind.
The landscape of the old Eastern Region bears the indelible marks of Dr. Michael Iheonukara Okpara. These men were farsighted leaders who could see beyond their noses.
Premier of Eastern Nigeria, Dr. M.I. Okpara with U.S Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara. Eastern Nigerian Minister of Economic Planning, G.E.Okeke and J.Udorji
The decline in our society today is partly because we have fewer leaders who are gifted with foresight.
Yet, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has been in the eye of the storm in recent times for showing impressive foresight. In fact, some people would like to see him hanged for doing exactly what many historic leaders have done – stand aside from the sea of misguided emotion and predict the future.
Even as I write this, some of Obiano’s Igbo brothers cannot understand why he chooses to tread the less emotive path in the last presidential election. It is easy to understand why this is so though.
In a land that has suffered for so long from a biting scarcity of bold and perceptive leadership, it is not common to see a leader who has enough courage to point his people towards an unpopular direction.
It is, in fact, hard to see a leader who has enough conviction to damn the consequences and swim against the current towards a hostile direction that he alone has seen as the only realistic choice left.
Now, let’s call things by their names, Obiano knew that it was impossible to beat President Muhammadu Buhari in the last election. That is foresight. He made it clear to his close friends and allies that the opposition did not stand a chance against the president.
He discreetly advised against any excessively emotive opposition that would rub Ndigbo the wrong way for the umpteenth time.
He argued that in a federation that has developed a thick skin for fairness, equity, and justice, it is wiser to be subtle than confrontational.
He warned that Ndigbo must not stumble twice over the same stone. But nobody understood him, for though most of them have been in politics long before him, foresight is a gift that is not available to everyone.
And now that the chickens have come home to roost, it has become clear to Obiano that foresight comes at a price. Foresight is a lonely path to tread. It breeds unexpected resentment and hate.
Having foresight could turn you into a sudden object of anger and unwise attacks. But in the long run, it never leaves you without the enduring sheen of grace and glory. And that happens only when the people finally wake up to smell the coffee.
Sadly, in the case of many farsighted leaders, this happens after they are out of office or after they are gone.
And so, for those who still deride and mock governor Obiano for his foresight in the last presidential election, those who wilfully seek cheap opportunities to laugh at him, it might be worthwhile to always remember; that even the Scriptures warned us in First Corinthians chapter one verse twenty-seven, that sometimes, “God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.”
“Democracy day without democratic principles”, DVND president Timothy Sule on June 12
The Democracy Vanguard of Nigeria in Diaspora, DVND has warned Nigerians — the political situation in Africa’s most populous nation — can lead to the collapse of the nation’s democracy as it celebrates Democracy Day.
Nigeria recently shifted its Democracy Day from the inaugural May 29 to June 12, the historic day many pro-democracy activists agreed should be dedicated to the death of the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993, presidential election—M.K.O Abiola.
M.K.O. Abiola casting his ballot
According to the DVND President Timothy Sule, the event leading up to the 2019 general election, which brought back incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari, was characterized with violence and coercion of the nation as election management body INEC.
“This portends termination of our constitutional democratic order unless efforts are concerted to stem the side,” he said in a press statement released in the U.S. on June 9.
Muhammadu Buhari sworn in for the 2nd term
Buhari was sworn in on May 29, having been declared the winner of the Feb 23 presidential election. But his main challenger from the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, has gone to election tribunal to challenge Buhari’s victory and the declaration by INEC believed to have been manipulated by the APC.
Sule described the Feb 23 presidential election as a violent exercise that foisted an illegitimate government of Buhari and his APC on Nigeria. Still worried about what he perceived as the relegation of the Nigerian constitution.
He pointed out instances where the Buhari-led executive had rubbished the legislature and the judiciary.
“You will recall how on August 7th, 2018, security operatives invaded our National Assembly and disrupted legislative activities, he said, adding that all that happened was “akin to the perfection of a military coup and subjugation of the will of the people”.
Opposition’s presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar, left, and his wife Titi Abubakar, right, cast their votes during the Presidential and National Assembly election in Yola Nigeria, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. AP Photo/Sunday Alamba
Sule also cited other instances of abuse whose victims include civil society organizations, opposition elements, women and children caught in the high-handedness of state police and security agencies.
The DVND leader call for intervention by the global community.
“I urge you to reflect on the trust and craving by Nigerians that the United States, as the beacon of democracy in the world, must not be silent in the face of the assaults and regression in Nigeria,” said Sule.
Nigeria will be celebrating her Democracy Day June 12 with lots of fanfare as dignitaries from around the world have been invited to grace the occasion.
It was deliberately planned to outshine the May 29 inaugural low-key celebration.
“Nigerian gov’t should certified builders”, US-based public analyst reacts to Lagos building collapse
A Nigerian public affairs analyst has advised the Federal Government to set up bodies that will ensure builders and other professionals in the construction industry to have some form of certification.
According to the US-based analyst, E. Pius, this will help control the incidents of building collapses which have been on the rise in the country.
The analyst told Being Nigerian in New Jersey that a responsible government doesn’t have to wait till problem escalates and people are losing lives before taking action.
He said the Nigerian construction industry has no proper regulation so mixers, bricklayers, and others can take on building projects they know little or nothing about.
Nigeria has recorded about 60 incidents of building collapse in the last four years.
The last incident in Lagos killed 20 people and injured about 50 others while the one in Ibadan had no casualty.
Children carried out of rubble in #Nigeria after a three-story school building collapsed while classes were in session. #BeingNigerian
Posted by Being Nigerian on Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Most of the incidents in Lagos usually take place on the Victoria Island and its neighbors in the narrow strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Lagos Lagoon.
Lagos has over 20 million people living in Nigeria’s smallest state by land mass.
Pius extended his condolences to the families of the dead victims, and also to the federal government of Nigeria.