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Fola Daniel Adelesi: Who Is Responsible For Bad Leadership?



People have been divided as to who should be blamed for bad leadership. Many have blamed the leaders themselves, calling them ‘Accidental Leaders’. Others have blamed the people who helped them to become ‘Positional Leaders.’ There are those who have taken it a step further by saying that God deliberately gave us the kind of leaders we get as punishment.

Now the question lies in finding out whether God gives us leaders who know next to nothing about leadership, or are ill-prepared for the task of leadership, because he wants to punish us. You may take from whatever angle you like but I have seen, over the years that God can truly appoint a leader with no intention to punish the people. When the leader gets into power, the leader then forgets the reason he or she was given the privilege to serve and begins to misbehave in the office.

I also think that we must take responsibility for the kind of leadership that we have and not blame it on God. If this is what we get, then it just may be what our system has already created the room for. If we can get something better than what we have right now then it means our systems can accommodate better leadership.

The right kind of leadership will not jump on us. It cannot also be imposed, as many people have falsely believed, on us. Some of the people that we don’t like to see in leadership positions today got there because we did nothing. A few others got there while we took to the social media and condemning politicians. Just as we spent time kicking up a fuss online, they spent time strategizing about what to do, how to do it and when the right time is to get it done.

For years we told ourselves that our votes don’t count and we stayed out of the decision making process. The reason ‘our votes’ don’t count, for those who believe it does not, is not because it cannot count. It is because we have repeatedly sold that affirmation to ourselves.

We sometimes make the wrong choices and then do not want to be held responsible for those choices. At least it was not God who came down to share rice to the electorates that was supposed to vote for their future. It is not God who has been coming down to share money to market women and some street boys. How much is the money these people and some of those friends of ours who go about with them in suits and in natives really get? For some of them, it’s just enough to get a happy meal in one mush room eatery.

Let’s face it. If we have bad leadership we allowed it. We tolerated it. We have done nothing in the past and that is why we have the way it is now. God gave us choices to make and we probably didn’t make the most of it. That’s how we got here.

I remember that when I was on the Debaters’ TV reality show, one of our debate topics was ‘A nation gets the kind of leader it deserves. For those thinking that God is using bad leadership to punish us as a nation, you need to wise up and see how we have refused to do certain things or done them wrongly.

Just as another election year is approaching, all or most of the good people are staying away from politics. The best speakers are on radio and television. The most beautiful writers stay on social media to vent and the ones you call bad boys and the bad leaders are in their meeting place denying themselves of good night rest for the desired result in the elections.

Do you remember how many times your own parents refused to vote? Do you remember how they told you not to even vote when you came of age and how they asked you to stay away from the polling units? It just might be your parents punishing you after all – and not God -for asking you to stay away from where you were to make the right choices.

When the right people don’t show up as well, those who showed up will have to be used because there can’t be vacuum. Let me refresh your memory a little. What did we do to the likes of Bola Ige when he came out to contest? What about the likes of Gani Fawehinmi? With all the beautiful propositions of Ben Bruce in Bayelsa what happened to him? The list goes on and you know the rest of the best that I probably did not mention.

The responsibility of the leadership we get is ours and we cannot blame it on God for whatever reason. We will soon be faced with another chance to take responsibility for our leadership. Are we going to whip up sentiments (political, ethic, religious) like we did the last time? The choice is ours.

Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Handmademedia

Fola Daniel Adelesi (also Fola Daniel Speaks) is a Professional Public Speaker, Learning & Development Expert, Communications Professional, and an author of more than 13 books. He's a highly engaging training facilitator who holds his audience spellbound when speaking at gatherings. Apart from his several platforms which include banks, insurance companies, and religious organizations, he has been part of some national television shows and he spoke so intelligently. Some of his published books include: - Get Up and Hit That Goal - Basic Skills for Outstanding Leadership - Breaking Grounds Despite Backgrounds - Writing Business Proposals - Indebted to Ignorance He's also a highly skilled master of ceremony with excellent poise and diction who is endeared to many corporate clients. He was on the Debaters TV reality show Season 1, he presented 'You Can' on Radio Continental in 2011 and he did motivational segments on Galaxy Television from Dec. 2008 to August 2009. He currently features consistently on Channels Television and Television Continental, two of the leading TV stations in Nigeria to discuss national and youth issues. He keeps a vlog at and his books are available on or


  1. bruno

    August 14, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Nigerians are to blame,example when obasanjo entered office, I remember everyone was dancing and screaming on the streets shouting “change has come” after 1 years in office nothing,no progress, same thing with yaradua and now jonathan, nigerians don’t know what they want, this is a typical characteristic of a black man, bad is good and good is bad, this coming election, I haven’t seen any candidate who shares the same views on issues like I do?

  2. There’s no opportunity 4 youth to participate in govt. Qualified youth r overlooked 4 dumb a$$ potbellied buffoons cuz 9ja politics is money politics. We need som1 2 back a young, smart, wise YOUTH to contest, win & lead us.
    Oh, & his wife shouldn’t be a ditz either.

  3. Robin Hood

    August 14, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Definitely, the citizens are responsible for bad leadership.
    when the citizens condone injustice and corruption by failing to punish it, or treating it lightly at the expense of moral uprightness, the result is a system that makes it difficult for good leaders to get into office- mainly because the society does not punish criminals, corruption or injustice.
    Until we learn to shame politicians who enrich themselves in office when they are known to be ordinary before entering office instead of giving them chieftaincy titles, granting them celebrity status in magazines and press, the citizens themselves being upright because the leaders are actually pooled from the citizenry, then we will continue to have bad leadership.

    All the developed countries in the world have reached their level because of a collective willingness of majority of citizens to be upright (at least in public) and create an environment that rewards labor, enterprise and punish crime in any form.

  4. @edDREAMZ

    August 14, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Goverment matter to is never an interesting topic……

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