Countries who do not have responsible leaders should be ashamed of themselves bearing in mind that my definition of ‘responsible leaders’ captures the kind of people who believe in and ensure the welfare of their people, pursue the developmental progress of the society, ensure that integrity is a priority and a culture, always say what they mean and mean what they say. Unfortunately some of the people have not recognised the fact that the greatest honour you can do for a fool is not to give him a platform to express his foolishness. If you think you are not concerned about his foolishness please be informed that the whole world will also question the wisdom of the person that gave a foolish man the platform for expression.
The disaster of leadership in any nation is to see the anomalies become the normal things and the normal things become the anomalies because of the misplacement of values. We live in nations today where it has become normal for people to die not because the death was unavoidable but because a politician was given money to equip our hospitals and such people have squandered the money. We live in nations today where political leaders who cannot afford more than two houses – going by their business empire or their seating allowances as politicians – already four or fives houses in the most expensive parts of the country forgetting that they will only sleep on one bed at a time.
We have leaders who cannot interpret the laws of the nation and execute as expected. We have leaders who do not even know what goes on in an area that is supposed to be their jurisdiction. There are leaders who have no idea of what their followers are going through and they are the ones who sit in the House of Representatives! What else would they be representing if not their selfish interests?
I make bold to say that the countries should be ashamed because we can deny our leaders as the reflection of the society but we elected them or did not do anything about those we did not elect but smuggled into our government houses. The television screens are filled with people who know next to nothing about leadership yet they are paraded as leaders.
For years we have battled with the opinion regarding the people who are in politics and the people who are not supposed to be. We all agree that not all the people who are there right now are supposed to be there but we are only talking about it rather than acting about it. Another election is approaching in a country like Nigeria and previous elections have been characterised by killing of political opponents, blackmailing, exchange of blames and bribing of the gullible electorate.
We have, for more than 50 years, in the case of Nigeria listened to the sweet talking politicians and we have still not taken a step to make sure that the people who get into power are not the sweet talking politicians. We let them get into power before we begin to question their leadership abilities and at that time there are limits to what we could have done because we did not do what we were supposed to do in the first place. We live in countries where people get on television screens and begin to tell us what we all can see as a black material is not black but white.
People are dying in hospitals as a result of the greed of some of the people we call politicians. There are people who cannot even go to the hospitals because they cannot afford what they were not even supposed to pay for in the first place. Schools are constantly involved in one industrial action or the other and those who are supposed to graduate in four years are graduating in five or six years.
The problems abound and you and I can talk about it for as long as we want but we are the ones that started the anomalies in the government even though we are not in government. We started it because we refused to vote when we had the right to vote. We did not even register because we believed that our votes do not count. We have said again and again that our votes do not count so how do we expect our voices to count in the government where our votes did not count?
Some of our friends, relatives, fathers and mothers collected money from the misfits in politics and could not voice out when the politicians where doing what was not expected from them. Those we elected into the National Assembly have begun to keep mute over the right issues. When they have to vote about their seating allowances they will speak up but they will not speak up when they are supposed to speak up against another person in politics who has stolen money.
We unfortunately gave these misfits in politics the open ground to act because we did nothing but we are the only ones that can still stop them when we are ready. The problem is that they can only be stopped when we are ready so when are we going to be ready to stop the people from ruling their pockets while claiming to be speaking for their people.
It is time to act and we may lose it again if we do not work against these misfits. They live with us and around us but we refused to expose them. A country will only know peace and grow as it should with a happy people if we are willing to expose and face the wrath of those who are not doing what they are being paid to do.
Fola Daniel Adelesi