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“I Will Make Thee an Imam to the Nations”: Lessons for Nigerian Public Leaders in the Story of Prophet Ibrahim


The purpose of this paper is to explore the contemporary challenge of bad leaders and public leadership in Nigeria and to identify the characteristics of Prophet Ibrahim as a model for leaders to enhance development in the country. This study is descriptive and qualitative. The country’s aspiration for credible public leadership, Prophetic Leadership Theory (PLT), public leadership within the context of spirituality and religion, and the life of Prophet Ibrahim from an Islamic perspective were reviewed, to identify a practical approach for Islamic public leadership ethics as a way of promoting national development. This article contributes to two main areas of development: Islamic public leadership, and various African contexts and cultures. Results show that prophetic public leadership ethics has the necessary attributes in enhancing the public leadership quality currently needed in Nigeria. The country leaders should focus on ethical and moral virtues, courage, avoiding corruption and corrupt practices, having the spirit of sacrifice and devotion, and being able to communicate sincerely to improve the nation-building process of the country. The prophetic public leadership framework proposed in this study can enhance the emergence of credible public leadership and leaders in Nigeria. The paper emphasizes the importance of prophetic public leadership ethics as a basis for choosing a leader and proposes a prophetic public leadership framework as shown by Prophet Ibrahim’s approach to be applied in Nigeria’s public leadership structure as a way of promoting national development.


Public leadership, Prophet Ibrahim, Nation-building, Nigeria, Prophetic Leadership Theory



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