June 25, 2012 § 1 Comment
I’ve always had this debate with close friends and associates about who has a bigger role to play in making a society better between a leader and a follower, I’ve always maintained that a good follower is led by a good leader, and that means a follower has more power to bring meaningful and significant changes in the society more than a leader especially in a democratic system of government where Leaders emerge through elections conducted by an Electoral commission that maps out guidelines and strategies for conducting a free, fair, and credible elections. But the question on the lips of many Nigerians today is why do our elections and electoral system always fall below expectations? What Nigerians think is the answer to this question largely reflects the depth of awareness and seriousness on matters that deal with how leaders emerge.
The conscience of the Nigerian voter is the easiest to get swayed and enticed by cheap gifts and other petty things that will cajole them to give up their votes for temporary and brief satisfaction.
Social Justice and moral integrity are the rarest commodities in Nigeria, we live in a society where the value system is 100% money based, the integrity and credibility of persons are measured on the basis of how much money one has and not on the basis of probity and honesty. Wise people have it that greed is the root to all evils, we’ve lost track due to our excessive greed and our intense desire for worldly things.
The people of Nigeria are responsible for the high level corruption and disregard for the rule of law, we’ve elevated corruption, money laundering and abuse of public office to a level where everyone would aspire to be especially the impressionable youths. Apparently, it is subconsciously a thing of pride and honor, it’s not a taboo to be listed as a corrupt government official but an achievement. Truth is, no one can disrespect you without your consent, the sad reality is, our demeanor, body language and tenor all speak in favor of corruption. It’s the masses, the followers that gave the leaders a license and insurance to loot the treasury and abuse whatever office one occupies by not holding them accountable on how they steer the affairs of the Nation.
Accountability is something hard to find in Nigeria, the occupy Nigeria movement that happened in January to protest the removal of subsidy on PMS testified that Nigerians are not fans of accountability and are not ready to hold their leaders accountable for their actions and inactions while in power. The message Nigerians passed in the narrative during the occupy Nigeria movement is simple, social injustice, violation of due process and other forms of corruption are Ok, but what is not OK is to increase the price of petroleum products, that is when they’ll raise a red flag and take to the streets to signal their disapproval. That begs the questions, why didn’t those activists and other Nigerians take to the streets when the pension scam was revealed, why didn’t those activists take to the streets to protest the removal of Justice Ayo Salami with the same vigor of the occupy Nigeria as it was a clear violation of due process like the Pakistanis did in 2009 when the then President, Perves Musharraf sacked the country’s Chief Justice, Iftikhar Chaudhry? Why haven’t Nigerians protested how lives have been wasted due to bad roads and other basic amenities that are ought to be provided by Government but failed to do so? Every day in Nigeria, there are one thousand and one reasons for Nigerians to take to the streets and protest but don’t do so unless Government announces a removal of subsidy or increase in the price of petroleum products
Judges, court rooms and lawyers are part of the problem that has brought Nigeria to where it is today, the practice of law is no more about promoting moral integrity, rule of law and safeguarding the constitution, it’s all about winning cases and making money. The Judiciary is an arm of government that is not supposed to be adulterated with Politics, but the sad truth is, the Judiciary is dominated by politics. In spite of the huge reservoir of public opinion against our court rooms and judges, they are still guardians to politicians and friends to large business organizations and people of means. Our judges and court rooms are not for the common man, they protect the interest of their friends. The Nigerian Bar Association proudly has its motto as “ubi jus ibi remedium”, which stands for, every injury, has is a remedy. I wish to pass it across to members of the bar and the bench that Nigerians will appreciate it if they’ll remedy the injury they’ve inflicted on them by validating fraudulent elections and pronouncing so many guilty people innocent in the name of judicial activism.
We have a National Assembly that gives precedence to probe and investigations through its various committees more than legislation of laws and passage of bills that would improve the lives of Nigerians. The national assembly has been a theatre of malfeasance and scandalous scandals and its members have understood the level of naivety, reticence and lethargic complacency of Nigerians on issues that have to do with how money is spent for nation building and how money has been looted by politicians. They’ve understood also that the penalty for misappropriation of funds and bribery is not commensurate with the crime itself. Another thing members of the national assembly understood full well is talk is cheap and action is cheaper in Nigeria. They know some people especially political opponents make noise ostensibly about how the National Assembly members are looting not for altruistic reasons but for jealousy and envy, they know also some would do the same if not even worse if the table would turn and that has made members of the national assembly care less about what people think and say about them.
Truancy, laziness, ineptitude and putting of square pegs in round holes are what define our public service. The public service is no more an institution for policy formulation and implementation; it’s more or less an institution for people with the ‘National cake’ ideology. Producing results is the last thing on the minds of our public servants but award of contracts and juicy allowances. Most at times Public servants conspire with members of the National Assembly and top politicians to siphon public funds under the guise of awarding of contracts
Hypocrisy and sycophancy are the attributes of the Nigerian follower, we are always yearning for good leadership and praying to God to provide us with good and God-fearing leaders yet our attitudes speak otherwise. They extol people like General Muhammadu Buhari, a very fine army General, a grand lover of the Nigerian state, an upright man, a custodian of virtue, this is the man some Nigerians belief can solve their problems because they say he is the only tested and trusted Nigerian that can take them to promise land, but what baffles me is why won’t those people who believe Buhari can fix Nigeria be like him? Why won’t they emulate him and be good people and people of integrity too? I thought if you truly love a man, then you are obliged to love the things he loves and do the things he does, else you are committing an act of hypocrisy. My advise to the fans of Gen Buhari is to do as he does and like the things he likes and dislike the things he dislikes if the truly they see him as a man of integrity, that way you they’ll get things fixed without Buhari clinging to power.
Fraud and fraudsters are what dominate the activities of our service providers, blue and white-collar workers, people who are hard to find in Nigeria today are honest mechanic, sincere plumber, truthful electrician, ethical medical doctor, reliable tailor, reputable lawyer, genuine Engineers, candid architects, impartial judge,bona fide accountants and Economists, straight forward Journalists, diligent lecturers.
So who is a better leader, Farouk Lawan or Femi Otedola, or your service providers?
The solution to the leadership crisis Nigeria is going through is for everyone to live up to their responsibilities, everyone has duties and roles to play in making Nigeria a better place, leaders emerge from followers and they are products of the society and what the society puts in them. If you want a good leader then be a good man.