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Servant-leadership: Remedy for politics of desperation in Nigeria – Part 6


Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, Primate of all Nigeria (Anglican Communion)

Developing Servant Leaders In Contemporary Nigeria

The Biblical model of servant leaders is ideal in raising servant leaders that will help Nigeria unify her people and pursue development and peace in every area of life.

The political elite needs to imbibe servant leadership and to replicate what servant leaders in other countries have done to revolutionise governance and development of their nations. Countries that were in Nigeria’s situation years past have changed and are advancing, going by common parameters of development.


Asian countries like Singapore and Dubai in the Arab regions are good examples. These countries used their God-given wealth to transform their countries. But some Nigerian leaders plundered and still plunder our oil to enrich a few overlords, who are almost richer than the country, yet they parade themselves in affluence with impunity. We have not deliberately raised godly servant leaders that will govern with the fear of God.

Developing servant leaders in contemporary Nigeria will require reorientation. The teaching and reorientation required must begin from the home, then to the religious institutions and the school. This is where parental responsibilities become pivotal to nation building. Parents must raise children in a way to know and imbibe the spirit of service. Those who have been taught by their parents from infancy, both by word and good examples, that desperation is not a worthy way of living, are most likely not to imbibe such tendencies later in life, even in politics.

The religious bodies have a major role to play in raising servant leaders. Their failure in the past has contributed to the malady the country finds herself in today. Failure to deliberately train their members for leadership, as well as apathy in joining political parties, bringing to bear their religious convictions with pride, and governing as servants of the people have contributed to Nigeria’s lack of servant leaders.

The principal reason for this is that many Nigerians are religious only nominally, not by conviction; hence, they hardly stand up for just and pure actions, when threatened by bad government policies. The religious bodies must raise godly leaders, who have solid convictions, courage to fight for the interest of the poor, full of inspired godly ideas and imbued with the fear of God. These are the ones who can set the pace in servant leadership.

The religious ought to allow their religious worldview inform their political ideology. Ordinarily, all leaders should be servants; for they serve the people and are paid by taxpayers to serve the general populace. That is why they are called civil servants or public servants.


The educational system must be redesigned to return to making subjects such as civics, morals, history and geography compulsory. Religious Studies must also be compulsory for all students. Prayer and religious ethics must be compelled. That is how true education can be complete, when learning is coupled with good character. There must be a deliberate effort at raising another generation of Nigerians with these ideals.
Servant-Leadership As Remedy For Politics Of Desperation

The remedy for politics of desperation in Nigeria begins with the raising of a new generation of servant leaders. Servant leaders are never desperate for power or positions. They are first and foremost slaves of God, and servants of the people for God’s sake.

Servant-leadership begins with the right understanding of oneself, the position and the purpose with reference to God. You don’t have to kill, bribe, snatch or burn ballot boxes, unleash thugs, wreak havoc, etc. in order to serve. For the servant leader, money is not the sole objective of life. He is a man who can fight for the weak, the poor and the blind. Therefore, he commands the people’s respect and admiration far more than one who oppresses, grabs and acquires. He punishes offenders impartially because he is a servant of God to enforce righteousness.

Politicians who are servant leaders are servants of the people. Some politicians try to outsmart their people, stealing and heaping up riches without improving the lives of their countrymen. These mercenary politicians are looking for greatness as one looking at the Western sky for the rising sun! Our country Nigeria is in terrible short supply of service–oriented politicians, statesmen and women.

The Most Revd. Dr Nicholas D. Okoh is the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and the Chairman of the Ibru Centre Board of Directors,

We have excess supply of reward-induced politicians. These cannot transform our society. (To be concluded next week)

The Most Revd. Dr Nicholas D. Okoh is the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and the Chairman of the Ibru Centre Board of Directors,

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