Nigerian Spice: Leadership Idealogy (I)
By Emmanuel Adebayo:
Once I journeyed between two states, in the cool of the day with three other passengers in the vehicle. I had to bear the boring gist and topics raised by my fellow passengers; we were obviously not on the same page in the book of life! They assumed I couldn't speak the native dialect because I wasn't contributing to the discussion, so they left me to my thoughts, for this I was very grateful. I had my ears clad with earphones trying to get my mind away from the environment to more profitable thoughts.
I had continued to recline in my corner of the car for most part of the journey until a word struck a chord in my ears – GOVERNMENT! By now you'd think I'd be tired of hearing what people had to say about the government – how irresponsible our leaders are. But this particular discussion which seemed to be chaired by the only woman in the vehicle was playing a different tune.
The woman seemed to accentuate how people expect so much but give so little. Their comments and arguments made my mind race back a few months within which I had been favored to sit at meetings (informal and formal) with political leaders within the country. One I fondly remember is an informal chat with a local government chairman – like a mayor. He had lamented about how much the community demands of him personally; according to him, it is as if people believed he had a lot of money and so they come asking, pleading, begging and expecting to be satisfied, if you fail, they remind you they voted you in and could truncate your political career! He further explained that he as a politician is sometimes cornered into doing some things against his wish and conscience in trying to live up to expectation.
We are a very sentimental people, logic and good judgment have little to do with our decision making processes, and that's how we expect our leaders to take decisions too! This explains why we vote for personalities and not principles. A man can wake up and decide to leave a party because he feels subjugated and join another party and still be voted for.
Our leadership ideologies have been marred and warped by years of living and dining with corruption. We have been fed over the years with a steady doze of 'sleaze meals'. Corruption crept into our once jolly society and took sanity away from us and infused us gradually and gently with sleazebags. We have nothing left in us about good leadership – the only thing we now understand is dishonesty; the only language we now speak is 'satisfaction by all means – any means'!