There is a high demand for quality leadership all over the world. Every day, governments of nations, organizations, businesses, industries and big institutions are searching for responsive, result driven and people centered leadership.
One of the greatest challenges of humanity today is leadership, so much funds are being expended by nations of the world periodically, all in a bid to seek quality leadership. And so, wherever and whoever that one man is who possesses the leadership traits that the people seek, all other primordial factors are readily disregarded just to have and keep that fellow in leadership corridor.
Leaders who place prominence on the wellbeing of their subjects are overly scarce in the 21st century leadership space and this comes with a whole host of implications in the sociopolitical and economic wellbeing of the masses.
The shortfall in the highly sought-after leadership characteristics where a leader understands and appreciates the fact that the people are at the receiving end of both the triumph and crisis that accompany leadership delivery, is a global trend, and Nigeria particularly Kogi West senatorial District is not and cannot be an exception.
For more than sixteen years the people of Kogi West have been searching for a responsive, people-oriented representation in the Upper chamber of the National Assembly. There is a great need today and prayers are sent to heaven daily for that man or woman who will salvage the situation. Kogi Westerners are not content to settle for the status quo. They are searching for excellence with integrity and character.
As I pondered on the scruffy situation, desperately looking out for where to withdraw inspiration to drive home my point, I recalled a befitting story narrated by Russel Cornwell in one of his numerous essays. The story contains enormous motivations for the great people of Kogi West as to where and how to find that great leader that is capable of altering the narratives positively and for the benefits of all. It was an awe-inspiring story of an old city in Northern India and we must pay rapt attention so that we don’t miss or twist the message it contains.
As related by Cornwell, when an old king who ruled one old and sacred city in Northern India died, he had no heirs nor relatives to inherit the throne. The people believing in the divine rights of kings, were unwilling to accept any person to rule them who was not born in the royal line. They spent so many years searching for successor, maybe the late king had some relatives somewhere that they are unaware of.
Eventually, the people sank into anarchy, business ceased, famine spread all over the land.
Seeking for a replacement of their late king, after twelve years of searching in futility the afflicted people called on the astrologers and their priests—to find a king! Leadership is a very serious business as we already know.
The astrologers who worship the stars met in the throne room, consulting their charts, asked the stars: “Where can we find a successor to our king?” “Look up and down your country, and when you find a man whom the animals follow, the sun serves, the waters obey, and mankind love, you don’t need to ask who his ancestors were. The stars replied. This man will be one of the royal lines entitled to the throne of gold and the Crown of Silver.” The stars further explained.
The astrologers dispersed and began to ask of the people: “Have you seen a man whom the animals follow, the sun serves, the waters obey, and mankind love?” As the search continued, everywhere the astrologers went they met ridicule.
At last, in his travels, one gray astrologer found his way into the depths of the Himalaya Mountains. He was overwhelmed by a December storm and sought shelter in a hunter’s lodge on the side of a mountain. In the night, as the old astrologer could not sleep, he was weeping for his suffering and dying people, he suddenly heard the howl of a wild beast down the valley. He listened as it drew nearer. He detected “the purr of the hyena, the hiss of the tiger, and the howl of the wolf.” In fear of danger, he rose up to close the window. While he stood up by the window he saw the silhouette of his host, the hunter, as he approached the door as though he was about to open it and go out. The astrologer leaped forward, and whispered in fear “Don’t open that door! There are tigers, panthers, hyenas, and wolves out there.” The hunter replied. “Lie down, my friend, in peace. These are my acquaintances.” He flung open the door and tiger, panther, hyena, and wolf walked in. Going to the conner of his hut, the hunter took down some grass, dried weeds which he had gathered because he had noticed that those weeds were antidotes for poisoned wild animals. When he opened the door, they followed him to the conner of the hut, fed on the grasses and left in peace. Then the hunter closed the door after the last one, and went to bed as though nothing remarkable had happened.
When the old, terrified astrologer laid down on the rug after the animals left, he said to himself, “The animals follow him,” and then he remembered the message of the stars and said, “It may be this hunter is the king,” but on second thought he said, “Oh no; he is not a king. How would this tattered and ignorant hunter look on a throne of gold and wearing a Crown of Silver, this dirty man of the mountains? No, he is not my king!” He retorted.
On another occasion, the sun lit the fire of the shabby hunter. Another time, when the highly educated astrologer wanted water to drink, he asked the hunter and the hunter showed him the direction to the stream but he could not drink the water because it was muddy. He went back and complained about the bad condition of the water, the hunter then followed him and made the spring clean. “Oh, he is not the king; for how would I look with all my inherited nobility, with all my wealth, cultivation, and education, as an ordinary citizen of a kingdom ruled by this ignorant fellow? The old astrologer continued to revolt in his spirit even when all the conditions as required by the stars were met. Until one day, the astrologer followed the hunter to the plains to catch up with the people. To his surprise the poor and tattered hunter was received and celebrated with great admiration by the people, some even kissed and embraced him because he had dug a well for them in that community.
When the astrologer saw that mankind loved him, all four conditions were filled. He fell upon his knees, took the worn hand of the hunter, looked up into his scarred face, and said “You are a king born in the royal line. The stars told us that when we found a man whom the animals followed, the sun served, the waters obeyed, and mankind loved, he would be the heir entitled to the throne, and you are the man!” The hunter replied: “How could I rule a nation, knowing nothing about law? I never studied law!” Then the astrologer cut short the whole discussion, proceeded to his country to announce to them that he had found the heir to the throne. The hunter was decorated and made the king of that great city.
This story is full of illustrative forces and clear instructions on what parameters should be met for anyone who desires to lead not only in Kogi West but anywhere in the world and wherever quality leadership matters. That individual, like Hon. Sunday Steve Karimi, must be loved and accepted by God and by man.
The first lesson to take home from the story, however, is that service to humanity, no matter how little it may look, is the irrefutable principle of great leadership.
The morals in the story of that shabby, unlettered hunter did not only send the people of Kogi West a hint on who should represent them in the allowed chamber of the federal republic of Nigeria come 2023, it also points us to the unnoticed leadership qualities of Hon. Sunday Steve Karimi .
Jus like Hon. Karimi, the hunter has a burning desire for service to humanity, he loves his people, he is selfless and always ready to offer solutions to any kind of problems around him regardless of who it will benefit-be it a friend or a foe.
Empathy is a key ingredient of leadership, the ability of a leader to practically show to his people that he feels their pain and understands their plights. Hon. Sunday Steve Karimi is blessed with this trait in abundance and in all honesty, he should be given the opportunity to represent us in the Senate come 2023.
The delegates have amplified the voices of heaven by voting for Hon. Sunday Karimi in the just concluded Primary elections. All aggrieved parties should join their forces with that of heaven and work for the victory of Hon. Karimi in 2023.
Kogi Westerners must follow his election to the red chamber to decisive and victorious end come 2023.
The sure-fire antidote to poor leadership delivery in our constituency begins by embracing these fundamental principles exhibited by Hon. Sunday Steve Karimi. He is not only fit and capable to represent us, he is morally and intellectually sound for the position. Giving him the privilege to represent us as our Senator come 2023, is yielding to the great plans of the almighty God for our people in this political time.
The excellence, integrity and character that we hunt for for so many years like the astrologers, is with us. Hon. Sunday Karimi is fit for the throne of gold and the Crown of Silver.