NATION BUILDING: A Tribute To Nigeria At 54

“If this country is ever demoralised, it will come from trying to live without work.”
~Abraham Lincoln~

What better for a leadership to offer its people than the following three;

  • Provision
  • Protection and
  • Piloting.


A leadership that cannot provide basic amenities, infrastructure and a conducive environment for business and investment for its people is not worthy of the people in the first place. This is what determines the standard of living of the people and the strength of the economy.


And when the citizens of a nation are bound by fear, uncertainty and insecurity as Nigerians are, then leadership can be said to have failed no matter what lying propaganda they try to feed the people.

A nation must have security agencies they can count on at a moment’s notice. Protective agencies must have ‘to protect and to serve’ as their culture and not just some meaningless motto.

To have enough man-power to fight without prejudice or preference, without fear or favour when there’s a fire outbreak, no matter how many, when there is a missing child, no matter the social class, and when there is social violence or threat of one, no matter how trivial. And to do all these simply with honour and justice.


And lastly, a nation needs leadership that can pilot her affairs to a ‘promised land’, leaders with a vision and not just some empty manifestos. Nigeria, at this time more than ever, needs leaders with realistic goals and not some scheme to stall for a second term and to loot the treasury.

Over the ages we have seen how crowns and thrones perish, kingdoms rise and wane, but have we learnt from all these?

Photo courtesy
Photo courtesy

Is there a lesson we can learn from great world powers that ended up imploding to oblivion? Let us take a look at history and learn what sends a world power to an early grave over night.

  • In King Cyrus the great, we see the wanton power of a privileged man.

Cyrus was privileged to build an unparalleled empire of that magnitude at the time by conquering first the Median Empire, then the Lydian Empire and eventually the Neo-Babylonian Empire. (Notice how his conquests are not over mere city states of kingdoms but actual empires). After that, he led an expedition into central Asia, which resulted in major campaigns that were described as having brought “into subjection every nation without exception”. However, before his conquest was complete, he died fighting the small nation of Massagetae in December 530 BC.

He wasn’t content with his rulership of the world’s largest empire.

His death begs the question, who were the Massagetae in the first place that the great Cyrus should fall at their hands?

They were a small kingdom nation (or rather ‘queen-dom’) ruled by Queen Tomyris. She heard Cyrus had set his greedy eyes on her small domain and she sent out a warning to Cyrus to be content with his rule over his several conquered empires and leave her small kingdom in peace. But his arrogance had the best of him. And the rest as they say is history.

  • The unteachable temperament in a gifted man.

Now imagine a leader who promises safe streets, a healthy economy, an end to substance abuse and pornography, and the restoration of our national dignity and military strength – and delivered on all these promises! Looks impossible huh?

Hitler promised all these things to a Germany crippled by unprecedented depression and war and DELIVERED on all his promises. The nation was starving and on the verge of anarchy, with a currency that was utterly worthless. And in just four years, Hitler not only balanced the budget but also paid off all national debts! He did it when their debt was at a higher percentage of their gross national product than both Nigeria’s and America’s is today. He led them from being a weak nation into both an economic and military superpower, and also moved them from having more than 50 percent unemployment to 100 percent employment.

Such dramatic transformation of a nation has never been witnessed before or since. It was so remarkable that even Winston Churchill said if Hitler had died in 1939, he would have been considered the greatest leader in world history. But we all know how that story turned out; he didn’t die in 1939 and went on to become the world’s greatest villain in history.

  • The untamed passion in a weak man

We have knowledge of a leader somewhere not too far who is laden with the burden of leading a population of more than 150 million people who fits this description. He is a man without vision, without power and without talent of any kind, except his untamed passion for excessive drinking and for his petroleum minister. And he is leading an unassuming and unsuspecting people into chaos and destruction if he remains untamed, or remains at all. In his reign there has been more bloodshed than a civil war can conceive. History is happening right before his eyes and that of his people. May God help that people.

From the above it is clearly seen that what makes nations implode is not in their type of government, whether monarchy, oligarchy or democracy but in the quality of their leadership. Neither is it in their lack of leadership potentials such as providing, protecting and piloting their citizens (except in a few cases like the last example I gave). With that in mind we are pressed to look for a complementary principle that works.

In my humble opinion, the right appendage to leadership would be principles much deeper in the heart – Humility, Spirituality and Faith. They are the prerequisite for stability of any nation.


“The strength of a nation is derived from the integrity of its homes.”


Adams Allison.