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“This is the constituted authority for Oyo State. Even if I don’t pay salary or I don’t pay this and that, the fact is that I am the constituted authority. It does not remove that authority.’’
Occupying a position of authority or being chosen to be a leader at whatever level is a sacred privilege and it calls for extra caution and carefulness when going about it. The reason for this assertion is simply because no man choses himself as the leader. For example, being elected to lead a Nation or a state is a mandate conferred on such a person by the people of such nation. Under no circumstances can a person wake up and declares himself or herself the president. In a normal democratic setting, the actual power belongs to the people. This is why democracy is defined as the government of the people by the people and for the people.
But in countless occasions, it has been witnessed that power actually does not belong to the people. The moment elections are conducted, and the supposed winners assumed their respective position of authorities, what they go on doing is using the same authority or mandate that has been given them to maltreat and malign the same people who voted them into power. The same leaders turn themselves into a mini god, requiring worship from the same people who entrusted the power into their hands.
Governor Abiola Ajimobi recent “constituted authority rhetoric” is one of so many misbehavior of the people that were elected to represent the people. It is nothing short of what I termed ‘leadership deficiency’, and it is a disease that is common with leaders in this part of the world. The development of any Nation no doubt is hinged on whom and who takes the shot in such nations. Apart from having abundant natural and human resources, leadership is what gives direction and also ensures that coordinated and articulated development takes place in any nation. Leadership is simply doing the right things. It is about taking responsibility and not making excuses. If we have dependable leadership that speaks to the challenges we face as a nation, there is no way we won’t make progress despite our challenges.
The style of leadership being adopted plays an important role in lifting any human society or slowing down the wheel of growth, progress and infrastructural development. What leadership entails is simply applying the instruments of authority for the benefit of the down-trodden and weak as well as taming the excesses of the powerful individuals, and establishing institutions in order to bring about an egalitarian society. But the reverse is the case in Nigeria. What we see every now and then in Nigeria are selfish individuals parading themselves in the corridor of powers as servant leaders.
A cursory look at leadership (or constituted authority- in the words of Ajimobi) across the Federal, State and local governments in Nigeria shows nothing but absence of one. You have a Muhammadu Buhari who is on vacation, even amidst the death of innocent individuals that were wrongfully bombed by the Nigerian Air Force. At the various States level, salaries are being owed workers for months and the governors of those states still have not deemed it fit to resign from those positions. Most local government chairman do not even exists. Some that do are only there as figure heads. This ought not to be so, as the purpose of leadership is about the well-being of the society. Nigeria have in recent times been dominated by a worsening security situation, manifested in killings, robbery, arson, youth unemployment and bitter hardship for many Nigerians.
Ours is a country where millions are under-nourished, where education, health and social infrastructures are collapsed and are begging for attention. How can a nation like Nigeria justify that students are being denied access to education for good eight months because the states cannot afford to pay salaries of the university workers? Even the president is not totally sure of the health-care system of his country and therefore had to travel abroad for regular medical vacation and checkups. “In contra-distinction to this national scenario is a political leadership class that wallows in financial and economic constipation and social self-admiration” as witnessed from the governor of OYO state.
The show of shame the governor displayed in front of those protesting students should be totally discouraged. People have rights to protest if the necessary authorities have given the approval for such. For a servant-leader like Ajimobi to spit such words is totally unheard for. We can only pray and believe God to give us leaders after his own heart, and remove these deficiencies we see in the style and manner in which our leaders carry themselves.