The simplest form of exhibiting leadership is doing what most will not be courageous enough to do. It is always easy to say yes but to stand firm and say no with deep conviction takes leadership. Suffice to say that only a follower can be stampeded into agreeing to do certain things against his/her own wishes, plans, qualification, moral code or interest.
In power circles, everyone tries as much as possible to push an agenda for their future sake. Some are tethered to benefactors, promising them brighter future should they succeed at convincing the man in charge to do certain things that will favor such interests. Imagine what happens when such interests coalesce on one agenda, then you begin to hear things like, “I was pressured to act by the demands of my people” an understatement, which suggests that the entire country rallied for such demand, plunging such administration into a mendacious bubble.
Already the vested trust of the people in the “rulership” has been betrayed. True leaders take cues from the greats. They learn from the past and imbibe ideologies that guarantee success. The current Stalinist approach to the perpetuating of self in power is appalling. Instead of creating enabling environment for businesses to thrive and improve on the ease of doing business, they play to the gallery while destroying the economy further. The idea seem to be focused on creating more “Talakawas” (Poor people) via a deliberate weaponization of poverty.
Education and Healthcare are also under siege with unconscionable and unjustifiable hikes in school fees by the aberration with tenuous link to progress, having lacked initiative and have mostly lost touch with reality. They seem to believe that by destroying all that works, they will break the spirit of the people and have them worshipping at the feet of their local imperialists wielding political power. The have impugned the integrity of others via propaganda hoping this will buy them value before the political illiterates who gnaw at every inanity hauled into the media space.
How I wish someone can help me remind them of Abraham Lincoln’s words on Nation Building: You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer. You cannot further unity by encouraging tribalism. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn. You cannot build character and courage by taking away the citizenry’s initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.
A monumental precedent has been created and our dear country can grow no further unless totally restructured if any different or positive result is expected. The conservative bastion of rent-seekers telling lies for a living can no longer be the voice of reason in our socio-political space, while our children are listening. We pray in our National Anthem that the God of Creation should direct our noble cause, guide our leaders right and help our youth the truth to know. But to interosculate this with what is obtainable in reality, we have zero leadership, so there is no one to guide right, neither is there a noble cause and little wonder why our youths are besieged by mendacity.
Justice in Nigeria is vague and inconsequential especially when those charged to keep Law and order are the armed robbers and kidnappers in our society. They are no longer hiding this because they are rest assured of protection under the lackluster and listless aberration. Thousands of citizens are victimized every hour across Nigeria by the Police/SARS, who are also victims of an ineffectual Government fleecing the nation in the grandest of heists in any democracy.
But what do I know? The rulership have declared the desire to go for second term based on the pressure of those benefitting from the grande heist. These are people pulling the string of power and seeking power for power sake. They even threatened to sue, should the leadership fail to contest in 2019. To some, this is a blatant act of provocation, while amoral griots rekindle the hope of benefitting this time around by renewing their engagement to proliferate panegyrics.
The people are clearly inflicted with several miseries ranging from immobilized life, daily harassment and abuse, social subjugation and humiliation, and finally the irony of choice during elections. Where are the alternatives one may want to ask? The letter writers have not changed their ways and their genuine self delusion that Nigeria can not be great unless they are involved. Then there are others flaunting infantile tactics, that is not only impracticable but dead on arrival, especially when we need deep rooted strategy.
If a man has an apartment stacked to the ceiling with newspapers, we call him crazy. If a woman has a container storage full of clothes, we call her insane. But when people hoard pathologically, so much cash obtained by impoverishing the masses, we put them on magazines and worship them, pretending that they are role models. However much people ignorantly celebrate these kind, they are not connected to them in any way.
Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued- when they can give and receive without judgement. If “attention” is a currency, then relationship capital is the gold standard of one’s credibility, especially in the age of social media adopted mostly by antisocial narcissistic people, using smartphones without engaging their brains to installed capacity. The real asset you are building is Trust. And even though it is tempting to cut a corner here and there to boost profit per interaction, the real cost is huge. Yes the Truth is that men’s ambition and their desire to make money are among the most frequent causes of deliberate acts of injustice.
No one will say anything, no one will put up any fuss, until one day, they are all gone. Those extra few Naira or Dollars you made with some fancy footwork, Tweetwork and blackmail trends, have now cost you tens of thousands of dollars in lost value. The opposite is clearly true: invest a Cent, Dime, Kobo or One Naira in every chance you get, and the trust you earn pays for itself a hundred times over.
“The root problem with conventional currency is all the Trust that’s required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust” – Satoshi Nakamoto
Trust is the currency of leadership and a product of character, people are watching you and everything you do now keenly. Businesses, individuals and Governments (Administrations) need to stop looking at Social media engagement as a waste of time. Instead they need to see it as a social currency, because those that don’t are going to be left behind. Everything has to be taken on trust; truth is only that, which is taken to be true. It’s the currency of living…little wonder Trust is said to be the oldest currency known to mankind.
I don’t know how many of the aspirants have taken out time to understand the problem. Democracy and illiteracy are incongruent as illiteracy forecloses worlds of possibility and renders millions at best “half citizens.” It is believed in sane climes amongst the enlightened that “a people who mean to be their own governors (according to James Madison) must arm themselves with the power knowledge gives. A popular government without a popular information or means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both.”
Permit me to ask you today….How rich are you in Trust?
Can you be Trusted?
First Published in Tribune Online 13042018