Responsible citizens beget responsible leaders | © Fola Daniel Adelesi

What we have as leaders in our countries will always reflect the kinds of people within our society. The person who is the arrow head may not necessarily be the representation of most of the people but the bitter truth is that he or she is still from within that system. So if we must have the right leaders, it is very important to have the right systems beginning with the citizens.
We cannot always think that the problem will be solved when our leaders change. I understand how important change in leadership is. However, we can continue to change leaders and still not change the issue that is bringing in irresponsible leaders.
The people we call leaders today are those who left our schools, families, communities, churches, mosques and other smaller groups. We saw them and knew what they could do. We heard them and also noted that they had nothing to offer. We were in a position to influence or to correct them but did nothing about that and we are suddenly shocked that they became leaders and there seems to be nothing we can do about that.
We have to be responsible citizens before we can produce responsible leaders. When we begin with ourselves and we do things right in our sphere of influence, we can change a lot. For instance, when I drive you dare not throw things out of the window while in my car. This may not be strange to you in your country but it is common place where I am. You will find even the supposedly educated ones doing that.
In some small gatherings I hear young people talk about how they wish to rise to a position of authority so that they can steal from the office. The people listening to them will laugh about it rather than correct them. Sometimes they even have adults listening to them and they do nothing. I have heard some leaders in major groups who should change the minds of the people through thorough orientation but they are the ones compounding the problems the people have in their minds.
How responsible are you? now when I use that word responsible I am not talking about being gentle, staying away from smoking and so many other bad habits. I don’t mean just paying your bills when due and taking care of your family. I am looking at taking responsibility for the destiny of this nation.
Many followers or citizens think that the destiny of this nation is not in their hands or that they may not have much to say as far as this nation is concerned. Imagine every one of us in a family system. From the start of your life till you reach maybe the age of 30, you would have had the opportunity to at least influence one hundred (100) people in one way or the other. What can of influence did you give them?
How do you do things for others to see or what example are you showing? When you drive with the kids in the car how do you drive? Remember you are showing the child that by default this is how to drive. When you talk in public and also address other people how do you talk? Do you walk into shopping malls and jump the queues in front of you?
Are you punctual to meetings as expected and do you do all that is required of you in your places of work? Have you not become nonchalant just because your employer is the government and it will be hard to lay you off? So you don’t really work and you still get paid.
On different occasions I have said that we can change the leaders that we have but for that to happen it must begin with those of us who are in the system. And the only way to do it is to be responsible citizens. When I am a responsible citizen and you are, very soon it will not be difficult to choose the right leaders.
When you don’t break the law and think about paying your way out, we will not have to be worried about big men committing heinous crimes and compromising the judiciary to get away with it. It is not just about the man at the top. It start with you and I. when we fix ourselves, we will soon see a reflection at the top.
Let you and I be responsible citizens and our headaches for responsible leaders will soon be history.

Fola Daniel Adelesi
Edible Pen.
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