Leadership in any polity is the machinery that drives the vision, mission and ideology of a nation. Leadership has to do with the power or ability to lead other people. The principal problem of Nigeria is leadership; other problems are its vices, derivatives or offshoots.
Instead of focusing on unity of our colonialism-designed diversity, Nigerian leaders always indulge in altercations with vituperative criticisms. Their selfishness blindfolds them to the extent that they budge not washing their dirty linen in public, especially in the media. Recently, the narrative of former President Obasanjo’s vituperative comments and malicious verbal attacks against President Buhari-led government was everywhere.
Obasanjo was delivering a paper titled; “Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over” at an allegedly secluded consultative dialogue in Abuja when he threw his verbal pebbles at the president, saying Nigeria is a failed state under Muhammadu Buhari, and expressing fears of possible disintegration. These, among other destructive, unprintable comments, are weighty opinionated statements that lack constructiveness.
A former president turned social critic should calm down. Asking Obasanjo to calm down is not in anyway in support of Buhari, who might be ‘guilty’ as accused. He (Obasanjo) had ruled this country for not less than 10 years during which he should have fixed all the problems he’s now identifying. So, on accusation of guilt of maladministration, Obasanjo is as guilty as Buhari, if he claimed Buhari is guilty.
Similarly, the presidency has also replied Obasanjo, addressing him as “yesterday’s man”. Other leaders and stakeholders, both for and against, have also joined in the altercations, vituperations and ignoble campaigns of calumny, which tend to divide us more than unite us. Nigeria’s leadership problem is like the proverbial lame person who replies public complaints over his awkward position asking them to look down at his legs and not up at his head. Amalgamation of northern and southern protectorates of Nigeria in 1914 was the bane of our diversity problem in today’s Nigeria.
And since we were given independence in 1960, our leadership has been more of a bane than a boon for our national existence. The fact that Obasanjo was addressing “a meeting of ethnic and regional leaders with a well-known antagonistic disposition towards Buhari and his government”, as reported, shows he’s rehashing the disintegration which he has envisaged.
Chief Obasanjo was a former president of this country. If he has any genuine idea that can help us as a nation, he should honourably contact President Buhari instead of airing their dirty laundry in public. The problem with our leaders is that they do things with selfish motives and not in national interest.
Jimoh Olorede, Journalism/Mass Communication Lecturer, Osun State