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 “In those days I saw people in Judah treading winepresses on the Sabbath and bringing in grain and loading it on donkeys, together with wine, grapes, figs and all other kinds of loads. And they were bringing all this into Jerusalem on the Sabbath. Therefore I warned them against selling food on that day.” (Nehemiah 13:15 , NIV)

“Everything” they say “rises or falls on leadership”.Be it Civic leadership, Corporate Leadership, National/Political Leadership; even Domestic Leadership(as in the case of men leading their homes).

However in terms of National/Political Leadership,the problem I see today as with the days of yore remains the desecration of national culture.

Ignorance,impunity and lack of a moral backbone deprive any leadership of his capacity for nation-building. It is what Nehemiah,the Governor called “desecrating the Sabbath”

Every nation ought to have a culture that must not be ‘desecrated’.

Nations are built when there is Responsible,Honest and Service Oriented Leadership i.e You cannot effectively build a nation until you implement all these.Nehemiah’a life taught us the following 12 Principles:

1. There must be a Consuming Burden in the Hearts of leaders to serve the people and restore their state of well-being.

2. There must be a clear cut vision or roadmap by the leader for national development.

3. There must be distribution of resources to all parties as needed.Maybe even political parties ought to be funded from government coffers.

4. Leadership must be at the frontline of national transformation. Ezra and Nehemiah both led from within the system.

5. There must be NO ROOM allowed for nepotism or cronyism.It destroys whatever gains there might have been achieved by the leadership.

6. There must be open rebukes,enforced discipline, retribution and sanctions to all deviant office holders.

7. There must be breaking down of old and obsolete government structures and the establishing of a new order;an internal restructuring which includes replacement of Compromised leadership in physical reformation.

8. There must be the setting up and enforcement of new laws to repudiate impunity and set a new and progressive culture of national sanity.These are called Constitutional Reforms!

9. Institutions must be established that will enforce continuity and sustainability of newly-set laws. To ‘guard the gates’.

10. Moral sanctity. Leaders must be willing to be held to very high standards of morality.Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.

11. Review of Foreign Policies and Alliances.Compromising international diplomatic alliances must be severed and discontinued immediately.Wrong alliances compromise even the best of judgements and intentions.

12. Leadership must prayerfully acknowledge and submit to the God of Heaven as the Owner of nations.

Any nation that is serious about lasting nation-building ignores these principle to her ‘Waterloo’.

These principles as documented by the life and times of Nehemiah,the Governor of Jerusalem remains a template for nation building that cannot be controverted.

Clearly nation-building is not rocket science but rather a matter of Commitment to building a right culture.

May God give us leaders with a Heart!