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Yearning for service

By AbduRafiu
19 May 2022   |   2:49 am
The field is congested with about 30 politicians jostling for the office of the President on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) alone and 17 from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja.

The field is congested with about 30 politicians jostling for the office of the President on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC) alone and 17 from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

It is said only just about half of those who have announced their interest with fanfare actually paid the mind-shattering non-refundable N100 million cost of expression of interest.

Undoubtedly, there are all kinds of motives driving the applicants. There are those who know the lofty office is not for their ken and is not within their reach even in the wildest of their dreams. They are merely seeking public attention. There are those there deliberately to split votes and block other prospective candidates. There are some driven by a weird sense of entitlement and there is a handful who can be counted on fingertips who truly long to serve.

In sum, the contest is being afflicted by over-trivialization. Oh, N100 million for expression of interest? What is so humongous about that? They seem to be saying. I wonder what 3pence would amount to today, what you paid for membership of Action Group in 1951 and 1952 and you would be issued a membership card which you proudly carried to local party meetings. There was no payment for any expression of interest.

You are invited to vie for elective offices. Members recognised those to put forward for election from their potential which manifested in their thoughtfulness at meetings, dignity and application to duties. We can all see the depths into which the country has fallen, parading a great many who are despised and are believed to be ruffians who have no inkling whatsoever about pristine intrinsic and extrinsic societal values. The number of applicants is as worrying as the absurd humongous application fees being charged without qualms and without remorse, just for the expression of interest. So insensitive!

A yearning for service should be a sacred one, borne out of knowledge of true service which ensures harmony and development, order and upliftment. These times call for the man who will not grope in darkness, not for he who stumbles into things. For this cannot be a leader, as a leader is one who knows the way, points it out and leads the way to it. These are times of the visionary leader. I dare therefore say we can do with more seriousness to set the country on course.

As an acid test, how many on those long queues can see very clearly the beauty of the Nigerian peoples the way a surgeon vividly beholds the beauty of the body he is opening up. The collaborative working of the organs, and each standing not inferior or superior. No people, however small or large in number, were created inferior or superior. The apparent gaps in development and conduct arose from the exercise of free will. If a person has chosen the path that leads to the wilderness, he learns from his experiences and retraces his steps.

For as the saying goes, if you are being beaten by the rain and you don’t like it, you change your position. Each stands to develop its abilities, its talents, to its utmost potential. Like a child sent to the boarding school by his parents, each sojourner in this world is endowed by the Creator with the wherewithal for accomplishing this great task without which, individually or as a people, he cannot live in this world and in Creation in general.

For life, like motion, is a perpetual struggle to go on developing. As the seed immersed in the soil must struggle to top soil and to light to sprout, flower and blossom, so must man in this world—far down in the deep vale of matter. The wherewithal for his survival includes his skills and the resources of the land allotted to him, individually or as a people.

A visionary leader recognises without much ado that, like the organs of the body, no person or a person can be an island. Everyone needs the other for a fuller value of life and existence and recognition of our Lord and Maker.

In these matters there is no greed, there is no laziness—but ceaseless motion in joyful service. A Nigerian leader that will profit all Nigerian peoples, therefore, must be one who has come to such recognition, who through guidance, can so re-arrange social relations, who has come to the recognition that no group is superior to the other.

Unfortunately, the scramble for power that has been going on does not appear to give the picture of a drive to produce a leader for these ends. All sorts of people would appear to be in the battle for all sorts of contrary purposes. Some would like to protect their ugly lucre and safeguard the objectionable status quo. Others would like to dislodge the hegemony.

In some groups are to be found candidates imbued with the love of only their peoples which cannot be said to be the true love. For true love is severe and abhors personal advantage which dispossesses other people under all manner of guises and may, in fact, court their displeasure, disquiet and venom. Many there are among these candidates are merely self-seeking.

What is leadership and what is true service? Leaders will be, and indeed, are found in all spheres of life. The responsibilities may differ; the principle of leadership is the same. The responsibility will accord with each person’s capacity to give true service and at whatever level, for leadership is service. He who serves is he who leads if the service is genuine, and not a product of cunning and deception; it is service given in humility and gratitude. He who serves does so selflessly, not seeking acknowledgement, courting public admiration, or desiring rewards. For this servant-leader swings in the higher motion of life in which alone lies exemplary service.

The true leader with the unmatched capacity for loving service is already drawing from the natural and unencumbered vibration and motion that dispenses services to all Creation, which motion emanates from the Source of All Life.

The whole Creation rests on service. It is suspended in service. It is held by service—service dispensed by motion of love that sends rain to the sinner and the saint, to the Jew and to the Gentile, each drawing in accordance with his strength. It is an all-embracing service which is uninterrupted, day and night, and in all planes of existence, such that at no time do we wake up and not find this service being rendered to us on account that the Beings standing in loyal service to the Creator have gone on strike.

The Beings which give us air to breathe, and in the right degree, and chemistry, neither grumble nor withhold service. They prepare the air; they prepare the rain and condensation using different levels of radiation which science has differentiated as hydrogen and oxygen. They bring forth plants through weaving radiations and they tend them. And so flowers flourish, sending out radiance, enrapturing beauty and fragrance. Should they grumble and withhold service, all human beings will perish, and creation will age, lacking in nourishment, collapse, and decay.

He who is ready to serve must be armed with this knowledge, and imbued with capacity to truly serve. The true and right leader will thus be he who leads the teeming followers across rocks, mountains and thick forest, through the narrow road, confident of the help that surrounds them, but in the understanding that he is not to take away their problems, but to love to show them the way out of their entanglement, insisting that they must tread the path themselves. There lies the mastery of the path for them, and in their experiences polish, for, if they were polished, they would not pass through the self-inflicted hardship which helps to bring them to the much longed-for awakening, tearing away the threads of their indolence. It is from inner polish that they will be free to join in the eternal motion.

The higher the rate of inner motion the higher the plane of experience. We are permitted to know through the unique knowledge available to human beings on earth today that the higher the plane, the higher the motion, that is, the level of energy. And since all living love and service comes from All Life, the one with the high sense of service is he who swings in the higher rhythm of motion, is bathed in rays of service. Thus he steps out with the right attitude to service, which attitude is to dispense joy and happiness to whoever crosses his path, leading them in high-mindedness, and firing them with love, they move, hand-in-hand, and in strength and vigour to render noble service, serving their fellowmen and transforming their nation. It is not joy and happiness at finding material endowments, but joy of self-discovery which brings all blessings and true joy, indeed.

In such a nation, there will be no corruption, service will be given voluntarily and public service will be with joy. Refuse will disappear in the streets, water will run and there will be an uninterrupted supply of electric power from municipal authority or from the private sector as the case may be. Businessmen and industrialists will go into business not just to make money but to render service as well. There will be profit-making for regeneration through reserves, and continuing service and yet there will be no inflations. This will explain why leaders are born, not made; sent, not electable! It cannot be the Will of the Most High that leaders will emerge from acrimony and intrigues and even hate and wars. A genuine leader, is one who leads, in love, his followers to the next step in life, to a wider appreciation of the purpose of life and existence and recognition of our Lord and Maker.

In practically all countries, men and women step forward to serve primarily to make names, to go down in history, to live in peoples’ hearts, for admiration and renown, and in some parts of the globe, for self-aggrandizement and all such ephemeralities that count for nothing and which go with the wind. The world arrived where it is today because even the prepared and born leaders abused their charge for several years. They forgot themselves and, seized by conceit, became part of the world they had come to help and lead to the next step. Disillusioned, the followers turned against them in revolt, and set up their own system of administration, hence democracy was given birth in Greece. It is a system that has worked in the western world. It worked in these countries not because its name is democracy but because of an appreciable and widespread level of inner integrity of the people of these regions which even shows in the beauty of their environment, for as within so without. It manifests also in their orderliness, refinement in small as well as in big things, and in their sense of shame.

To make this system work in Nigeria, it is not enough for us Nigerians to shout over the rooftops beckoning democracy to look in our direction and take firm root; it is not enough for people to jump up and down in pursuit of lofty offices; we must work on ourselves, and bind ourselves with banners of virtues—love, honour, decency, humility and decorum in all its ramifications. In other words, our values must change. A shameless person cannot be embarrassed. Democracy cannot work where people shamelessly flaunt ill-gotten gains, and with impunity. Democracy cannot work without adherence to certain immutable high and noble principles of life: That all life is selfless service and the embrace of ennobling values.

King Henry V it was who said ages ago and I find it germane at this hour: “By Jove I am not covetous of gold nor care I who doth feed upon my cot, but if it is a sin to covet honour I am the most offending soul alive.”