Leadership, Human Rights
A Paper Presented At
Youths Week Celebration
St. Mark’s Catholic Church,
The Man Who Saw God Face To Face
Raphael Okechukwu Nweze
This paper has been subdivided into the following parts:
- Necessary Corrections for the Youths
- Divine Messages Concerning the Youths
- Leadership in the Life of Man
- Human Rights
- Crisis Management
- Recognise The Difference Between The Age Of Freedom And Age Of Responsibility
Two special stages in the life of a youth is the Age of Freedom and Age of Responsibility. Age of Freedom is from 0 to 18 years, and Age of Responsibility is 18 years upwards. During the age of freedom, a child is not asked to perform very important tasks. He only runs errand, and perform minor domestic duties. He may be idle from morning till evening, or keep himself busy by playing games.
But as from 18 years and above, he is considered responsible to perform very important tasks and is held accountable for his bad conducts, omissions, commissions, negligence, etc. He is expected to:
- Behave like an adult, though he is not yet one.
- Remain at duty post from the start time to closing time.
- Perform duties expected of him or assigned to him.
- Go to jail if he commits a serious offence.
- Give comprehensive reports of his duties.
- Give comprehensive accounts of finances and properties entrusted into his care.
However, the general trend is that majority of the youths who have attained the age of responsibility still behave like those who are still in the age of freedom. They disobey instructions, neglect duties, and are incompetent, and still expect not to be punished. They do not willingly, readily and happily, perform duties assigned to them.
The advice is that youths should know that they have passed the age of freedom, and is now in the age of responsibility. Therefore, they should willingly, readily and happily, perform duties with commitment.
- Avoid Unnecessary Hurry
Why is it that the youths are always in a hurry? In a hurry to make money; impatient to become wealthy; everybody wants to complete a task or project overnight.
Youths should understand that unnecessary hurry is a sign of ignorance, immaturity and inexperience. Every youth should first settle down and make a plan, and then follow up their visions according to policies and procedures.
- Wrong Approach To Successfulness
Most of the youths want to start big. They want to live like a president, governor, executive, managing director, etc. They want to be heads of conglomerates (group of companies or multinationals). They prefer to live like their role models. They tend to start downwards, instead of staring from the ground upwards.
The truth is that life, nature and maturity require that we start, develop and learn upwards in life. In whatever you do, you should first complete step 1 before moving to step 2, and not the reverse. By so doing, man gains knowledge, experience, wisdom, understanding, insight, foresight and skill. Hence, every youth should be happy to start as a junior officer so that he can learn from the experts, and gain mastery.
- Delays On An Errand
The carefree attitude with which the youths run errand is both embarrassing and worrisome. They delay errands by engaging in frivolities (irrelevancies). While on errand, they would stop to play with a friend for a long time, wastes so much time joking, or easily divert from set tasks.
- Video maniac
Home videos are meant for relaxation and entertainment after the day’s work. The ugly and unfortunate thing however, is that youth spend most of their time watching video films. At the same time, they know little or nothing about current affairs in the society, and cannot easily suggest intelligent solutions to everyday problems and concerns. Little or no time is devoted to gainful activities, learning or creativity. Thus, youths waste their potentials which ought to be developed, waste their future and fortune, and miss useful opportunities.
- Loss Of Auditory Function
Reports show that more and more of the American youths are losing their ability to hear (becoming deaf). This is not surprising; because of the way youths play music, ‘bombarding’ their ears with loud music, even in a noisy environment. Drivers have also joined in the practice, adding booming music sounds to the traffic noise they encounter everyday. Youths should know that the enjoyment of music is derived from the melody, and not from the loudness.
More and more of the women are becoming obese. This is not a good development. There is the need for the youths to watch their weight, moderate what they eat, and develop the habit of exercise. In addition, it is necessary for the youths, especially the girls, to study Basic Health Science, Homec or Food and Nutrition.
- Overdose of Carbohydrates
Youths tend to consume a lot of sugary substances, carbohydrates, beverages, mineral drinks, juice, malt, cakes, snacks, etc. That is to say that youths feed on unbalanced diet. Therefore, youths should:
a. Reduce the amount of sugary substances consumed.
b. Eat less of red meat.
c. Eat more of fruits and vegetables.
d. Eat more of nuts.
- Wizard or Expert
Often, people use the word ‘wizard’ to qualify a person who is an expert. They may say that, “Obi is a computer wizard.” The word ‘wizard’ is not good for qualifying Christians. Alternative words that can be used are: talented, gifted, master, mastery, inspired, experienced, seasoned or genius.
In the course of preparing for the youth week, I engaged in serious prayers, and had the following revelations/visions.
- Youths who have lost hope.
These youths now see life as being hopeless. Education has failed some, many lacked skills, there is no money to solve everyday problems, some youths find themselves in unexpected situations, while some have been abandoned by their relations, who suppose to help them.
- Youths who have lost their light and are in bondage.
These youths lost Holy Spirit, and some offended their Guardian Angels. Some others have lost their talents, which they knew they had before. Talents include skills, success in business, spirit of understanding, ability to see vision etc.
- Bread made of milk and honey, which is being eaten by cockroach.
The bread means destiny, good fortune, etc. The Cockroach simply means evil spirits which are misleading people into evil ways, and hindering their success, prosperity and fortune.
- Cold and dull bitter leaf soup.
This vision means that some youths are not agile; some are not responsive enough; some have nothing to interest or inspire them, while some are not ready to change or improve.
- What of those who want to marry?
While the vision lasted, one girl came forward from the back seat and asked, “What of those who want to marry?” Answer : God will provide.
- Black pit.
Pit means death. Youth should pray against death.
- An Angel in the midst of the youths
The Angel means that God is ready to solve the problems of the youths, to heal, to enlighten, to prosper, to bless, to empower, etc.
All youths should use the following Psalms to pray in the morning, night and midnight; at least for seven days: Psalm 103, 104, 107 130 and 24.
Ask God for your needs. A wise youth should continue the prayer every Sunday, after mass. (Midnight prayer is very powerful. Midnight is the most spiritual period; it is also the ‘battle field’ in which to confront and defeat the forces of darkness. Midnight is also the time of restoration, and that is why you are refreshed every morning.”)
Meaning Of Leadership
Leadership means to teach, to direct and to supervise. Where the subjects are uneducated, avoidable problems tend to abound. It is not enough for leaders to give directives. Leadership has to supervise activities to ensure efficiency and productivity.
The best leadership is leadership by example, because action speaks louder than words.
Leadership As A Responsibility
Man was created to be a leader, a king and a caretaker. He was given dominion over nature, to conquer, to manage, to sustain and to improve. Therefore, man cannot avoid being in leadership position, however well he tries to avoid it.
He is born to be a leader at home, in the offices, in organisations, at gatherings, etc. This is true at local, state, national and international engagements.
Qualities Of A Good Leader
- Good Followership
To be a good leader, a person must be a good follower.
- Sense of Initiative
A good leader should be able to initiate (start and organise) gainful activities that lead to success and progress of an organisation. He should be able to do this without being told, reminded, persuaded, forced or rewarded.
- Sense of Responsibility
A good leader has a high sense of responsibility. He does not play with his duties and obligations. He performs his functions at the right time, in the right place, following laid down policies and procedures.
- Good Human Relations
A good leader is polite and respectful. He does not abuse people or cause confusion, discrimination or enmity.
- Good Public Speaking Ability
To be a good leader, every youth should develop good public speaking ability. This is because much of the leadership functions are carried out through conversation, instructions, commands, dialogue, etc. It is not encouraging that several youths cannot stand and address a gathering.
- Patience and Perseverance
Every youth has to develope the habit of patience and diligence. A good leader is not easily discouraged or misguided. Unfortunately, today’s youths do not want to be guided. They are impatient. They are always in a haste to make money, name or wealth, and to become famous. Each youth should learn from Moses, who served Jethro for about 40 years; from Jacob, who served Laban for 14 years; from Joseph, who was a slave for over 10 years; and from David, who ascended to the throne 25 years after he was made a king. Behind every successful leader are many years of training and labour. Truly, it is far better to be a servant than to be a master, who does not serve others.
MEANING OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Human rights are the basic universal rights of a person, which have to be respected, upheld and defended by every other person. The human rights are not to be tampered with by any person, group, organization or government.
The human rights include the following:
- The right to life
- The right to personal liberty (free will and free choice)
- The right to private life
- The right to family life
- Freedom of worship
- Freedom of association
- Freedom of expression
- Freedom of movement
- Freedom of peaceful assembly
- Freedom from discrimination
- Freedom of democratic participation
- Right to socialisation (education)
- Right to equal opportunity
- Freedom from man’s inhumanity to man
- Freedom from slavery
- Freedom from abuse
- Freedom from unlawful detention
- Freedom from deprivation
- Freedom of access to law court(justice)
- + Right to sustainable development (added by the author)
SAMPLE CASES OF ABUSE
- “75 Per Cent Of Prisoners Are Innocent,”
according to Legal Practitioner and Human Rights Activist, Gabriel Aig Giwa-Amu, Also, “The duty to release people from custody has been tasking, because sometime they are left there, not because they don’t have the means, but because they do not understand the language of the court. Some of them have the means and know the language of the court but do not know the procedure. Some do not even have any of these.” (The Source Magazine, July 4, 2011 Vol. 29 No 11 P.6)
- Numerous Police Checkpoints On The Main Roads.
- Making laws and enforcing the same, without due public enlightenment.
Majority of the masses are unaware of the proceedings of the legislature (state and national House of Assembly and/or House of Representatives). Adequate efforts are not made to enlighten the populace on the constitutions, laws, bills and acts of Nigeria. Therefore, many are cut unawares, ignorant of existing laws for which they are being molested, prosecuted or punished.
- Ambiguous Legal Statements
Most of the legal documents are written in technical terms which end up confusing the masses, instead of enlightening them. The judiciary must emulate the God Almighty, who despite His Supremacy, states his laws in very simple and clear terms. Simplification of legal statements is now a necessity in the society, for the good of all. Legal education is the first step in crime prevention.
- Preferential Treatment
In Nigeria, VIPs are given little or no punishment for committing the same crime for which the ordinary citizen is severely punished. There is the culture of impunity. For example, an ordinary man is jailed 5 years for stealing N10, 000, whereas the VIP is given only 6 months jail term for embezzling and guzzling millions and billions of public funds.
- The Problem Of Executive Immunity
In Nigeria, the corrupt public officers are welcome, enthroned, honoured and defended by the law of immunity while they are busy stealing public funds and thereby impoverishing the majority. The immunity clause prevents persons or groups from challenging the erring officer. By the time the officer is out of office, it becomes impossible to recover the stolen wealth.
- Independence Of Utility Companies
Laws and acts establishing utility companies sometimes make it impossible to challenge or prosecute erring officers. This is the reason why things are getting worse.
- Self-Inflicted Harassment And Vulnerability
Generally, citizens do not cultivate the habit of reading and writing. Therefore, they make themselves easily harassed, embarrassed by or cut in the net of the law enforcement agents.
MEANING OF CRISIS MANAGEMENT
Crisis or violence management means responsible approach in reaction to unpleasant situations and developments.
CONSTRUCTIVE AND DESTRUCTIVE APPROACHES
The wise ones adopt constructive approach in reaction to bad situations. The approach is patient investigation, guided by wisdom and understanding. On the other hand, the inexperienced or evil ones adopt destructive approach. Destructive approach is full of impatience, violence, crisis and destruction.
THINGS YOUTHS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT VIOLENCE MANAGEMENT
- Youths must not overreact to unpleasant situations
- A good and responsible person should not react more than his leader.
- Youths must avoid destruction of lives and properties. Life is indispensable, and people labour for years and generations to acquire wealth. Such wealth should not be destroyed in a minute in the name of crisis, violence or reaction.
- Everybody should play the role of a peace maker. This will help step down family crisis, divorce rates, societal abuses, etc.
- Bad socio-economic situation are not reasons why a person should engage in crime of any sort.
- It is foolishness to be bribed to attack innocent citizens.
- Most of the socio-economic problems are caused by corruption. As such, everybody has to join in the fight against corruption.
- Youths should develop the habit of reading and writing.
- Make yourself a prayer warrior.
You are not battling against ordinary human beings. You are battling against the forces of darkness: evil spirit, mermaids, witches and cultists. You either pull them down or they destroy your life and fortune. Youths must use righteousness and prayer to pull down the strongholds of wickedness. Pull them down. You can.
- Know your rights.
You must read wide to have knowledge. Thereby, you will know your rights, and be able to defend them.
- Be proactive.
Do not continue to wait. Set task for yourself and accomplish the same. Find ways to solve people’s problems. That is the only way to prosper yourself. That is what made Microsoft, Google and Facebook popular.
- Make name first.
A good name is better than money and wealth. When you make a good name, the good name will bring so many customers and clients to your business.
- Seek advice.
Seek advice from experienced people, experts and enlightened ones. Avoid the habit of listening to your fellow youths who are inexperienced and who give you bad advice.
- Avoid Evil.
The endpoint of evil is self-destruction. In doing so, it also destroys whoever it uses as an agent. That is what happened to Judas, Haman, Pharaoh, Sannechrib, Absalom, etc.
- Avoid Forgery.
The forgery of certificates and results is very common in Nigeria. Those who do it shall regret in future. With so many computerization and registrations going on in Nigeria, many of those who forge documents shall regret doing so. They will also put themselves into many problems and hindrances.
- You must help fight corruption.
Corruption is an evil. If you do not prevent it, it will plunge the entire nation into economic hardship. Already, this is happening in Nigeria and people are suffering poverty, infrastructure decay, power failure, falling standard of education, etc. Join in the fight against evil.