By Prof. Simon E. Kulusika
OPINION – Countries (and federated or regional states or units) in the world are presumed to possess political leaders. They take or make or adopt various decisions, policies, decrees intended to foster developments in their respective countries or those subordinate political units.
It would appear that all leaders the world over suffer from leadership problems, and South Sudan is not an exception. South Sudan leadership problems may be even more acute than anywhere else. The problems of leadership, in general, are that the problem of the problems of political leadership cannot be clearly defined. This renders discussions academic, if not utterly preposterous. In this article an escape from that trick will be attempted to justify undertaking this task.
Historically, one can make references to numbers of political leaders who had made great and positive impacts on their countries and on other countries around the globe. What is mentioned here is just few samples. A comprehensive list would have been long and monotonous for all readers.
Those interested in the matter should visit any reputable library of universities in any country in the world.
Here are few names of leaders who made meaningful contributions to their countries: Napoleon (France), Friedrich 1 (Germany), Otto von Bismarck (Germany), Nelson (great British Naval officer), Alexander the Great of Macedonia – the greatest military stategist who defended Europe from external threats, posed by Mogolians and Persians who were the masters in the East, Catherine I of Russia, Mao (China), Castro (Cuba), Abraham Lincoln (USA), F D R (USA) – he declared war on Japan while seated on a Wheelchair, W Churchill (UK), Queens Victoria and Elizabeth II ( UK), J Kenyatta (Kenya), L P S (Senegal), J Nyerere (Tanzania), KK.
(Zambia), King Abdul Aziz (Saudi Arabia) and his son King Faisal, Jamal Abdel Nasser (Egypt) – he propagated Arab unity, Kamal A (Turkey), Sultan Make Nimir (Jaali – Sudan), Mohamed Ahmed Al Mahdi and his son Abdel Rahman ( Sudan), Sultan Ali Dinar (Dar Fur – Sudan), Luigi Adwok (SS), Clement Mboro (SS), William Deng (SS), Abel Alier (SS), Dr J Garang (SS), Booth Diu (SS), Mahatma Gandhi and J Nehro (India), N Modi (India), Nelson Mandela (SA), and many more great men and women that could be included, if space could permit.
At these points, a reader may say: ‘ Mr. Prof what are you trying to convey to readers? What make a person a leader or political leader? Good questions. A simple answer goes “like this”: a leader or political leader is a person who influences individuals, whether or not his disciples or supporters. He or she is imaginative, innovative and creative. He or she is honest, courageous and forward looking.
He or she listens, analyses and takes reasoned decisions or adopt practical policies for the common good. He or she runs away from bigotry, corruptions and vengeance. He or she is not born a leader but has those characteristics that could be nurtured or engineered to make him or her a formidable leader. There are many persons who could fit into the definition of leadership but missed out because they had not been nurtured to be leaders. Others who claimed to be leaders would do so despite of odds, because they could manipulate powers by threats of the use of force or violence. These kinds of leader do not respect human rights and fundamental freedoms as well as Media freedoms.
They tend to treat any person who criticizes them as enemy. They would not hesitate to instigate the police to deal harshly with the perceived enemies, without following due processes of law. For them constitution is nothing but a document the contents of which should not concern them. Typical attitudes of despots. They should not have a place in SS or anywhere else.
Leadership required patience and knowledge. A challenge is never met by similar challenge, but by arguments or recourse to court proceedings. Not all leaders have similar approaches to events or policy matters. But they seem to hold visions for acting to safeguard the interests of the people. These latter values or qualities are lacking in the majority of African leaders, in particular in South Sudan. They will learn how to fit in them, if they are to make excellent leadership for South Sudan, so that South Sudan moves forward to achieve peace and development.
South Sudan or any other country in Africa has reservoir of leadership, but not yet identified. They must be identified in order to lead South Sudan or Africa into the next Century. Government belongs to the people. However, there must be someone who has to command or direct the implementation of policies, or action plans intended to foster economic, social and political transformation and development. As such, leaders, effective and impartial leaders are required for stability, growth and development.
The author is a professor of law at Zambia Open University. He can be reached via: email@example.com.
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