WHEN CHILDREN LEAD A COUNTRY
“Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning” Ecclesiastes 10:16 (KJV).
When this version of the Holy Bible was inspired and written several years ago, some of today’s geographical expressions or countries in Africa were not in existence. However, contemporary realities tend to reflect a fulfilment of this pronouncement, nay, curse in most parts of the black continent.
It is important for couples to understand the dynamics of children’s reasoning in order to guide them properly. The intention here is to identify qualities of a child and compare them with certain characters of leaders in most African countries. Kindly pardon the generalisation in this piece, as I must admit that a number of children are exceptionally wise and unique in character.
A child is scarcely ashamed of misdeeds and perceives those who attempt to rebuke or spank him or her as enemies. This is the character of most African leaders. Even in countries that are said to have established democratically elected governments, every criticism, constructive or otherwise, is perceived by government officials as opinion of opposition parties, which must be ignored. In their own estimation, every action of government, including obvious policy blunders and acts of executive foolishness are in the right direction.
Most children are myopic in reasoning and are careless about their future. They hardly see things beyond their immediate desires. If you ask a child to choose between having you buy the child a car, and paying his or her school fees, the child is very likely to choose the former. It is this thoughtlessness and carelessness about the future that has seen a serving Nigerian Senator earn more than the President of the United States of America. Some even buy and maintain expensive private jets in a country where over 20 million people are jobless and majority are living below $1 per day. Over 10 million children of school age are not enrolled in any school. The leaders are not bothered about the generations to come and the future of the country.
Many children are selfish collectors of toys. In most cases, a child wants to have all the gifts and toys to himself or herself and does not care whether or not the next child has any to play with. With no recourse to the level of poverty in most African countries, the leaders embezzle public funds with impunity. Billions of dollars are laundered and starched away in foreign private bank accounts while the masses continue to suffer and die from poverty. Even close relatives of public office holders are victims of their corrupt practices but like selfish children, they see nothing wrong in what they do.
A child has a penchant for wrong decisions because of poverty of the mind. He or she puts the cart before the horse in most cases. It is in Africa that Chief Executives of countries, states, regions or localities assume office before they begin to learn or even prepare for the act of leadership. When they assume office, they throw extravagant parties to celebrate election victory, organize expensive state-sponsored orientation seminars irrespective of the status of the economy they were elected to salvage or improve. They hold wasteful dinners and events as if that is the purpose for which they were elected into office. Nigeria’s President had said at a forum held shortly after the 2011 elections that about two years period was required for a state chief executive to understudy his or her commissioners, after which preparations would commence for the next elections. The President was trying to justify his widely criticized seven-year single term proposal for whoever would occupy the nation’s number one seat.
Poverty of the mind is the best description for a situation whereby a President, Governor or Local Government Chairman solicits for an applause through wasteful media advertorials, for commissioning a project that may never be completed throughout his or her four-year tenure. Besides, if I have to clap for my Governor for building a medical clinic in one of the numerous parts of my state, then I ask, what job was he or her selected to do with ready-made state funds from which he or she is paid regular salaries, including numerous allowances that are most times, not accounted for?
It is poverty of the mind among the leadership that has led to a deliberate destruction of the labours of our heroes past. A number of monuments have been eliminated over the years without replacements, thereby, throwing into disarray, sectors where such structures (some of which were businesses like Nigeria Airways) hitherto served as backbone. Legacies like the National Theatre, National Library and the National Anthem have been left to rot away. Most federal hospitals and universities are no longer what they used to be in terms of equipment and quality of personnel. This is because merit and hard work are increasingly de-emphasized by leaders for materialism to thrive.
A child has no personal opinion on any knotty issue but relies on the counsel of guardians; be they evil or good. There is nothing more stagnating to a nation than to have a leader who has no personal position on most of the priority challenges facing the country. A President or State Governor is not so daft as to require dozens of Special Advisers and Ministers or Commissioners and wait for their counsel on every single issue.
Again, it is amazing to find in this part of the world, leaders who never punish subordinates for misconduct due to fear of favour. How can such a leader ever achieve the primary objectives of government?
Children don’t care about the state of the economy of the family. Once it is morning, they have to take their breakfast. Our “princes eat in the morning” because they do not realize that it is time for work. At a critical time when the country’s leaders are supposed to be working hard to fix the messed economy, they are busy partying; just like children.
MEMORY VERSE: “Woe to thee, O land, when thy king is a child, and thy princes eat in the morning” Ecclesiastes 10:16 (KJV).
1. By the power and blood of the resurrected Jesus, I loose my life from every influence of my leaders’ sins on my destiny in Jesus name. Amen!
2. Oh Lord! Have mercy on my country and give wisdom to the leaders in Jesus name. Amen!
…TO BE CONTINUED (Questions Are Welcome)
For feedback, contact
Deacon ALBINUS CHIEDU
Coordinator, MARRIAGE CAN WORK MINISTRY
P. O. Box, 13188, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria