Amidst the chaos and corruption in Nigeria, I strongly believe that there are still those who stand as a beacon of hope. These are the leaders who, despite facing myriad challenges, remain steadfast in their commitment to uplift the nation and its people. Their unwavering dedication serves as a deep contrast to the rampant greed and self-interest that often circulate in the political arena.

Yet, amidst the noble efforts of these few, there exists a pervasive culture of corruption and greed that threatens to undermine the fabric of our society. To those who prioritise personal gain over the welfare of the nation, I implore you to pause and consider the legacy you are crafting. For in the annals of history and in the eyes of a higher power, your actions will be judged not by the wealth you amass, but by the lives you impact and the integrity you uphold. It is never too late to heed the call of conscience and strive for a future where service to others reigns supreme.

When one looks into the realm of politics in Nigeria, one often wonders why people vie for political office.  Is it to serve the nation and its people, or is it simply a means to amass wealth and power? The unfortunate truth is that for many, the latter seems to be the primary motivation. Political office shouldn’t be a luxury or a recreational spot for leisurely pursuits. It is, in essence, an institution designated for diligent work and devoted service. Can we envision a scenario where individuals emerge with a genuine commitment to public welfare, forsaking any allowance associated with governance? Perhaps it is time for a paradigm shift in the remuneration of government officials, redirecting focus from personal enrichment to altruistic service.

It’s no secret that the temptation of political office in Nigeria is often equated with a slice of the proverbial “national cake”; a euphemism for the opportunities to enrich oneself through corrupt practices rather than a genuine desire to serve the public. However, instead of viewing political office as an opportunity to serve slices of this cake to the people, many politicians see it as a chance to devour the cake entirely for themselves. This insatiable greed has fuelled a culture of self-serving leadership rather than one focused on genuine service to the nation.

Imagine if every politician approached their role with the mindset of a servant-leader, dedicated to improving the lives of their constituents rather than lining their own pockets. It would be a transformative shift that could reshape the trajectory of our nation for the better. But the problem doesn’t solely lie with our political leaders; it’s a societal issue as well. We, as citizens, must acknowledge our role in perpetuating this cycle of greed. Just as individuals jostle for a larger portion of food during palliative distribution or communal gatherings, politicians also manoeuvre to secure their interests at the expense of the common good.

Imagine that serving in any political position only guaranteed an allowance equivalent to that of a senior-level civil servant, will the corridors of power still be as crowded with eager contenders? Likely not. This underscores the stark reality that for many. The zeal for political office lies not in the opportunity to serve but in the promise of personal gain. Nigeria’s political leaders are among the highest-paid political office holders globally. Yet, their earnings do not commensurate with the development and progress our nation so desperately needs. It’s time for a paradigm shift; a shift towards leadership that prioritises service over self-interest.

It’s imperative that we look at examples set by individuals like Nelson Mandela, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikwe and a host of others who sacrificed personal gain for the greater good of their nation. These individuals sacrificed their comfort and well-being for the greater good, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire generations. They believe that true greatness lies not in amassing wealth but in leaving a positive and lasting impact on society.

It’s incumbent on political leaders to leave behind a legacy of service and selflessness. What will you be remembered for as a lawmaker, governor, or president? Will you be hailed as a national hero, a servant of the people or a slave to your own greed? Will your name fade into obscurity? Remember, the true rewards of heroism extend beyond this life—they await us in the hereafter. Let us strive to be worthy of such accolades.