The name Mandela reverberates every where you go simply because he decided to stake his life for his people via good leadership qualities. He is celebrated because of his contributions to humanity.

Leadership is very important in every sphere of human existence. Wherever leadership is purposeful, functional, determined, selfless and focused, the result is that followers will know and feel the rhythm so much so when leadership fails. In whichever direction you turn, something is majorly wrong with Ika nation. Our nation has leadership problems. We don’t need a soothsayer to tell us that our society has ceased to grow completely. Rather, we are going round and round without a clear vision and direction.

There is an African proverb which says “The head of a newborn child cannot be bent as long as there is an elder in the house”. This is obviously not true in our case, since it is very clear that the elders of Ika nation have jettisoned the ideals our forefathers bequeathed to us. Where are the elders? Where are the leaders of our land? Our society is floundering towards the edge. Do they really care to do something? The quality of life is diminishing by the day. Who and where is that selfless leader who will bring about the positive change to our community?

Many of our people live in abject poverty and misery and no society can be described as progressive when the far greater percentage of its citizens are poor and miserable. The democratic experiment we are currently practicing has not in any way been a blessing to us, rather it has brought numerous problems as poverty, neglect, deceit, falsehood, wickedness, polarization, cultism, rape, misery and insecurity.

Right from the inception of human existence, great men have always arisen to fight and entrench social reforms aimed at reducing long established social and economic disparity in their society. Once of such wise leaders is Nelson Mandela, a world revered African leader who is the exact opposite of what leadership represents here in Ika land.

This is a man who fought the evil system that held nothing good for this people. He fought against the dehumanizing apartheid policy in his home country, South Africa. He never stopped fighting until he won the battle. For 67 years of which he spent in prison, Madiba, as he is fondly called in his Xhosa clan fought white supremacists who treated his people with so much disdain. Even when he was released, many would have expected that Mandela would have seized the opportunity of his election as South African president in 1994 to get even at those who made his life miserable, but he did not do so. As a leader, he put into action, the democratic ideologies he had fought for rather than seek his own pound of flesh.

He made tolerance his watch word and today, he is not only loved by all but revered because he made a mark in good and purposeful leadership. He paid a great prize of leadership by example. He was never tired of doing good. Mandela has been able to build enviable legacies with his admirers say should be emulated by leaders all over the world. Ika nation is in dire need of a man and woman like Mandela. Is there any one out there that has the credentials of Mandela who is prepared to rebuild our shattered nation? Our people are easy to please. All they are asking for is just the basic necessities of life. When in the past so many states and local governments were created, it was, to make life easy and to bring governance nearer to the people. All these efforts have yielded no positive result. The more money is pumped into the provision of social amenities, the more corruption festers. Government polices that are meant to create a just, egalitarian and equitable society is sabotaged by civil servants, political and religious miscreants, contractors and many others who parade themselves as leaders only to take advantage of the gentle nature of our people in Ika land.

Water, which is an essential of life has since stopped running in many homes. Where are the water reservoirs or overhead tanks of yester years? Are they still functioning? No is the answer. The story was different a few years ago when pipes were laid by the government and many families connected water into their homes.

How about the issue of food? Prizes are soaring by the day and nobody is talking about it. Food shortage is imminent. Many families cannot afford three square meals a day and when they do, the word nutritious is alien to them, yet many people have millions of naira stocked away. With many people venturing into farming business, one would have expected that food situation will improve but to the contrary. Government that should have channelled its energy towards this life sustaining sector will only oblige the request of farmers for untenable political excuses. How about the issue of security? We have become a nation under siege.

Not too long ago, Ika land was subdued by dare devil criminal elements for almost one hour when a bank was robbed and no one dared challenge them. Without any difficulty they succeeded in making away with huge amounts of money. It’s so funny, isn’t it? Crime rate is on the rise everyday because of unemployment of youths in the land. Youths now romance with rape, killings, cultism and kidnapping, a wicked manifestation of an “Idle hand and mind”. This is really sacrilegious. Our hospitals have become mere consulting clinics. One of the victims of a recent armed robbery incident, Mr. Kakawa, died because the Hospital could not help him extract bullet and had to be referred to a trado-medical home in Agbor where the man eventually passed away. What a shame!

The education sector is another area where the controlling examination boards, universities, lecturers and students are as culpable in examination malpractices as criminals. No wonder, no Nigerian university could get enlisted in the top 500 universities in the world.  Don’t even mention our road networks. It’s a sorry sight. There are no companies or industries that will absorb our graduate youths. Something is seriously wrong somewhere, something must be done urgently. Our nation needs help.

When Mandela became president in 1994, he embarked on social reforms aimed at reducing social and economic inequality, free health care for all children under the age of six alongside pregnant and breast feeding mothers making use of public sector health facilities, housing reconstruction and development programs, disability grants, child maintenance grants, old age pensions etc.

Even at 95 years, years after retiring from active politics, he still devoted most of this retirement to charitable causes. Through his three foundations, which include Nelson Mandela Foundation, Nelson Mandela Children Fund and Nelson Rhodes Foundation, Madiba is putting smiles on the faces of the downtrodden. Our youths are crying for help. Many have lost hope of the future and that is why they will rather engage in nefarious activities and die. Go out there and get their opinion, many of them have lost steam and vim for life. The strength of any society is the strength of its youths. Our youths are in dire need of direction, support and help.

What can our elders do to bring succour to their lives despite all this torrent of tears, our political representatives and all well meaning people in Ika land are not moved by the suffering of our people. We should not turn blind eyes or ears to their pain. As long as life is going very well for them and with their families, they should be concerned about others. In effect, they should not say “who cares? Our greedy elders and leaders should not act with complete indifference to the plights of our people.

Who will bell the cart? Today we have so many pressure and advocacy group in Ika nation pretending to work for the benefits of our people. Many can only bark but cannot bite. They believe only in rhetorics and no action. Many are existing only in names and are driven to operate this mediocre organization out of greed and avarice.

This is in no way meant to devalue what compassionate people or organizations have done. In fact, any action that properly lessen the suffering of our people will be worthwhile and acknowledged by all.

Our people are in dire need of a messiah like Mandela that will free us from the shackled of political bandits and savagery. Someone in our midst must do something radical, away from convention to address our present challenges. Something urgent need to be done. You and I must not sit on the fence. We must join hands with all like minds in our land by forming true alliances for the eventual release of our people to true freedom and justice. As a group or an individual, whoever will estrange us from the shackles of poverty will be the Mandela of Ika nation. Whoever that person is, well be greatly honoured.