“Mr President You Are Doing Well”…Keep Doing It? By Odusote Oluwakayode
Politics is a game. The game to some in Nigeria isn’t interesting — unless, of course, you’re into its humor, a cheering fan or an analyst. The game has been consumed by irregularities, at the expense of actual benefactors. The numbers that can genuinely attest to this reality are simply the active players of the game and sometimes the umpires.
The dynamism of our Political game has evolved into series of intrigues in a bid to get the attention of a nation’s unwilling fans. Irrespective of genuine concerns of lack of performance, governments in our country enjoy swimming in the pool of illusion by pleasing themselves to force their advert of achievements down the throat of citizens. Organizations with several names are being funded to preach sermons of patience, perseverance and support. No matter how glaring the poor performance of a government is, the tendency to deceive is so strong that the expected trust the citizens are to have in a government is lost.
The desire to deceive has so much eaten deep into the conscience of some leaders to the effect that they shake off a need to reason and see beyond effects of adapting to and adopting immoral practices just to gain political edge by all means necessary.
Unfortunately, some privileged leaders whose assumption to power has been graced in a divine luck have willingly allowed enormous sentiments, complexities and pressures to take charge of their mentalities that they have lost their moral bearings.The difference between the old times when shoes were scarce commodity for a poor boy and the present situation when luxury is at the tip of the finger of a rich and bigger boy easily pales into significance.
The result of political jingles where a President is compared to Martin Luther King Jnr, Nelson Mandela, Lee Kuan Yew and Barack Obama leaves one to seek breath for the truth of such comparison. In all these leaders, their respective courage to do what was right was what stood them out amongst their peers. Leaders who never gave excuses for failures, they took responsibility for actions with determination to make things right. We have a leader that would give a broadcast to tell the nation we are having our own share of terrorist activities forgetting, however to tell the same nation where our own share of development is.
It baffles the mind when sponsored propagandists at various levels of government attempt to waste time and resources through various media to put on record what positive difference they have brought to the people through their mostly unpopular programmes. One wonders if performing governments really need to force its achievements down the nerves to be considered “performing”.
Performance needs to go beyond theory of indices and graphs. The effects of good governance are never barren. People will appreciate good performance and without much stress on the part of such performing government, would love such goodies replicated.
From our elections, it’s clear that funds used during campaigns come in the form of abra-ca-da-bra. Unlike developed nations where politicians have the sincere obligation to declare and make how funds are being raised transparent with statistical analysis of whose fund raising is enjoying better attention from supporters, ours is colored with the lavish of funds that are questionable by politicians. Unlike the Americans, acceptance of funds from individuals with history of fraud or corruption is enough to distrust such candidate from occupying elective offices, but in our case, a wanted person, convicted criminal and corrupt political gladiators with ability to resuscitate their looted funds for the ambition of preferred politician is in order and such funds are received without bias – to them, the fund is legitimate.
Due to extreme poverty and ignorance, our politics has been polarized. The polarization has bastardized the tenets of democracy. In the grassroots, the more funds a political party is ready to spend before and during election is adequate for some electorates to compromise, and the more genuine a political party is, in bringing about positive change, the more preference they attach to politicians or political party that understand the game- share the money.
The results of these polarizations are not farfetched. The political system will produce political leaders whose goal is the quest for power over others, unlimited wealth, or the fame that comes with power; tend to look to others to gain satisfaction, and often appear self-centered and egotistical. They start to believe in their own world – illusion and mirage. As leaders with enormous powers, they eventually believe that democracy cannot succeed without them.
Most of the political leaders around us love to be appreciated for serving- even when such service is wholly dominated by looting. While few political leaders may value and respect fair compensation for good accomplishments, many start out seeking only money, power, fame and prestige. Along the way; authority, affluence and royalties because they started dreaming to have all these, the thirst for more will only be massive.
This creates a deep lust to keep it going, just as we witnessed in the aborted third term bid of a onetime president. Many times, this desire is so strong that leaders breach the ethical standards that previously governed their conduct, which can be bizarre and even illegal.
When leaders focus on self satisfaction and praises instead of inner satisfaction of accomplishment –of putting smiles to the faces of the governed and happiness in their hearts, they lose their mandate. It is not alien in our political climate that most of the privileged persons in power reject the honest critic who speaks truth to power. Instead, they surround themselves with sycophants in large number who tell them what they want to hear, who go to the press to propagate irrelevant jingles and who distort facts. Over time, they are unable to engage in honest dialogue and for selfish reasons some followers would not confront them with reality in order to enjoy continued government patronage.
It is over One hundred days that the Chibok girls were kidnapped by insurgents. As sad as the situation is, the sincere commitment of our government in rescuing the girls lack expected seriousness and zeal. Explosions rock some states incessantly and one wonders how the security measures put in place are being beaten. The seriousness of a government cannot be evaluated when words don’t march action.
It is still fresh in minds that a President was not sober but “danced on the graves” of victims of Nyanaya bomb blast some months ago in Ibadan, while a Federal Executive Council meeting was called off when the Vice President lost his younger brother in a ghastly motor accident. Some of these glaring lackadaisical and careless acts prove a lot about a government that is emotionally detached from its people. What are perhaps paramount are the 2015 general elections.
Ekiti election has come and gone but the leaders of the victorious party are still basking in a world of celebration, waiting to conquer another territory – Osun state.
A need to act as a true and strong leader is substituted for mediocre cheers, adoration and jingles from propagandist creating a self made icon – a type Nigeria had never witnessed. The unfortunate truth is that the celebrated leader in this position will be blind to see because they have chosen not to see, ignore offers of help and disdain the need to reason.
Perhaps some of our leaders who are being compared to great world leaders by sponsored propagandist need to understand that, truly, great and sustained leadership must be genuine, sincere and humble. It is history that record greatness.
If the President is not doing so well, there is no need deceiving him he’s doing well.
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