Name: Abiola Funmilola Bose
School: Lagos State University, Nigeria.
Empires have existed and gone, humans have evolved with time. Powerful nations have waged war against weaker ones, thereby conquering and annexing kingdoms. While those that did not waged war against the weaker ones colonized them, cities and states communities have been destroyed due to the decision of those in power. Our world have witnessed series of war i:e world war one 1914 -1919 and world war two 1939-1945 based on the decision and command of the leaders. Some societies and communities have seen terror due to the leadership decision for example the Rwanda genocide of 1994, while some are still experiencing conflicts. Every action taken or decisions made by the leadership of any country or community have its consequences on the people living there.
According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Moral is concerned with principles of right and wrong behaviour, while Leadership is the state or position of being a leader. There are qualities expected of a leader, integrity, patience, and compassionate, good decision maker, ability to listen to what the public is saying, and improve the living condition of the society by providing the basic social amenities, good governance, good and conducive for learning and development of the youths.
It is not everyone that should lead or fit to lead, because it’s not only about leading but how to lead. And a person can only lead well based on who the person is, trait, ideology, temperament, upbringing, exposure, believe, level of intelligence and perspective that such person has. To me, moral leadership is when a leader does the right thing, thinks of his people’s welfare, and does not make decision based on the authority or power that he have at his disposal but thinks of the impact his action will have on his people. There are different types of leaders and they determined the foreign policy, growth, and development of their states. As there are leaders that have the interest of their citizens at heart so are leaders that think only of enriching their pocket and their family first.
For example the Academic Staff Union of Universities in my country have been on strike since July 1, 2013 and students are home doing nothing. Those that are not disciplined enough are engaged in all sorts of acts e.g disturbing of the society, while the females are now saddle with unwanted pregnancies or prostitution. ASUU President, Dr Nasir has tried to resolve the issue with my President but they have not been able to reach a compromise. What led to the strike is that the academic board ASUU is demanding that government fulfills an agreement it reached with it in 2009 on how to save the nation’s universities from collapse because a weak educational system is a problem to the nation. It should be noted that a well educated citizenry is a benefit both to the individual and to the state. Unfortunately the minority decision makers held to ransom millions of students from acquiring knowledge for months after which they met the requirement of academic board, but indirectly delaying the graduation dates of all the students.
A moral leadership seek for solutions to problems of his country, for example when there is disturbance or up roar in the country. A nation is secured to the extent that it is not in a position to lose its core values, life, property and liberty and if it wishes to deter aggression or win war when unavoidable. By implication, the relationship between life, service and security is very strong and inseparable. No nation in the world take security for granted, it is primary interest, and in rating of national interest, security is on the top list. There is nothing absolute that gives meaning and essence to life expects security. It is that condition of being free from threat and other valuables of life. No leader must make the mistake that in thinking that security is equated only to the barrel of the gun. There is security in bread, social harmony, good health, even in understanding political order. It measures all policies, laws and institutional setup aimed at giving the citizens an assured psychological feeling of internal and external vigilance and freedom from fear of losing core values.
Investment in youth development, a moral leadership makes it a priority to develop its youth and this is because the youths of every society represent the labour force and the future of such society. But in the case in which the government or leader failed to invest in their youth, its only signifies trouble and break in development. The strength of every nation, state, society and community is in it youth, and when every youth is contributing on daily bases to the development of their state or nation, it means that the future of such state or nation is great. Meanwhile the youth can only do this when they know that their leader will support them. For example when leaders at various sector of works, both political and nongovernmental organizes empowerment programme like (events management, clothes making, hair dressing, photographer, computer training, production of liquid wash, disinfectant, soap, candle, mechanic, furniture making, e.t.c ) at free or very affordable rate for their youth, and also make them to understand that they ‘youths’ are responsible for their own future and life. In doing this, there is no way that crime rate will not reduce because almost everyone is involved in working for his or herself. As reading is to the well development of the minds, so is well groomed, responsible and developed youth to the progress of every nation, state, society and community.
In addition, leading is not about giving out rules and regulation to people, but about the way of life, what we portray to others can either make or mar them. Leading is by example and not by mere word, every being is leading in one way or the other, a typical example was in 2007 when I just gained admission into the university, during a class presentation I was asked a question by my lecturer which I apologised and said to him ‘I am sorry I do not have an idea’, while he told me to seat down. In 2010 I had the privileged of relating with one of my course mate and she referred me back to that incident, that when I told the lecturer that I did not know the answer, she said to herself that if Funmi ‘I’ does not know the it, she does not too. Meaning when it was her turn to answer another question, she did not bother to think about, but said she does not know it. Unfortunately for her she failed the course, while I did not. This might sound funny or ridiculous , I was not aware that someone was studying or monitoring me in class, after that presentation I went back to the drawing board and made sure that I am always prepared for any opportunity or task that comes or might come my way in life. From the day ‘late 2010’ she told me about the incident, it became clear to me that our lives is not lived for only us, but for our society as well, the reflection of our actions and decisions is seen on our society.
As good diet is to the body so is moral leadership to society.