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On Becoming a Man: Nigeria, Corruption and Men at the Gates – Democracy Day Edition

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“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves” – [Matt. 10:16, NLT]

Today, I write as one not with all the answers in the world; neither as one who is the best of all human beings on earth. I am a young Nigerian and I am not happy about the quality of our leadership. The spate of corruption tugs at my heart – stabs it even, and I feel weak and tired. This should be short.

Many have condemned corruption several times over, only to be caught months later red-handed – with filthy hands and stolen dollars. They fought hard against the rule of a treacherous generation before them; uber-talented orators they were, articulating the zillion faults of their forefathers. The tides soon changed and we all thought that the final change had come. They were offered the chance to nail the coffin of old rogues and young underachievers who had sold their souls to the god-fathers. Alas! Nothing would change, because the veil soon gave way to the true colours below the surface of deception.

I believe in God. I believe that He is still in the business of selecting leaders. Every appointment that God gives a man is fully dependent on his faithfulness at his present place of assignment. He does not become qualified for the highest level of leadership when he gets there, it starts from now. Remember the saying, “the future is now!”? Many have been misled and imbued with a false perception of eternity such that they idle away their lives and become irrelevant here on earth. Others decide to make impact in life and are positioned on the path of greatness. They are entrusted with the responsibility to make gains for the community. Not a few fear that politics and faith do not mix well. However, we ought to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves; this balancing act requires courage and God’s leading.

Lastly, one wonders why so many falter on along the way in leadership, usually after brilliant beginnings. Many reasons abound. Perhaps they did not clearly define who they are and what they stand for right from the start; maybe they did not figure clearly what they ought to pursue in the place of assignment; also, they might have been misled, somewhere, somehow. I emphasize the danger of the wrong association. Money and power are great intoxicants – someone even said that you only truly know a man when he becomes rich. There is always the tendency to for one to drift away from childhood/long-term friends and familiar people as one grows in influence and power. No doubt, twenty boys cannot grow together for twenty years, and many associations will have to give way to more promising and strategic alliances, but what we often fail to realise is that there is the need for us to maintain a nucleus of strong friendships and relationships with trusted individuals in the faith who would not fail to tell us the truth and nudge us back on track when we make mistakes in leadership. There is that need for ‘accountability partners’ who help to keep a check on our excesses.

I am a work in progress and I encourage you to consider these things too. Ensure you belong to a critical mass of great leaders who are truly selfless and will not compromise standards for pecuniary gains. This is an enormous task, but you can be a worthy man at the gates of good leadership. I would love to know your thoughts on this matter.

Photo credit: www.lawyersweekly.ca; www.trendsupdates.com
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Gbenga Awomodu is an Editorial Assistant at Bainstone Ltd./BellaNaija.com. When he is not reading or writing, Gbenga is listening to good music or playing the piano. Follow him on Twitter: @gbengaawomodu | Gbenga’s Notebook: www.gbengaawomodu.com | Facebook Page: Gbenga Awomodu

Digital Content Strategist | Creative Writer. Copy Editor. Storyteller. Vocalist. Amateur Pianist. Spoken Word Poetry recording artiste. Lover of Words & Images. #ArsenalFC. Twitter: @gbengaawomodu

17 Comments

  1. UsaveOne

    May 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Sorry i never read this piece thus i don’t know what its all about…but i just want to say i am tired of corruption in Nigeria and i think i will be checking-out of the damn country. Plz nobody should beg me!

    Check.. http://usaveone.blogspot.com

    • Justmeee

      May 31, 2012 at 12:21 am

      Are u sleep-talking?

    • Truth be told

      May 31, 2012 at 4:19 am

      lol.no one is begging you. But seriously though its tiresome and annoying

  2. Chinazar

    May 30, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    The corruption in Nigeria does not have part 2. It is present even in the ‘absurdest’ of levels.e.g. You need ‘leg’ for d post of a gateman, or to enroll in a nursery/ primary school.
    The resilience of Nigerian youths is being stretched beyond reason.
    I agree with you, Gbenga. God help us #shrugsshoulder

  3. Janded

    May 30, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Corruption has been synonymous with naija since I was born. chei

  4. Phillips Olaniran

    May 30, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    This so called monster seems to strong for us to fight…alas, I smell a change and its coming like a wild fire. Kudos Gbenga

  5. iamfascinating

    May 30, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    [email protected] usaveone. I have felt like that millions of times. However, its like running from your shadow. Your contribution may just create a change 🙂

    Likas soap, Diana Stalder soaps, Neutrogena Visibly Even SPF 30, Collagen cream, Retinol cream even Wild Growth Hair Oil available at http://www.thestunninglady.blogspot.com

  6. faith

    May 30, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    am with U̶̲̥̅̊[email protected]….am so sick n tired of dis currupt country….I was d only one in ph dat didn’t vote for GEJ…pple r soooooooo blinded with money, dey no long see nor reason straight.

  7. Truth be told

    May 31, 2012 at 4:24 am

    hmm.not much comments.Are people that tired already? I used to have righteous anger but the more I hear, the more weary I feel. Yes it starts from you and me doing the right thing. What of those that refuse to do the right thing? They frustrate the people doing right and the cycle continues again. Anyway never give up. We just cant!

  8. Acanda

    May 31, 2012 at 7:14 am

    I feel leadership is a reflection of the majority of the people in a country. When the people actually start to change leaders will (ironically) follow. First step, let everyone in Nigeria that claims to be fed up of corruption stop giving bribes. Great piece Gbenga! The verse you quoted is Matt 10:16 not Matt 10:12.

  9. Gbemi

    May 31, 2012 at 9:10 am

    corruption stems from the mindsets of the people. Nigeria is not the only corrupt nation in the world neither is it the worst. if you wanna fight corruption (the world over) change the mindset of the people. Changing mindsets of people starts from family values. What are we passing on to our children? what should I be passing on to my children. family values is important because the Home is a place of destiny!

  10. n enye

    May 31, 2012 at 10:27 am

    @ gbemi,l do agree with you 100%. corruption and greed has eaten so deep into our systems,from one corner office to a conglomerate ,corruption is every where and how do we fight this,by starting with our selves,not just saying the TALK,but WALKING the TALK so that even when breeze blow fowl yash(excuse my language). One would still be found clean.
    Disappointment on everyone ‘s face particularly the youths,there is little or no role model to look up to.l fear for this country,but l know sooner than we think or imagine.That needed CHANGE will become a reality in Naija.We should not GIVE UP

  11. Moment

    May 31, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I think nigeria needs a few nigerians born there or neutralised by parentage but who have dual citizenship elsewhere included in part of the government to, but educated who have seen the world outside and in, so they can be of great asset to move the country forward. We need people who care because in a few years the world may longer care. We need strong leaders, that reprsent Nigeria on the inside and outside, we need a team that reprsents the many faces of Nigeria.
    ..hummm… I may have to write to the current president…

  12. Moment

    May 31, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Change only occurs via action not speech, pls bombard the government for change you want, positive ones you deem necessary, to enjoy living life there and reduce the best leaving due to migration, cause outside of there isn’t paradise but hell. So fix your paradise, whether its efficient water flow, border control to neighbours, dense living, affordable homes, clean streets create cleaners, valuing your currency, making food prices in line, growing crops close creating jobs for farmers, investing in nigerian high end designers so they are available to outsiders also. Buying real Nollywood dvds so the money goes back to their hands and builds economy. Ensuring energy isn’t outsourced to keep lights in Briton on at all hours at night and in empty shops, when you have non. Prioritise pls pls pls. Let the government know your voices. Cutting down on briberies. whatever your concern is go to those who matter!. Nigerians are smart, so there is no need for leaders not to be, Hausa, Ibo, Youruba and others all in this TOGETHER. United we stand.

  13. faith

    June 1, 2012 at 12:39 am

    Gbam!

  14. Michelle

    June 1, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    I also totally agree with Gbemi. I also want to add that our leaders have lied to us, we have no more trust in any one. It’s a bad place to be. Proverbs 17 verse 7 says ‘we don’t expect lies from our leaders’. It’s very unbecoming. And corruption result from selfishness. The next verse of that scripture says that ‘a bribe is like a magic stone in the eyes of him who gives it; wherever he turns it prospers.’ A person giving bribes and buying people over does it for his own progress, as well as the receiver. We need selfless and truthful leaders of integrity. But we should look each to his or her own life and ask: can I be that leader?

  15. Ade

    July 5, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Michelle, which version did you quote from? The Bible condemns magic AND bribery. God bless you. Proverbs 17:7 (New King James Version)
    7 Excellent speech is not becoming to a fool,
    Much less lying lips to a prince.
    Proverbs 17:8 says-8 A present is a precious stone in the eyes of its possessor;Wherever he turns, he prospers.
    The Bible condemns magic-Rev.22:15- But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

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