Authors: Okorie Ndukaku
A philosophical look through the history of ideas will reveal the importance of morals to leadership. As a matter of fact, morals and morality pervade every aspect of human life. Encompassing and successful leadership is not possible without a good sense of morals. One of the ways of cultivating moral values or virtues is through moral education, with special emphasis on ‘character’ (character education). This is because education without character is counter-productive. Nigeria as a nation, since its amalgamation in 1914 and subsequent independence in 1960, has witnessed a series of leadership crises at different levels. To many Nigerians, virtually all Nigeria’s problems could be blamed on leadership crises or failures. This, in most, if not in all cases, could be anchored in a lack of appropriate moral sensibilities or moral character on the part of Nigerian leaders, as well as prevailing unjust or defective political systems. In view of the above, this paper argues that a part of the reasons why Nigeria has been facing leadership crises and challenges is because our leaders, both past and present, lack the correct, adequate, and required moral values and virtues. This is the result of a lack of moral education and orientation right from childhood. This consequently leads to unjust political structure. In this regard, this paper argues that good leadership and governance skills should be cultivated through moral education, right from our elementary schools, with special emphasis on ‘character education’. With this, our leadership orientation would significantly change for the better. The paper concludes that as long as Nigerian society fails to cultivate its leadership skills on character education, it will continue to witness leadership problems, since leadership has to do with character traits of the key players and the political structure in which they operate. This is because both leadership and morality deal with the implications of an individual’s action to other human beings.