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LEADERSHIP AND POVERTY IN AFRICA POLITICS

Is Africa poor because its people cannot work hard or is Africa poor because it lacks natural resources? Africans has to be remembered for their abundance and has a race of people that God has created on earth with an indispensable potential endowment. They are black, bold, strong, diligent and intelligent with embedded natural resources to salvage other continents of the world. Many political and economic problems are primarily political. The colonialists and the developed country are to some degree or extent to be blame for the misery of Africa. It is the foreign powers that is supporting or assisting the corrupt and harmful regimes in Africa for their own interest and purposes, to the willingness of the civil society. Only the few with access to power make money, and watch their countries and citizens descending into deeper misery and poverty despite the continent riches in natural resources, greatness in military might and wealthiest in human potential. What are people expecting from their leaders? At the very least make informed choices, based on the needs of the broad population, and not on their or others' narrow interests. Bad choices have been made because better choices in the broad public interest were in too many cases not in the leader's personal and often financial self-interest. Leaders that tell people what they need to know and not what they want to hear. This is the type of leadership in Africa which is in contrast to its definition. Leadership is "organizing
a group of people to achieve a common goal and also described as a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.

Africans have struggled for a constructive political system that aims at providing total freedom from condemnation and imperialism. It is evidenced that the people of Africa are still undergoing or witnessing various kinds of economic and socio-political crises that arise from bad governance. At present or perhaps Africa is referred to as a Third world nation or developing nation, although its not on the basis of racial discrimination, but on the structure of her political, economic and technical circumstances. This statement is premised on the ground that the people lack modern infrastructure and developments, among other problems identified problems include: non-challant or caring attitude of government toward the development of science and technology, medical and health facilities, poor funding of researches, high rate of poverty, diseases and illiteracy, political

instability, bad road network, absent of pipe borne water, erratic electricity supply, inter-tribal and religious conflict, shortage of skilled personnel in certain key areas, corruption and so on. It could be emphasized that change is imperative in African politics and that the structure of African politics needs to be change, the demand for change has to do with the attitude of those in government rather than the political policies implemented. Most political parties have given much room for those in government to have economic advantage at the expense of those they governed. In Nigeria for example, things have been getting worse in our economy and politics. We can easily point to those who have stolen the countrys wealth and went away unpunished. Electoral fraud, rigging, assault and political upheaval are also witnessed in recent election, at the heart of the above crisis is certain economic policies introduced by the government to sustain their domination and exploitation. The division between the rich and poor could be clearly seen and this has fueled all the recent violent all over the country since the beginning of the new administration of President Goodluck Jonathan such as the bombing of Boko Haram, Religious crisis between the Christians from the west and the Muslim from the north, Niger Delta crisis, etc This condition in Africa has pushed the people into legalized slavery. African are lured into various countries with deceptive promises of good jobs and better lives, and then force them to work under brutal and inhuman conditions, and deprive them of their freedom and violates their basic human rights . Nigeria, Morocco and several other African countries are sources, destination, and transit countries for men, women, and children trafficked for the purpose of modern day slavery or forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Children are trafficked within the countries from rural areas to urban centers to work as maids or laborers, or for exploitation in the sex trade. Men, women, and children are trafficked to European and Middle Eastern countries as illegal migrants who become exploited for forced labor and prostitution. Every year hundreds of West African children are trafficked into various forms of labor, sometimes to pay off family debts, sometimes because their parents genuinely believe they will have a chance to be educated by a more affluent family, sometimes because their parents cannot afford to raise them and so place them with extended family in the hope they will have a better life there. The solution to the problem of bad leadership and poverty in Africa could only be resolved through conscious effort on the part of the government and

the governed. All clauses that give opportunity to exploitation, corruption and domination should be amended in the constitution. The fight against corruption should start from the grass root by voting out the corrupt leaders and all offenders should be made to face the full wrath of the law. The government should stop compensating their political loyalties with certain key positions that requires expertise, adequate skills and economic technicalities. In conclusion, the fight against corruption in Africa can only be win when we begin by closing the gap between the rich and the poor. By AKINTUNDE SMITH ADEBAYO