Since the creation of man, he has for the umpteenth time found himself in a state of quandary like a lost sheep that God, in His infinite mercies has at different dispensations sent leaders to intervene for his sake. For instance, when the Israelites were being maltreated, suppressed and enslaved in the land of the Egyptians, God sent a deliverer in the person of Moses and Aaron to rescue him.
From a scriptural standpoint, Samson was divinely created to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines. Without mincing words, the greatest intervention which God has made in the affairs of men is that of sacrificing His Son for the sins of mankind.
Given the political labyrinth and complexity which corrupt and clueless leaders have thrown Africans into, there is no denying the fact that God, in His divine disposition as a God that cares, on 18 July, 1918 sent a deliverer, in the person of Rolihlahla Mandela to Africans through his mother, Nonqaphi Nosekeni and his father, Nkosi Mphakanyiswa Gadla Mandela.
I must confess at this juncture that we Africans, particularly the politicians among us, are yet to understand God’s purpose of sending Dr. Mandela as a leader to lead a country in an African continent and in the process leave the world with a leadership template that would be known as “Mandelaism”. However, it is sad to note that one year down the line since the late sage transited to glory that the legacy or rather the political template he left all categories of leaders is yet to be emulated by political leaders in various leadership positions across Nigeria in particular in particular and African in general. It is never an exaggeration to say that if many political leaders are religiously adopting and implementing all the principles that made up the leadership template known as Mandelaism, one year after the exemplary leader concluded his earthly journey to meet his creator, that Nigeria and Africa political landscapes would have by now been devoid of the sad stories that characterize them at the moment.
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I must confess that this piece was inspired by the observation made as the world remembered the late Nelson Mandela on the one year anniversary of his death on 5 December. As observed, many world leaders still lack the leadership qualities that made the great leader what he was being remembered for. One would not be wrong to say that most leaders merely graced events that were organized to either celebrate the life or death of Mandela by the virtue of the cheap popularity they expected to gain but not the virtues or the leadership qualities the sage left for them to emulate.
Be that as it may, the underlying objective of this piece is to sensitize all political leaders and observers that consequent remembrance of the late sage should not be characterized with razzmatazz, gliterrati, backslaps, and rhetorical eulogies but with well delivered lectures that would dwell on his sterling qualities.
It is expedient to say that I am using this piece to appeal to our leaders to adopt “Mandelaism” as a political philosophy. They should use it as their political template. Whoever wants to be a good leader should embrace and adopt all the principles that “Mandelaism” espouses.
Suffice it to say at this juncture that it is not in every generation that God blesses a particular country or continent with a personality like the late Dr. Nelson Mandela. It is against this background that one would say that the leadership template he has left behind should not be treated with ignominy or sheer laxity.
It is highly regrettable to observe that many African leaders, particularly in Nigeria, are like the biblical Aaron that was in possession of a divine and miraculous rod but was so ignorant of the value of what he was holding until he was divinely directed to do so. Seen from this perspective, it can be said that many leaders of today are well informed of some of the sterling qualities which late Dr. Nelson Mandela exhibited as a leader but it is very obvious that they lacked the moral strength needed to implement or practice them while in service.
According to an African proverb, “If the pig truly understands how many people appreciate and value its meat, it would loathe eating from nauseating and mucky environment.” Seen from the perspective of the foregoing proverb, it would not be out of place to paraphrase it to read, “If African leaders truly understands how valuable Mandelaism is, as a political philosophy, they would not be wallowing in abject political poverty.”
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