Abiola Obayomi: Good day everyone. Welcome to Leaderview, my name is Abiola Obayomi. On today’s podcast, we are going to be having an interactive session, it is not going to be the way it used to be. I’m in the studio right now with a brother, can you please introduce yourself?
Listen to Podcast: Why Are Many African Nations Not Led by Their Best Minds, Hands & Hearts?
Francis Apeh: Good day everyone. My name is Francis Apeh and I’m so excited to be in the studio with you.
Abiola Obayomi: So, we want to look at something on national leadership, national transformation. Recently I was thinking about it and I discovered that many African nations, it is just a cursory view of many African nations not being ruled or led by their best. If you look at Nigeria, for instance, Nigeria has one of the best minds in the world. And that is evidenced in many organizations, world organizations where you see Nigerians taking the leadership role and responsibility. But the unfortunate thing is that we have not been able to transform our own dear nation simply because we’ve not really had good people, so to say, best minds, at the helm of affairs of government. What do you think, actually is the problem? I want you to speak to this in the next few seconds. What do you think is the problem? Why are many African nations; why is Nigeria not been led by their best?
Francis Apeh: Thank you very much for that question. And I want to quickly talk about one of the foundational problems that Africans are facing in leadership and it boils down to the fact that we are being ruled and led by leaders who lack political will, leaders who have little or no passion at all, to see to the development of the nation. And the reason why those people are always in the helm of affairs is because those who are qualified, or those who have the capacity, are being passive, because of the fear of being ridiculed, or being rejected.
Abiola Obayomi: Alright! I love the point on political will, because that actually cut across most African nations. You see, if you look at like Nigeria, for example, we will discover that many of the problems that could have been solved in the past that the nation is still facing is as a result of lack of political will. But the point is, how do we get leaders to do the bidding of the people? How do we get leaders to do the bidding of the nation so that we can collectively make progress? Because when I think about Nigeria, most times, I know that Nigeria is not where it’s supposed to be simply because of leadership problems. And the reason also is because we are not being ruled or led by our best.
Sometimes when I look at what many Nigerians are doing in other spheres and across the globe, I discovered that some of these people who are actually moving the world economies, who are moving world organizations, who are Nigerians, why can’t we get them, you know, at the helm of affairs of the nation’s leadership? And I discovered that not just only political will that will get us to that place, it is also the will of the people. What exactly is the will of the people? And I was also thinking also, because if we are looking at leadership, we are also supposed to look at it holistically, what is the will of God?
You know, there is a Scripture I was reading recently, and I just want to read it to us. It talked about God’s involvement in leadership. And I want to read that scripture in Romans chapter 13:1. It says: “Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God. And the authorities that exist are appointed by God. It says, Therefore, whoever resists the authority, resist the ordinance of God.” You know, I was thinking about this statement, and I was also looking at it from this way; is it that we are being ruled or led by our worst simply because the people reject the choice of God?
Because when you reject the choice of God, as leadership is concerned, you are not going to have the best of leadership because you have rejected what God wants for you as a nation. Now, I want you to look at it from that angle, is it that we are not sensitive as a people to understand the will of God concerning leadership? And I want you to speak to this because I know you will love to speak to this part. So why are we ruled or led by our worst? Is it that we reject the choice of God, and then we are being led by the worst of the best of men? I want to speak to this very briefly.
Francis Apeh: Yeah, I love that statement you used talking about sensitivity. Most times, I’ve come to realize that we are actually not sensitive, or we are adamant to the will of God concerning leadership over us and leadership over Africa in general. I remember there was a time Israel wanted a king, and God was explaining His mind to them, and He wanted to select a king for them, but they wanted a king for themselves. And I came to notice and to realize that the reason why Africans have the kind of leadership that they have, is because they simply are being ruled by leaders that are not after God’s heart.
Because when Saul disappointed God, eventually, and Samuel was instructed to go to the house of Jesse, to anoint a new king, which was David, the Bible said that God made a statement and He said, “I have found David, a man after my heart.” So, it means that when we are being led by leaders, who are not delivering as they are supposed to deliver, it is because those leaders are not after God’s heart, and they are not after enthroning God in the leadership and in the helm of affairs.
Abiola Obayomi: Now, I love that point. Because when we reject the choice of God, it means any how, any choice will look like it. And no matter what we do, or try to do, we cannot know more than God, God’s choice will always be the best. If you say you reject the choice of God, then it means you are ready to go by any other choice. Now, I want to quickly put in this in that context as well. One of the things I’ve also realized is that when it comes to the choice of God, the choice of God is always the best, God knows best. God will not give a nation a leader that He Himself know will not bring about the transformation of the people.
Everything that God does, the Bible says is good, and it is beautiful. Now going forward, because very soon Nigeria, for example, is going to be going into another elections. And it is another time for us to get it right as a people who would want to be led by our best and not our supposed best as we have had in the past. What can we do? Let me just ask you this simple question before I also come in, what can we do, going forward, so that we can have the best of God in leadership, especially when it comes to Nigeria? What do you think can be done?
Francis Apeh: I’m so glad that we began by putting the God factor. And one of the things I want us to, to notice and to realize, in a situation, in a time where we are in now that there are so many options being placed in front of us that we are supposed to choose who should lead in the next couple of years. And I would like Africans and Nigerians specifically to be able to decipher, because there are leaders that lack ideologies and philosophies that could be able to transform the state of the nations. And so, one of the things that we would be looking out for are leaders who have the right perception, leaders who have the right ideologies, leaders who have the right philosophies, and that could transform the mindset of the people.
Abiola Obayomi: I love that! We must continue to look forward from now, for leaders who are after God’s heart, if you want to put it that way. Because not all that will be coming out will be the choice of God. Definitely, among those who are vying, who are saying, okay, they’re interested in the job, there will be one or two of them that God will be looking at, and probably have the right heart, you know, for this kind of task. So, what you’re saying, in essence is that see, going forward, we need to bring the God factor into leadership, there is no leadership that does not require God. If you look at that Scripture, it says every authority is ordained by God.
It shows us that God is also interested in this thing called Leadership. Because the Bible says God rules and reigns in the affairs of men, even though it may look as if we don’t see God physically. But it does not mean that He is not interested in what is happening in our lives, in our organizations, and in our nation. So, it is important that we bring God into the leadership factor. And this is where I think many nations in the world are missing it. The God factor in leadership is where many nations of the world today, not only Africa, not only Nigeria, are not getting it right, because if a leader has the heart of God, the mind of God, there are certain things that we see happening in many nations of the world today, that will not be happening. So, that factor is really important. You want to say something to that, right?
Francis Apeh: Yeah. On the flip side of it, I want us to imagine a scenario where the leader does not have the fear of God, but actually appoints people that fear God, because we have seen situations where in the Bible where Pharaoh who is an idol worshiper, even though he was not able to discern the direction in which the nation should go, but he was able to discern and to appoint men, who would be able to take on the proper responsibility, and to face those challenges.
Now we saw people like Daniel in the cabinet of a king, who does not actually know God, per se, let me put it in that context. And then those people were able to lead the nation in the direction that they are supposed to go. We saw people like, like Joseph, who was also able to do that, and so much more than we putting the blames on the government and on the leadership, one of the things that I want the leaders to also note is that who you appoint also matters. Because if you are at the helm of affairs, and you also have a cabinet that are not wise and discreet, there is bound to be issues.
Abiola Obayomi: That’s a beautiful line of thought. Even though the leader may not be so perfect or may not be so wise, but appointing people who are God fearing, who will be able to steer the affairs of the nation even in the right direction, is also very key in this matter. Now, I love that. So, one thing I also want to say even as we begin to round off now is the fact that God is always interested in leadership, God is not aloof, he doesn’t stand aloof when it comes to leadership of nations. And if we are going to overcome this problem of the fact that we are always been ruled and led by our worst, one of the things we must begin to look at is the God factor.
What exactly is God saying per time? What exactly is the direction that God wants every nation to follow when it comes to leadership? And this is very, very important. And this is why people must be sensitive across nations when it comes to leadership, it is not something that is done on the platter of frivolities, it is not something that is done on the platter of emotions, you don’t just attach emotional inclinations towards a particular candidate or a particular leader, it has to be as the Lord leads. Because when you bring God into a situation, what you are simply saying is God, we are helpless in this situation, please step in, and help us to be able to do this. And how does God do that? He does that through leadership.
So, God is interested in leadership. And if we’re going to make it right, with leadership in many African nations, and in Nigeria, as well, it means that we have to bring the God factor into some of these conversations. And I love what we’ve been able to talk about today as regarding this matter, It is not going to stop here, I believe subsequently, we’ll still be looking at some of these fundamental problems that has to do with leadership across nations of the world, and as it has to do with Nigeria, specifically, even as we go into the next election.
Thank you very much for coming into this studio with me today, Francis Abba. I believe you’ve had a great time. And as many of us that listening across the globe, we want to thank you for listening to us. Next week is another time on Leaderview, make it a date and you will not be disappointed.
God bless you.
[Centre for New Dimension Leadership]