Is election 2015 an empty ritual or a serious attempt to develop a better and sustainable Nigeria? Gladiators are noisy, spending is high, drama queens and kings are in town and propaganda machines are on fire! The question however is: how committed are parties and candidates to innovative and inclusive growth that puts people at the centre of development?
“We will cross that bridge when we get into office” is the lazy politician’s answer. It is also the position of 21st century dinosaurs! GOING DIGITAL – whether for CHANGE or TRANSFORMATION – is nothing but an empty catch phrase without challenging vote seekers on how they will go past the present romanticization of massive tech consumption (biggest market of the fastest growing consumers). Aren’t we tired of sacrificing meaningful discussions about the potential and future of Nigeria on the altar of pathetic mudslinging and violent clowning? Let the main issue be the main issue!!! If we are to create the Nigeria of our dreams, we must elect Innovative Visionaries.
Continuing from “Electing 21st Century Dinosaurs or Innovative Visionaries: Tech Sector -3” discussions, we move to:
The Leadership Question
21st century leaders have real passion for employing the game changing nature and ability of IT to drive development. Just as the IT industry and profession must press forward with advocacy efforts, we must also encourage innovative visionaries, those who are competent and strong willed enough to make ICT a big issue in the political debate.
Discourse about the nature of the sector, challenges faced by practitioners and similar issues are often restricted to the tech realm and consigned to the fringes of public discourse. Further illustration of this is seen in the non representation of the sector in the 2014 national conference. There is a need to bring such conversations center stage. It is both realistic and right to change paradigms and disrespect status quo. Most especially in a developing country with the need to create jobs and expand sources of income nationally on a massive scale.
Loud sloganeering is not a leadership strategy
Those who must lead require depth not just volume. In the constantly changing world, leaders need to have the ability to adapt as the digital climate changes. Possession of the capacity for creativity in policy making and regulation is also crucial. What is beyond argument is that innovative leadership qualities include character and authenticity in commitment to the cause. For example, while the policy of attracting foreign investments is positive and should be continued, those with thinking in the right place will most definitely not sell out the sector to foreign Goliaths.
It is easy for voters to be swayed by the usual election razzmatazz and personality dramas. The election’s real value however is in the asking of questions, raising of the issues and getting commitments about the future of our society. The challenges of making growth inclusive and improving overall quality of life are the reality.
So, as the electorate prepares to vote, they must beware of complacent acceptance of the old order. More ambition and audacity will bring the big question of technology in society into politics. It is essential that Nigerians support and encourage credible politicians with innovative vision at all levels (local, state and national). Electing a pack of dinosaurs out of tune with modern day needs and realities is developmental suicide.
Wise and peaceful voting to all Nigerians!
Innovation and Development Advisor, ICT
“Technology matters, but it is always about PEOPLE”