• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Feeding El-Zakzaky and leadership as an exercise in morality

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Nigeria celebrated her 58th independence anniversary on Monday, October 1, 2018, and yet remain a toddler and immoral in leadership.  The question is: Why has Nigeria never been led aright in morality?  If after 58 years of independence the necessary infrastructures to make life meaningful for the people are absent, we are being led amiss. If we earn so much from oil and other resources and our people have no food, no good schools, we are being led blindly.  If the desire of our leaders is to stay in power unending, pretending to be blind while the citizens are being harassed home and abroad; are we actually being led morally? Until our leaders think less of themselves and more about the people, I am afraid we are not properly independent. If after 58 years someone is held in custody and he is said to be fed with N3.5m monthly, then we need a new conceptualization of the term “independence” to enable us to be led aright in morality and thus,be able to celebrate the real independence to the satisfaction and admiration of all and sundry.

I thank Alhaji Lai for the ‘classified’ information he released on the ‘feeding’ of El-Zakzaky. There is nothing transparent about the information because the truth about the transaction is yet to be known.  And it is not the responsibility of Alhaji Lai to give us such information but the ‘relevant government agencies’ charged with feeding the cleric. It is imperative that the relevant government agencies provide the cost elements of the N3.5million monthly feeding of one person. I am unable to wait for the details of the transaction but to conclude that it is odious and needs to be restrained. Bereft of power, leadership, and direction, many Nigerians are privately uneasy about the transaction, but who bells the cat?  Anyway, let’s ask the Accountant General and the Auditor General of the federation whether the transaction will pass the test of ‘value for money’. Let us also ask the Clergy men in government whether feeding one person with N3.5 million monthly is morally acceptable when a consensus on what the minimum wage should be is problematic. What of the EFCC and ICPC? I believe they are waiting for an official report to engage with the sordid transaction.

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The citizens know and indications are very clear that the country is yet to see the true meaning and impact of leadership. The leaders too, appreciate and secretly identify with the thoughts of the masses of this nation but hide such thoughts behind mealy mouths. The leaders also know that the citizens are suffering from indigestion arising from inability to make their feelings known and explicit. The leaders in their wisdom or lack of it and based upon the complexity of sentiments and emotional misalignment would always damn the thoughts from the masses as emanating and spewing from lazy and mischievous minds. Yes, we celebrate independence every year. This is cruel.

Nigeria is not the only country where cruel leaders have emerged in history. Many cruel leaders have walked across the pages of history with great sense of accomplishment. For instance, Shih Huang Ti who lived circa (259-210) was said to be a cruel leader just like we have had and still do have in Nigeria. But in his cruelty, he was a man of contrast. While the barbarians from Mongolia were invading Chinese territory, he successfully beat off the attack. He created unity in all the regions of China and built the Great Wall to keep the country from attack. The Great Wall was said to be about 2,240 kilometres long and also built roads, canals and made the living condition of his people worthy of commendation. Today, China is a destination for our leaders in search of what they left at home. Why are our leaders not able to take a cue from such feats and ward off attacks from Boko Haram and herdsmen? The reason is simple. The leaders have their mental faculties abused and impaired by the luxuries and wealth pouring in from wages of unrighteousness and have become insane pleasure-seekers and lay-about desperadoes. God is wonderful! While He ensures that the sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eats little or much; He makes the abundance of the rich to permit him no sleep! It should always be remembered that great wealth brings one no happiness but the sorrow of heart.

For leadership to be an exercise in morality in Nigeria, politicians should possess spectacular characteristics- brilliant leaders of men, witty, forgiving, progressive and skillful negotiators, great personal courage and absence of hatred. Our leader and politicians have the opportunity and power to reform the country and cure the vices that daily haunt us but they have chosen to sustain the wretched and unworkable system. All they learn to do is campaign on bread-and-butter issues that lack substance. They see everything right in all that they do. Nothing is ever wrong with their actions. What a sure sign of mediocrity and insanity!  Luther Ingram had them in mind when he wrote the song: “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.” So, I write: ‘if feeding el-Zakzaky at N3.5million monthly is right, I don’t want to be wrong.’ The resilience of the people is at the ceiling and so, let’s lead this nation as an exclamation, not an explanation.

 

FRANCIS IYOHA