Commentary: Give Me A Good Head


Any man with a good enough head will argue universal principles with you and turn them on their head. It takes a good head to argue that action does not equal reaction. You need a great head to successfully argue that Zambia did not really win the last African football Nations’ Cup. A great head sometimes makes a man do great things. This means a lot. What does one need to argue that the head is not as important to the body as the body is to the head? You need the head for that argument!


This happens to be my first column under the “Behind The Cloud Series” and I have decided to start from the head. There is the whole and there is the part of the whole. There is the part of the whole that sets the whole about its course without which the whole would be lost. When you see a prosperous people, it is because there is a good leadership. There was no Apple before Steve Jobs and I mean this in the figurative sense of his second coming to Apple even though it is also right literally by virtue of him being the founder. Steve Jobs came back and Apple became one of the world’s most loved brands.


Change the head and you change almost everything. Who succeeded Winston Churchill as Prime Minister of Britain? Most readers will not know the answer. Did the body of Britain – i.e. the people – change after Winston Churchill left? No. Who succeeded Harry Lee Kuan Yew as Prime Minister of Singapore? So how come few of us know him? Is it because Lee Kuan Yew had a different set of people to lead or because his successor lived in his towering shadow? The same type of citizens lived in Singapore before and after Lee Kuan Yew but we know what the better head – Lee Kwan Yew – did. America has had many periods and seasons in its global dominance. More than anything else, America's fortunes have always been a function of its leadership at any point in time. Go and ask Google and you can guess what Google would tell you: The fortunes of nations have more often than not been a function of the people in leadership especially the person at the very top.


The body does not lead the head, the head leads the body. Nothing will ever change that principle. No matter how deformed a man is, as long as he has his head in the right place, he is bound to achieve extraordinary things able bodied empty heads will never dream of because no one dreams without a head. That is the essential problem with Nigeria and it is why as a nation we are in the captivity of poverty and perpetually in crisis.


You want to turn around a nation, fix the head. History abounds with corporations whose fortunes markedly changed by virtue of a change in leadership either for better or for worse. If the head were not important, why would every country in the world be bothered about spending trillions of dollars every year just to elect/select the right leaders? Why would boards of companies scout the world just to get the right CEO?  


Do not be deceived by anyone with a seemingly good enough head to argue white as black, the reason Nigeria is where it is today is because of its many unfortunate turns of having very bad heads. It is even more saddening when you know that the latest part of our history has provided about the worst possible disaster of a head to be unleashed on a people.


If it looks like the body is yielding to corruption, it is because the head has made it the norm. Is it a good head that’d make a President overlook the mismanagement of over N1.7 trillion for the same thing that cost us N640 billion at its former highest? A good head? When a father dances naked on the street and the son says to him “daddy, your head no correct,” he is telling him at least two things; that he has lost it in his head and that he had lost the moral right to tell him not to do same if tomorrow comes. Give me a good head and I will give you a great country.

This is @omojuwa

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