The leaders we deserve – Part 2
When a nation elects out of touch and non-visionary leaders, it testifies that most electorates are no different. The leaders are a representation of the people. Whether they are the best representation or not is another matter. Like I said earlier – The person who likes ‘better thing’ must become better and do ‘better thing’. That ‘better thing’ involves demanding more of those who will lead us and ourselves. In the selection of leaders, like life, you get what you deserve. What you deserve is what you demand. Thomas Jefferson drove the point home when he said – “the government you elect is the government you deserve.”
The citizens’ responsibilities do not end at electing practical and visionary leaders. The elected leaders at all levels must be held accountable. When citizens do not demand accountability from their leaders, they raise tyrants. We often think we are victims of our leaders’ actions and inactions. Can we flip that thought? What if our leaders are the victims? Victims of our indifference and passive citizenship. Victims always have excuses. They look for something and someone to blame for their misfortune and failures. Victims have no sense of responsibility and accountability. Is not that rampant within the rank and files of our ‘leaders’ today? We must demand accountability. We must enforce it. We must stop giving the sweet pill of religious, ethnic, or geographical sympathy to ineffective leaders. Elected leaders must live up to their promise, and their performances reviewed. In the end, we shall all be accountable to God and to humanity. The U.S. midterm elections follow a similar idea. The midterm elections in the United States are the general elections held near the midpoint of a president’s four-year term of office. Federal offices that are up for election during the midterms include all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33 or 34 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate. These elections are sometimes regarded as a referendum on the sitting president’s and/or incumbent party’s performance. The incumbent president’s party tends to lose ground during midterm elections if he is not living up to expectations. The bitter truth is that four years is a long time to wait for proof of performance. Even if the promise is not yet fulfilled, there must be evident milestone achievements.
About 20 years ago, when Paul Kagame became the president of Rwanda, he inherited a country that had been afflicted with genocide. He literally had to build from scratch, and most people doubted if he will ever succeed. The Rwanda of today is stable, prosperous, and to a large extent unified. How did that happen? He fixed the root problem – ethnic and region of origin discrimination. His government curtailed groups and individual activities, fuelling discrimination. He pardoned repentant perpetrators of the genocide and set the nation on the path to reconciliation and unification. His leadership brought every region and ethnic group under the same umbrella with a unity of purpose – to build a country that they can call their own. As all visionary leaders and mentors do, Paul Kagame chose to groom thousands of youths as next-generation leaders. Paul Kagame leads a cabinet with an average age of 40, out of which fifty (50) percent are women. Women also make up fifty (50) percent of supreme court judges and sixty-one (61) percent of the parliament. Paul Kagame and the people of Rwanda were able to come up with a unique democratic system of government that works for their nation. Leadership and citizenship are serious work that requires mutual sacrifices and compromises. The advanced nations that we envy today did not get to their current state by chance. They knew what they wanted and got the right minds and attitude that lead them there. Today, our nation is the function of the leaders we have had, a direct function of who the majority are as citizens. We need to swallow this bitter pill, play our role, and select the kind of leaders we deserve.
Osiri (a. k. a. Mr. Mentormorphosis), can be reached on 08021471061.
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