Our leaders for where? Our brotherly jailers they are!

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our leaders, our brotherly jailers

A group of robbers, armed with heavy guns and bombers, attacked and took control of a rich, but quiet town. When they had subdued the town, they ordered all the people to submit their bags of treasure at a designated spot. The invaders then constructed several prison rooms to house the villagers and to hold them from taking back their bags. In order to elicit compliance of the imprisoned villagers, the robbers appointed individuals from among the imprisoned villagers to control the others and to guard the bags of treasure. These newly-appointed and indigenous prison warders became the brotherly jailers who obtain prisoners’ food-ration from the plunderers of their treasures.

After sometime the plunderers discovered that it was easier to use indigenes as jailers to control the others. So, they decided to also assign the indigenous jailers with the task of overseeing their people’s seized bags of treasure. Thus, the brotherly jailers’ positions replaced the roles of the invaders, who still demand treasures from the people’s bags of treasure. Hence, whoever took over the position continues with the task of shielding the people from their bags of treasure. In order to present their roles in a less-horrible view, the brotherly jailers adopted the tag of leaders, and a method of rotating the jailers’ positions, so that the people can have the opportunity to choose their jailer.

“I’m in chains, you’re in chains too;

I wear uniforms and you wear uniforms too;

I’m a prisoner, you’re a prisoner too Mr Jailer;

I have fears you have fears too
I will die, you sef go die too… I am talking to you jailer, stop calling me a prisoner.”[1]


A leader is one who knows the way, moves through the way and motivates others to follow the way.[2] In other words, a leader has a vision about a good end, takes the actions that will result in that good end, organizes and motivates others towards the good end. Because he has demonstrated the ability to motivate and lead others to their desirable end, the others trust him.

The confidence in a person’s or institutions’ ability to lead others to a desired goal makes the people to submit to the person or institution. This free acceptance and submission to the direction of a person or institution is known as legitimacy.[3] And legitimacy is the foundation of true leadership, signifying the trust between the leader and the led.[4]


The goal of the society is self-actualization of the members and sustenance of the society in peace and progress.[5] This goal is obtained by the free collaboration of members of the society in utilizing their available resources for producing what they need. Hence, a good leader is one who is able to influence members of the society to collaborate in utilizing their available resources to produce what they need.

workable social structure
Arrangement for workable social structure

impose peace and unity in Nigeria

When the condition of legitimacy and goal of collaborative productivity for common good are lacking in a social relationship, what remains is a jail. Nigeria exemplifies the invaded community which was converted to a jail, where people were forced to submit their treasures.[6][7][8] The invasion of the colonialists left a serious mark on the African psyche, and has been expanded in Nigeria. The colonial masters forcefully took away the different communities’ access to their resources and vested it in a central body for exploitation. [9] They eventually formed a brotherly jailer form of government to sustain the confiscation of peoples’ access to their resources.


Today, the prisoners – euphemized as citizens – are allowed to choose a new jailer who promises to treat them better. The new jailers take charge of supplying their people’s treasure to their initial invaders in exchange for luxury materials. Despite the material advantages, they are all prisoners, as long as they sustain the system imposed by the initial invaders. Having been intoxicated by the benefits coming from being a jailer, the brotherly jailers continue to fight to retain the position.

census in Nigeria

Presently, Nigerian government appears empty in any form of moral authority or legitimacy. They dish out orders and directives that will never be observed by the citizens except by force of gun. They suppress the citizens beyond basic human limit, such that citizens lose their minds and reasoning. They eventually bait the starved citizens, sorry prisoners, with little gifts for votes and recognition.


  • A possible way for Nigerian government to obtain legitimate and moral authority is to seek the free agreement of the ethnic communities. This is because the ethnic communities are the true and natural custodians of the people’s wellbeing, cultures and traditions.
  • The second step is to return the resource ownership to their original owners, who are the ethnic communities. That is how power gets back to the people, and from there, different ethnic communities will merge based on trust and affinity for higher collaboration and productivity.


Presently, the different ethnic communities in Nigeria seem willing to collaborate for productivity and common good. Many of them are tired of watching their young people waste and die in poverty, illiteracy, hunger and unemployment. However, the Nigerian government, which represents the brotherly jailers, are unwilling to cede the jailers role of selling peoples’ resources.[10] Until they obtain the free agreement between ethnic communities, and return the peoples’ right to their resources, the Nigerian government may never become leaders. They only remain brotherly jailers who resort to military force for extorting the people’s resources and compliance.


[1] Asa, Jailer. https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/asa/jailer.html

[2] Professor Otito Agulanna, Bioethics lecture, department of Surgery, University college Hospital, University of Ibadan

[3] Cf. Ayn Rand, The Nature of Government, https://campus.aynrand.org/works/1963/12/01/the-nature-of-government/page2

[4] Cf. Ayn Rand, The Nature of Government, https://campus.aynrand.org/works/1963/12/01/the-nature-of-government/page2

[5] Cf. Aristotle, Politics, Book 1, part 1

[6] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 2

[7] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 2, paragraph 1

[8] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 3

[9] Ogban Ogban-Iyan, Re-inventing Nigeria through Pre-colonial traditions, in Issues in contemporary political economy of Nigeria, (ed.) Hassan A. Saliu. (Ilorin, Sally & Associates, 1999). P77

[10] Vanguard, Constitutional amendment: The four critical clauses that failed in the senate, Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/07/constitutional-amendment-four-critical-clauses-failed-senate/