From the reign of terror that characterized Liberia’s President, Charles Taylor; Equatorial Guinea’s President, Francisco Macias Nguema; Libya’s late Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Somalia’s late Siad Barre, and Ethopia’s Mengistu, who were forcefully ousted for bad leadership, to story of good leadership epitomised by Somalia’s president, Aden Abdallah Daar, Senegal’s Leopold Sedar Senghor; Tanzania’s Julius Kambarage Nyerere; Mali’s Alpha Oumar Konare; Botswana’s Festus Contabebanye Mogae and Mozambique’s Joaquim Alberto Chissano, Finishing Well: Passion for Leadership Excellence written by Ibrahim Bamaiyi Maigida reels with the chequered history of Africa’s misfortunes.
The author attributes the rudderless leadership in Africa to lack of vision, which is “the Grace of seeing tomorrow today; Learning, which is learning to live and living to learn; Love, which is loving as we lead: Passion —a vital factor to genuine success and commitment to excellence, intelligent planning and focused effort; Sacrifice — ability to forfeit one or more professional or personal advantages for the sake of followers and; Mentoring — ability to nurture the next generation of leaders and deliberately handing over to them.
The book is divided into nine chapters. While chapter one gives an overview of the objective of the book, chapters two up to chapter seven detail the qualities that the author considers to be the requirements for good leadership that could leave a legacy. Leaving a positive legacy is the outcome of excellent leadership. Such is leadership that finishes well.
Chapter eight addresses the challenges of overcoming dictatorial regimes in Africa. It also hammered on good governance, unity, peaceful and all-round national development and; free and transparent political activities as the sure best way to deal with those challenges. In chapter nine, the author deals with democracy in Africa, the one-party system that became the fashion of dictators, autocrats, and the growth of multiparty system.
The author also profiles 34 leaders from different fields that he judged to have finished well based on the criteria of love, passion, sacrifice, mentoring, learning and vision.
The 522-page book is a valuable addition to the narratives on African history and the question of leadership. It is a call to leaders in African countries such as Nigeria which since independence has witnessed unprecedented backwardness, penury and poverty, and now regarded as the poverty capital of the world, to demonstrate that they love their people and are passionate about their well-being by implementing people-oriented policies and programmes. For too long, African countries have had to go cap in hand to foreign countries for Aids. For so long the African continent has been a dumping ground for second goods and expired drugs. It is time for a reset of the button of purposeful leadership that takes into account first and foremost, the value of the African humanity and authenticity. Here is Maigadi’s painful cry for a visionary leadership that will lift Africa and her peoples from the neo-colonial slavery in poverty in the midst of stupendous natural and human resources.
The author, Maigida, was a teacher for 17 years before he joined the pastoral ministry. His background in education and a clergy has given him a broad experience. He currently serves as a pastor and father of two. Finishing Well is his second book