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« Ozodi Osuji Lectures #20: Training for Leadership in Nigeria | Main | The Five Modes of Thinking: Studies in Science and Thinking »

October 25, 2005

Ozodi Osuji Lectures #20: Training for Leadership in Nigeria (Continued)

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) ---Are you are a leader, as we have properly defined it here, and, if not, why are you calling yourself a chief, and why are you in politics?

Nigerians have identified leadership as a critical variable missing in their politics. I, therefore, suggest that we consciously train Nigerians in leadership. This training can begin at secondary school level. We can adapt the training provided at graduate schools, of management and leadership, to the level of secondary schools, and teach them.

We have to train our students, at secondary schools, technical schools and universities in leadership and management, if we want to produce good leaders and managers who would pull us out of the economic morass we currently are in. This can be done. We just have to have the will to do it. The present national political reform conference can recommend that leadership courses be taught at the various levels of education, and require all aspirants to public office to seat and pass the equivalent of MBA and MPA examinations before they run for offices.

Better still, we must require all aspirants to public office to write a blue print of what goals they want to accomplish, for the level of society they are planning to rule. They ought to state in the book why they are running for office: to make money ala wabara or to do what improves the country, as leaders ought to be doing?

Certainly, every university graduate (the minimum for seeking public office) can knock off 100 pages, or more, Political Manifesto in a week, and publish it. We, the public, then read and evaluate it, and elect him on the basis of what he intends to do for us, but not because of what he intends to steal from us.

Some American business schools make funds available to students, money with which they are encouraged to start business and see whether they can succeed. It is businessmen that create and grow jobs. The idea of giving these students loans is to encourage the spirit of enterprise. We can do the same in Nigeria, and encourage students to start businesses and/or initiate public programs, and do what it takes to make them succeed, not by stealing from the public, but by earning every penny they get. This would enable them to gain leadership skills. We would then elect into public offices youngsters that have demonstrated an excellent track record in starting projects, and seeing them through to maturity, and made profits.


This essay consciously did not address itself to the technical aspects of leadership and management. It did not address such leadership topics as planning, organizing, coordinating, controlling, delegating, hiring, training, supervising, firing, accounting, financing, reading financial statements, budgeting, cash flow issues, cash receivables and payables, payroll, span of control, power, authority, influence and so on. It did not mention the seminal studies all students of management know about, such as Frederick Taylor’s Time and Motion’ studies, the famous Hawthorn studies, Herzberg’s studies, Morton’s studies, Mary Follet’s studies on the interpersonal aspect of leadership, Field’s distinction between task oriented leaders and emotion oriented leaders, Macgregor’s idea of X versus Y leaders, Ouchi’s write up on Japanese management styles, Max Weber’s write up on bureaucratic organizations…they are hierarchical, pyramidical, impersonal, merit recruited, process and procedure bound, promotion is based on merit etc, his distinction between bureaucrats and politicians, and the nature of charismatic leaders; Abraham Maslow’s concept of hierarchy of needs; writings on transformational leaders, reformative leaders, status quo/establishmentarian leaders, Total Quality management and other management fads etc..

This paper did not engage in academic discourse because that was not its goal. If the reader is interested in those technical aspects of management and leadership, he could visit relevant texts in management. My goal was very simple: to call attention to the need for Nigerians to start training our leaders in the nature of leadership and management. This has to be done, if the country is to improve its economic and political standing. We really do not have a choice but to do these things. We can only vacillate, and put off the inevitable. Sooner or later, reality will catch up with us, and force us to do what we ought to have done.

That reality may catch up with us in a most unexpected manner. Look here, political realism teaches us not to be having illusions about human nature. Man, empirical observation shows, is very capable of evil behavior. Go read Machievelli (Prince) Hobbes (Leviathan), Pareto, Schumpeter, Kissinger and other political realities. In the world of reality, if Africans do not soon get their acts together, other races will start rethinking who we are. They will stop making excuses for our apparent failures and see us as failures in life. Already, some see us as evolution’s failure.

The liberal orgy of the1960s is effectively over. As economic resources become scarce, men will think realistically, not sentimentally, as liberals do. Liberals tell us that all men are equal. Good. In the real world, we have black Americans who cannot enter America’s top universities, whose scores on the SAT are almost half Asian scores. We have Black American students who, at best, are C students at America’s top colleges. Now we add African’s shiftlessness to this poor performance, to this mix, and disaster is brewing for us.

We have been independent for forty something years, and have not learnt to govern ourselves. For a while, liberal scholars offered excuses for our inability to do the right thing. In the meantime, the Asian countries that got their independence from Europe, at about the same time as us, are now out competing Europe. Singapore, in fact, has exceeded the United States in information technology.

What does all this mean to you? When political realism sets in, as it is bound to do, other folks may conclude that Africans are genetically unintelligent and are probably also genetically programmed criminals. They would then respond accordingly.

In 1923, the American Congress passed a law banning Eastern Europeans, Slavs, from coming to America, because they performed poorly on standard American IQ tests. It was only later, when it was shown that it was cultural differences that accounted for the differences that Congress rescinded its Act.

(As you can see, Hitler was not the only one who dealt with Slavs in a negative manner. Americans did the same, in their habitual velvet, but, nevertheless, murderous manner. America is probably the most oppressive country on earth, but it presents the face of innocence to the world, and gullible persons buy it. Behind the lovy, dovy Christian mask worn by Americans, they are really as predatory as Neanderthal, and do not hesitate murdering people, for their own gains.)

Slavic Europe is probably a century behind Germanic Europe, in material development. Moreover, the Slavic culture is not as dynamic as the Germanic culture of Western Europe (all western Europeans are Germanic: Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Scandinavia…they are a mix of Germanic and Celtic population, with the later subjugated by the former. In North America, too, the Germanic race subjugated American Indians, and, of course, Africans).

We all know what Adolf Hitler did to the Slavs. Believing that they were an inferior race, Hitler set out to kill most of them, and reduce what is left of them to performing laborer jobs for their supposed Aryan masters. The Nazis killed 25 million Russians, whom they considered sub human beings, animals really. Russian war prisoners were worked to death, just as the Jews, the other supposed inferior race, were worked until they died.

War prisoners from the other Germanic groups, Western Europeans and Americans, were treated like friends and well fed, while Polish, Russian and other Slavic war prisoners were starved to death. Just imagine what this war-mongering race will do to us, black people, when they turn their attention to us. They will reduce us to slavery or wipe us out and take Africa over.

And, if we fail to prepare for this eventuality, as Stalin and Slavs failed to take Hitler seriously, we, like them, will pay a terrible price. Russians read Hitler’s 1925 book, Mein Kampf, in which he described his view that Russians are animals, and carefully delineated his plan to eliminate them, but did not take him seriously. They cavalierly dismissed what the man said. Indeed many of them thought that the man was insane. Hitler was a paranoid personality, all right, but so are many persons holding responsible positions. Moreover the man had an IQ of over 140, hence a gifted political and military strategist. . At any rate, Russians lived to regret their foolishness, for when, in 1941, operation Babarosa was unleashed on mother Russia; she was not prepared for the match. But for Hitler’s over confidence, and certain miscalculations, such as redirecting his Panzers to the Caucasus to get hold of the all mighty oil, instead of smash the weak Russian troops defending the ramparts of Moscow, Moscow would have been taken before the end of 1941. If Von Paulus army had descended, like a brick, on Moscow, instead of allow itself to get bogged down in Stalingrad; Russia would today be a German colony. We must also remember that many in the capitalist West did not like the Bolsheviks, and quietly prayed that Hitler would get rid of the pesky Communists, for them. If you are interested in political leadership, not leadership of nursery schools, you must be interested in military affairs. Wars are inevitable in human aggregations. Please read about great generals and their wars. For a starter, read about Field Marshals Montgomery and Erin Rummel.

If we ignore racist perception of us, as sub human beings, and their intention to reduce us to slavery, like foolish Russians, we shall live to regret the day we chose to be idealistic, rather than be political realists, and face facts as they are.

Human beings, their historical behaviors show, are predatory savages, and will reduce you to slavery, or destroy you and appropriate your territory, if you are weak. Racist Americans enslaved Africans, didn’t they? What more evidence do you need to demonstrate for you that man is an aggressive creature? If a people, who masqueraded about, as loving Christians, could do to Africans, what Americans did to us, well, you must be a fool not to recognize that human beings are capable of iniquitous acts.

Realists always try to checkmate other human groups by being prepared to jostle with them at wars. The force of arms guarantees peace, not by love. As Machievelli observed, teach love, but exercise force, for it is better that people fear and respect you, than love you.

In case you do not know it, the rest of the world suspects that Africans are dumb, and on that basis discriminate against us. In America, blacks are generally the last hired and the first fired.

I have never heard a Nigerian leader express disgust at how white America treats our brothers in America. Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, occasionally speak out against racist dehumanization of our brothers in America. How about Nigerian leaders? They are too parochial, particularistic and self-centered to be interested in universalistic human issues of justice and fairness. These apes do not see it as their business that how whites treat our brothers in America, is symbolic of how they would like to treat us. Thus, they run around America, staying in the most expensive hotels, unaware that if they walked around the neighborhoods where those hotels are located, at night, that racist police officers would harass them. If you are black, walk around Bel-Air and Beverly Hills, California, at night, and see what happens to you. I used to jog in those neighborhoods, and cannot begin telling you how many times racist police officers stopped me, and or shadowed me.

Nigerian leaders imagine that white America is their friend. America has no permanent friend. America’s friend is money, not human beings. One hopes that some day Nigerian politicians would become a bit more intelligent and become preoccupied with universal issues of rightness and wrongness, rather than just think about lining their pockets with ill-gotten wealth. One looks forward to the day a Nigerian leader would in fact, act like a courageous human being, and speak out against George Bush’s foreign policies, rather than thinking that it is a great honor to be invited to the White house. (Why not call it Black House; after all black slaves built it? For what it is worth, let me tell you that I visited George Washington’s house, Mount Vernon, and Thomas Jefferson’s house, Monticello, for the sake of spitting at them. I hate the fact that those monsters enslaved my brothers, and built their houses with their free labor. During my first visit at Capitol Hill, Congress, and realizing that black slaves built it, it gave me great joy in cursing it. That act may not be much, but my intense hatred of the oppressors of my people had to find symbolic outlet.)

Perhaps we are unintelligent? Intelligence includes ability to foresee the future and plan for it. We are messing up, big time. This will result in others perception of us as hopeless. Today, out of misguided liberal, bleeding hearted, and do gooderness; the West gives us economic aid, which we promptly squander. One can just imagine a major depression, as in 1929, hitting the West. When that happens, Westerners will look out for their own survival. No one would give a damn if Africans starved to death or killed themselves in their present senseless, tribal wars. In fact, many non-Africans would probably say good riddance of us. I know many white folks who immediately turn off their TVs when yet another story of African suffering appears on the news. They say: if Africans cannot govern themselves, like any one else, let them die. Why do we have to feel guilty for a shiftless race that cannot properly fend for itself?

One does not need to be paranoid…even paranoia has its positive aspect…to visualize a future where fascists take over American government, and the rest of the western world, and resolve to return to Africa and re-colonize it. If you doubt this eventuality, perhaps you ought to take history a bit more seriously. Please read about the cyclic patterns of events.

If we keep misbehaving, another Joseph Chamberlain, Spangler, and Herbert Spencer could emerge on the ideological horizon, and argue that the 1% known genetic difference between people (people are 99% the same) is enough to condemn Africans to eternal servitude. The difference between human beings and chimpanzees is only 3% (Chimps are 97% like us) yet they are a world apart from us.

The point is that a time may come when white folks argue that the 1% genetic difference between them and us is sufficient for us to not catch up with them, to always be basket cases asking for hand outs from the West. When that happens, one can see a demagogue say: let us go to Africa and kill Africans, and take over their land.

If you think that all these are improbable, keep dreaming. Perhaps, you look to the United Nation’s Charter, and its talk about respecting national sovereignty, hence gives you the right to misgovern your nation. Revisit history.

The concept of nation-state is a recent phenomenon. It emerged after the 100 years religious war that devastated Germany. The treaty of Westphalia in 1648 established the concept of nations; prior to that, there were no nations. What this means is that the idea of nation is a social construct, and an artificial one at that. Whatever man constructs can be deconstructed, and reconstructed.

Americans formed the United Nations in 1945, at San Francisco, California, to suit the world they wanted to dominate. If that world appears to be escaping their control, they could pull out of the UN and make other arrangements. The neo-conservative elements in America already resent the United Nations. Indeed, President Reagan refused to pay his share of the United Nations budget (America contributes 25% of UN budget).

The point of all this is, that if Africans keep behaving like they are unintelligent idiots, and are unable to govern themselves, if they keep producing leaders like Abacha, Mobutu, and let us not forget, the cannibal Idi Amin, criminals in positions of political power, the rest of the world could conclude that we are born idiots and criminals.

In my world, the world of thinkers, there are already white racist psychologists who would like to demonstrate that the reason why black Americans are the dominant population in American jails and prisons is because they are born with criminal genes. These racist psychologists would like to eradicate whatever guilt they have from enslaving and discriminating against blacks, by proving that blacks are born unintelligent (they tend to score 15 points less than whites…and luckily Orientals score 15 points more than whites, and that kills the genetics argument, for if whites bring it up, they, ip so facto, imply that Orientals are superior to them, a proposition they would not like, and to avoid it, they seem to ignore the subject. (115:100:85 are the average IQ of Asians, whites and blacks.)

Racist white pseudo scholars would like to demonstrate that Africans are born criminals, and that that accounts for our leaders being thieves rather than dedicated leaders of their people.

If changes in intellectual climate occur, from liberal to conservative, you can kiss Africa good-bye. We may be re-enslaved.

Actually we are already re-enslaved. These days, Nigerian university graduates come to America and do menial jobs that white folks do not want to do. They get here, and in a few weeks obtain Certified Nurses Assistant certificate, and proceed to essentially become care talkers of older white people. They work at assisted homes for the elderly. (I call them certified domestic servants, slaves.) The rest of them work as janitors and cab drivers.

Of course, when these brothers go home to Nigeria, they pretend to be big men in America. What are Nigerians noted for but putting on acts? A taxi driver in New York goes to Nigeria and behaves like he is the president of the United States. In America itself he is relegated to living in the inner cities and breathes in smog that reduces his life span.

Of course, a handful of Nigerians actually become medical doctors and engineers and make a good living in America. A few of them even teach at American universities. Usually when affirmative Action sets out to hire a black to have as a token on a white campus, if there is an African around, he is hired. Then the token brother runs home to Nigeria, and tells his people that he is an outstanding professor at an American university.

In Europe, Nigerian women are proliferating as prostitutes. Go visit Rome, Milan, Amsterdam, etc, and the chances are that the whore on the street is a Nigerian girl (or Eastern European). That is correct, we are now exporting harlots and domestic servants to Europe and North America.

What does that make us? Slaves. For 1000 years we exported slaves to Arabia and America. We have now resumed that practice by sending to the white world our people to go perform their menial work.

If Nigeria were to take care of business, get its house in order, provide jobs to its citizens, they would not have to be running to the West for the honor of performing menial jobs. Perhaps, we shall learn, and start caring for each other, and realizing that if one of us is unemployed, we are all unemployed. The answer to Cain’s question: am I my brother’s keeper, is yes. We must care for each other for we are one. We must provide jobs for our brothers and sisters in Africa, to stop the current disguised slave trade going on, and we do not even know it for what it is.

(It is probably not wise for African governments to stop emigration to the West, as some African nationalists are advocating. Out of the evil of our slavery in the West, some of us actually acquire some useful skills that may serve Africa well. Besides, you need to get closer to the man to know him, as he really is, not as he presents himself to be. He is a beast masquerading as an angel. )

And this sad fact does not bother our so-called African leaders.

I feel angry whenever I see a Nigerian whore in Europe. I do not know about you, every Nigerian girl is my sister, and seeing her as a plaything for the man makes me angry.

Have you traveled, lately? Have you noted how folks with Nigerian passports are treated? Not long ago, I was going from France to England, and at Dover, British immigration and customs officers paid particular attention to Nigerians. They literally frisked them, searched them and stuck their fingers wherever they wanted to.

At American airports, Nigerians are presumed as criminals, and treated as such. Our so-called big men are treated similarly. I have been at airports and seen the garbage searched like they are common criminals.

The humiliation inflicted on them by white men does not make them mad enough to go home and do what they have to do to make their country respected and their countrymen treated with dignity!

My God, where did this breed of humanity called Nigerians come from? What other people consider degrading, they laugh at, hence their silly reputation as the world’s happiest people. Happiest slaves, I say. Nigerians do not feel mad when other people belittle them, at least not mad enough to fight back. Like slaves, they tolerate others abuse. Indeed, they tolerate the abuse of their local black colonialists, their so-called rulers, without rising up, and marching for freedom. Liberty is never given to a people by rulers, because the rulers are good persons, but because the people demand it, and are willing to die for it.

It is really true that, the government a people have, they deserve. Nigerians deserve the corrupt governments they have. If they were manly and rose up, and challenged the thieves ruling them, those cowards would run away. See what a little courage has accomplished in the Ukraine: drove out the Russian quisling ruling that country. If Nigerians rise up, demonstrate, get killed by the police, and do not run, but persist, their rulers would respect them, and start doing the right things by them. The problem is that if you fire a gun into the air; kill a few persons, like cowards, the Nigerian crowd runs away. A cowardly people cannot have a good government, for good government is a product of a people’s willingness to die for it.

Nigeria must do what it must do, to make its people respected all over the world. We can do it. Despite the poor state of our educational institutions, the fact is that there are many smart Nigerians. I know some of them with doctorate degrees in Nuclear physics. That is correct; there are some of Nigerians who can out compete the white man.

First, we must strive after economic strength, and later on military strength. Eventually, we must develop nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

Why so? Grow up. If your neighbor has a weapon that you do not have, he will dictate what to do to you, whether you like it or not, for that is the reality of human history.

International relations studies have an axiom, that balance of power is what makes countries not attack and subjugate each other. According to this view, it is balance of power that maintains world peace, not misguided trust in human beings supposed good nature.

The present situation where only one country, America, is the sole superpower has witnessed American leaders, morons and all, run around the world imposing their will on other people. If you do not like what they are doing, then have the economic and military power to check them, or shut up.

I do not like America bullying every body else, but I am realistic enough to know the difference between them and me. They have the power to clubber me.

I resent whoever has the power to destroy me. But in the present, there is nothing I can do about it. But I can make sure that future Africans are not in my, our predicament. In this light, we ought to work to make sure that Africa develops economically, and, eventually, militarily. We must, in the long run, acquire nuclear power.

No weapon ever discovered by human beings remains in sole possession of its discoverers. Sooner or later, most countries will have access to nuclear power. Despite America’s self serving efforts to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, they will spread. The genie is out of the bottle, and no one can put it back. That is reality. Besides, knowledge is such that what, at one time, seemed difficult, and was the exclusive property of a few, tends to become commonplace. A few centuries ago, only a few persons understood Newton’s mechanics. Today, he is child’s play for high school science students. By the same token, nuclear physics seems tough, but soon, most high school students would understand it. It is called the law of critical mass. In the not too distant future, many folks would be able to rig nuclear weapons in their backyards. And there is nothing any one can do to prevent this eventuality.

When this happens, the chicken will come home to roost for the world’s present oppressor of the weak. We all know whom weak, emasculated folks would like to use weapons of mass destruction on. The proposed victims also know that this is the case, hence they run around trying to prevent the inevitable, the spread of nuclear weapons.

In, as much as, all people will sooner or later have nuclear weapons, I want Africans, too, to have them.

America is the sole possessor of superior force, and she wields it as a club over other nations' heads, and uses it to intimidate them into doing what they do not want to do. This is power. Power is the ability of A to get B to do what, otherwise, he does not want to do. I resent another human being having such power over me, and over Africans. This untenable situation must be corrected. Africa’s humanity demands that the situation be corrected, for the playing field to be equalized.

This brings us to those who want to Balkanize already small African countries. Small countries are politically, economically and militarily irrelevant in world politics. Biafra, whatever that nonsense is, will be irrelevant in world politics. Therefore, we must all struggle to make Nigeria a strong, well-governed state, and forget about the nonsense of Biafra. All Nigerians, Hausa, Yoruba, Ibo, are one. At any rate, in the Western world, we are treated alike, discriminated against. We must all work for our common Nigerian good.

I make no secret my wish for all West Africa to become one country. I also wish that by the end of this century, all of Africa became one country, a federation of five hundred states, with each tribe constituting a state. I am a Pan Africanist. My heroes are Garvey, Nkruma, and Padmore.

In the short run, unfortunately, a united Africa is not attainable. Africans must first go through the orgy of tribalism, then progress to nationalism, and eventually recognize their common fate, and unify. There is inevitable progression in human affairs. You must first learn to walk before you can run. Thus, my present goal is a united Nigeria. One must set small, incremental steps at a time, steps that led to a larger goal. What is currently achievable is strengthening Nigeria.

A unified West Africa is fifty years in the future, and a Unified Africa is probably a hundred years in the future. So let us do what are doable in the present, make Nigeria the best it can become.

Finally, one is a realistic-idealist; one keeps one’s eyes on a dream, African Union, but, in the interim, does what present social reality permits. One never loses touch of the larger picture, while doing what the smaller picture calls for. One is not a hopeless utopian; one knows the difference between ideals and reality, fantasy and facts. One knows what we, in Africa, are up against, the implacable forces, particularly the West, against us. But nevertheless, one knows that a totally committed, bold, and decisive leadership can pull Nigeria, indeed all of Africa, up from its present unenviable situation.

Continued from "Ozodi Osuji Lectures #20: Training for Leadership in Nigeria"

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

With this lecture, I end the series of lectures I gave in commemoration of Nigeria’s 45the Birthday. I hope that you found them useful. I plan to edit, add references and bibliography to the lectures and publish them as a monograph

Posted by Administrator at October 25, 2005 01:28 AM


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