Francis Cardinal Arinze Francis Cardinal Arinze
Function:
Prefect of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Roman Curia
Title:
Cardinal Priest of S Giovanni della Pigna
Birthdate:
Nov 01, 1932
Country:
Nigeria
Elevated:
May 25, 1985
More information:
www.catholic-hierarchy.org
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English Leadership, a Joint Responsibility - Cardinal Arinze
Sept 04, 2007
Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacrament in the Vatican City, Cardinal Francis Arinze, has advised Nigerian leaders to use their positions to inspire the people to show interest in governance and nation-building, by exhibiting attributes that can convince them to share in the vision of improved society.

Posted to the web 4 September 2007

By Emeka Osondu
Onitsha
This Day (Lagos)

Prefect, Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacrament in the Vatican City, Cardinal Francis Arinze, has advised Nigerian leaders to use their positions to inspire the people to show interest in governance and nation-building, by exhibiting attributes that can convince them to share in the vision of improved society.

Delivering a lecture entitled "Leadership as Service. The Nigerian Situation," organised by the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Onitsha, Cardinal Arinze said political leaders should be concerned about the good of the people and not exploit the poor and unemployed.

He said in politics and governance, it is the good of the people that should be of utmost importance by any leadership that has the improvement of the society at heart, just as such leadership should exhibit, honesty, transparency, probity and respect in the administration of public affairs and funds, among others.

"A good leader is open to discussion and dialogue. He is not afraid of facts. He does not hush anyone. Socrates said he could argue with a slave and the slave could be right, because the truth of a proposition does not depend on the dignity of the person who propounded it.

"Therefore a secure leader does not hesitate to change policy in the light of overwhelming fresh evidence," he said.

He does not regard as enemies those who have differing views. He dialogues with them sincerely. But when a decision is made, he is courageous and firm in carrying it out," he stressed.

The Cardinal stated that by exhibiting such positive traits, the people are encouraged to join forces in promoting the visions put forward for solving those problems identified in the society as well as beef up their support for the administration, which he said will incidentally go a long way to building up of such leadership. According to him, "every society has to ask itself what it does to prepare its leaders and to keep them in good shape. High targets should be set.

Talented people should be identified, with past performance as an indication. Ongoing formation is needed for those in active service."The people can approach the solution by demanding clear programmes from the political parties, insisting that elections rigging has to stop, and refusing to share the little bones thrown to them from tables of the corrupt rich."Short-sighted considerations, such as place of origin should be allowed to prevent the appointment of the person who can best deliver the goods. Gratitude and appreciation should be expressed when leaders perform with the proper spirit," Cardinal Arinze advised.

He cited an instance where a political community tolerates leaders who are incompetent, with poor vision of the needs of the society, or even downright cheats and corrupt rogues, arguing that should such misfits who are given chieftaincy titles, applauded even they do not say anything very useful, given front seats in church and other social celebrations and invited to chairman big events and lanch-raising initiatives - then has such a political community not contributed to its having unsuitable leadership.

"Everyone has a share in striving to identify and build up the best leaders with a sense of service. It is unhealthy and unhelpful for the people in a society to sit down and lament their fate in having poor and selfish leaders. They have to ask themselves what action they have taken in enabling such leaders to emerge and to remain in office. "A leader does not come form nowhere.

A leader comes from a people, a culture, and a society. If that society decides that it will no longer tolerate leaders who share public funds as if these were their private money; if the society now says a definite no to bribery and corruption and rigging at elections; and if the community decides that ethnicism and blind tribalism must now cease to be a criterion for appointments, the dawn has begun for that society," the Cardinal contended.
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