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NATURAL INTELLIGENCE AS A FACTOR IN GOOD LEADERSHIP.


By: Chris Onyishi.  
 Published January 8th, 2012

After an in-depth study of the problem that has bedeviled the Nigerian nation for about five decades of her Nationhood, I was convinced, beyond reasonable doubt,  that the problem of Africa’s most populous black nation is with its leadership and not followership.  Primordially, our nation has been bedeviled with the ascension to power of both educated illiterates as well as none naturally intelligent and selfish beings at various leadership positions.

People who do not know how to use their political office to add value to humanity have no business staying back in office.  Everybody must not be in power. Power should be left for very creative and proactive social engineers who have a covenant with God on putting smile, and not tears, on the faces of the less privileged masses of the society.

We have three classes of rulers saddling the affairs of governance in Nigeria immediately after independence. Firstly the so called LSEs’, Harvard’s’, Howards’ and MITs’ who are economic and financial surrogate of western hegemony, secondly the very educated illiterate home grown counterparts and thirdly the very unexposed adventurers. 

All the LSEs’, MITs’, Howards’ and Harvard’s studied economics and similar social sciences fashioned to help secure chummy economic policies for their masters.  It would appear that when the west is loosing grip of their colonies, they quickly went back to establish the so called London school of Economics, MIT, Howard University in Washington DC and Harvards of this world to counter our independence and some of our country men and woman coalesced in it.  This is what I call neo-colonization which is several times worse than colonization. Whereas colonization is visible and tangible, neo-colonization smoulds like a fire inside of a huge tree trunk or hepatitis inside the body a human being.

Elsewhere, leaders wage war against other nation states to buffer their citizens while in Nigeria our rulers wage war against her citizens to buffer up their cronies in the corruption-laden policies of government activities.  It is only in a less fortunate nation – like ours – will a sit in president boldly say that he would rather face mass upheaval than take an alternative popular option of expunging the nation of corruptive tendencies which has set the nation back for half a century.  Elsewhere, the president would have opted to resign in view of serious opposition to his only way to tackle an economic problem. 

It is also in our nation that a onetime Communications mister who told the masses that telephone – and by extension, communication – was not for the poor is rewarded with the third political position in the land and he occupying it it for two consecutive times and may still hold it perpetually.  We have also witnessed a President who once said that because we have not been scavenging for food from the dustbin, we should not count ourselves as poor move about as a statesman.  A onetime Minister of power who boasted that electricity would only stabilize in the next fifty years was immediately rewarded with the governorship of a state and he is holding it for a second term.  It is only in Nigeria that convicted criminal is welcomed with a bang and funfair from the prison by the biggest political party in Africa.

It is, also, only in Nigeria that people who created the economic and social problems bedeviling the nation turn around to threaten us of revolution as if they are the owner of revolution.  It would seem that the whole essence of governance is lost in the hands of this group of people in power position in our country.

I have severally said that our democracy defies the tenets of democracy elsewhere.  In our clime, none performing political or elected office holders are further rewarded with bigger offices whereas in a well constituted democracy, none performing office holders are booted out if they fail to do the right thing at the right time which is to quickly resign their appointive or elected positions at the slightest of opposition or falling public opinion ranking.

As smart as CBN governor is, and as an erudite in western education as he may be, it is still evident that he is not a naturally intelligent person.  But he is even miles away from most of his counterparts in the helm of affairs in the Nigerian government.  His argument as well as that of Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, and their likes, on fuel subsidy removal has further revealed the difference between natural intelligence and western education. None of these people in government has been able to counter the expose of Dr. Izielen Agbon with superior facts and figures.  What we have seen all along is a casual wave aside of the real issues in the argument.

Why has subsidy jumped from below 420 billion to over 1 trillion in the last 12 months that President Jonathan came to power when we have not suddenly shot up in our population or any associated increase in domestic manufacturing or rise in our GDP that would have translated to better living?  Why has the executive and legislative expenses tripled in the last few months without any meaningful increase in infrastructural development to show for it?

Why are the executive and the legislative arms of government not thinking of reducing their excess take away funds in the face of starvation in the land if only to demonstrate that they too can make sacrifices.  Why are we not spreading the subsidy removal over several years – assuming there is even any subsidy at all in view of Dr. Izielen Agbon’s expose – so that they can come up with any palliative before throwing this country into war?

Why is the government afraid of combating the so called cabal and why are we not thinking of cleaning up all the inefficiencies along the line of fuel importation that has jacked up the fuel pump price.  What is the effort made to bring the people who sunk large sums of fund into turn around maintenance while our refineries are not producing at even 50% of installed capacity?  Why is President Jonathan,  Malam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala , et al not resigning their jobs in view of the strong opposition and their inability to establish the true position on whatever they call fuel subsidy? What effort have they made to build new refineries?

Why is it cheaper and easier to move fuel pump price up more than a 100% in a country where people are worth less than $1.00 a day?

Nigeria, today, is under two types of governments.  One is the defector government saddled by President Jonathan and his cabinet while the other is controlled by the dreaded Boko Haram Islamist sect. 

These acts of violence against innocent citizens are unwarranted affront on our collective safety and freedom, Nigerians must stand as one to condemn them.” 

The above was the presidential spokesperson’s reaction to the bombing that took the lives of about 35 persons in a church ground in Madala near Abuja.

But in my kind opinion, the worst affront on our collective safety is the inability of a government to decidedly stand up against a sect that is treating the very existence of our nation.

Our kind President was quick to add thus:  “I ask God, in His infinite mercies, to grant these innocent souls eternal rest, and give their families the fortitude to bear this painful loss”.

Then in an assurance that runs stale the statement further declared: “I want to reassure all Nigerians that Government will not relent in its determination to bring to justice all the perpetrators of the acts of violence and all others before now”.  This is how a government summarized the death of more than two dozens of her citizens.

We will all remember that this is making it second consecutive killings, on Christmas period, by this same sect.  Last year various bombings across the country took lives of innocent worshippers and here again it is happening and what our President is telling us is that Boko Haram will "not be forever. It will end one day." If this incident affected relatives of these rulers last year and again this year, will they be saying the same thing or reacting the same way?

Is it when a full sectarian war breaks out that we will know that this is issue has gone beyond rhetoric?  It is amazing that it cannot be said that this government is on top of anything in this country.  From economy to security through infrastructural development, the story is the same.  The only possible thing that is happening in this country is the sharing of the wealth of the nation by those at the helm of affairs.  The moment their pockets are stuffed, then there is no other issue that is given serious attention.

When one is worried about the inability of this PDP central government to fish out the so called cabal that is messing up our oil supply sector, it is only a concern that more serious issues could become a destabilizing factor in our country just as the issue of Boko Haram is gradually turning out to be. If  this government can no longer perform the primary roles of a government, is it not time it voluntarily relinquish power so that a more proactive set of people will get in and find a lasting solution to all these pockets of violence threatening the existence of our country.  Must President Goodluck Jonathan be the president at all cost even when it is glaring that he has not got what is takes to steer the affairs of a country as large as Nigeria?

A responsible government will know that the circumstances that led to the invasion of Odi town in Bayelsa state in November 20 1999 has been surpassed several times over by this issue of Boko Haram and other security threats in our country.  The circumstances that led to the civil war has also been rubbished by this Islamist sect wanton destruction of lives and properties across the northern and central states and Abuja.   

The question is “why is government slow at coming to a decision on what would be done to unravel the control centre of this group?”.  Should we wait until the people take up the challenge in what would become a religious war?  What is the essence of governance in the first place? 

And as if all these instability is not enough to rock the nation out of existence, a President unilaterally dashed Nigerians a New Year gift of “breathe of fresh air and transformation” with a vexed issue which even a mad man knows what the outcome would be.  The same President who was taunting us with revolution in the next four to five years is trying out a laboratory version of revolution.

What is happening now takes me back to the issue of subjecting our leaders to psychiatric checkup before assumption of office as enunciated by Chief Obasanjo after he was foisted on us as a president in 1999.  My modification to this advice of Engr. Obasanjo is that even past presidents who speak of possibility of Arab spring here should also be made to visit the psychiatrist. In addition ministers, national assembly members and state Governors and every other person in corridors of power should be subjected to psychiatric test before assumption of office and intermittently thereafter.  It seems as if something begins to brew in the heads of our rulers as soon as they start getting unexpected share of our national wealth.

After all there is this saying, in Igbo land, that a man who never dreamt of being a title holder will invariably push his insignia of the title well above the normal wrist position up to his shoulder. Most people who find themselves in corridors of power in Nigeria have no business being there in the first place and as soon as they get there, they get crazy and this begins to manifest in their behavior and utterances.  They usually do not have any idea of what their contribution to humanity – through their position – is beyond sharing the national wealth and when you point this out to them, they turn round to say that that is the cost of leadership. 

 

Chris Onyishi (ctekchris@yahoo.com)

Lagos, Nigeria.


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