BY Roland Danjuma
PRAGMATISM and the will of change are essential virtues needed by anybody who aspires for leadership. This virtue was demonstrated by former United States President, Barrack Obama in his first one hundred days in office.
There were five key industries in the United States that had become comatose. These industries in the automobile and banking sectors employed thousands of workers. But before the advent of Obama, due to various reasons, they ran aground and remained so.
The effect of this, the Americans saw the taking over of their automobile industries by the Japanese and Korean manufacturers, while General Motors, Ford, Chryster etc were like big flight birds, full of life but could not shake a wing.
Then came Obama with a pragmatic approach. Getting assurances from these corporations, that they could deliver if given the necessary help, Obama doled out a whopping five billion dollars as loans to these corporations despite the hue and cry of the press.
Today, nine years later the automobile corporations are fully back on their feet doing pretty well and exporting, never like before their products in fine, in fact breath-taking compact designs.
They are now competing favourably with their Japanese, Korean or any of those master designers of cars in ecstatic shapes and colours. Pragmatism and will power won the Obama regime the accolade.
Again Donald Trump after Obama came up with another strategic pragmatism. He wants to curb the flaring terrorism rampaging the world and to save Americans the pains of tragedies.
The 9/11 devastation has left painful scars that are still sorely in the psychic of Americans. He has introduced some hard even painful and offending measures which have come under global criticism. Trump’s argument is based on refocusing on America.
Donald Trump says he wants to bring back to America all those companies that had moved their investments to China and elsewhere due to high cost of labour and production. As these companies moved abroad, the unemployment level in America also increased, taxes increased, health insurance and mortgages also became huge burdens.
From the US to Britain, the change is of refocusing on self. The Brexit is supposedly for the survival of Great Britain despite what anybody says. Self-preservation is the first law of nature. Now France is thinking Frexit, who knows, Germany, Italy, Spain or who next.
If these super countries can be in retrospect and self-focus, Nigeria government needs to draw the brakes and check out its policy and redirect it to be first and foremost internal; Nigeria first and then the world comes next.
The current policy thrust of Nigeria which is Africa has been consistent since 1976 from the time of Gen. Murtala Muhammed who was slain in cold-blood. This foreign policy thrust has yielded a lot of recognition for Nigeria as Africa BIG BROTHER.
For instance, Nigeria as done much especially in its liberation struggle for many African nations like South Africa and Angola; also in the area of peace-keeping, Nigerian government has done much more than any African nation.
It is estimated that it costs Nigeria roughly six billion dollars to finance peace missions in Liberia and Sierra Leone alone; aside financing ECOMOG with loses incurred on human resources in hundreds of thousands.
The interests that propel America and her ally’s participation differ from Nigeria’s and her companies’ which end up like the hunting dog which is compensated with bones from the game it laboured to catch.
Unlike Nigeria, America and its companies recoup its dollars spent on peace campaigns through contracts of rebuilding such nations. Construction companies as well as human resources management firms are deployed to reconstruct and entrench values typical of America in those nations so that the losses occasioned by participation is nothing compared to gains afterward.
Nigeria’s government should therefore think of its personal interest first, it is logical, it is reasonable and it is sensible.