"On some positions a coward has asked the question, is it safe? Expediency asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? But conscience asks the question, is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right. "—Martin Luther King Jr., November 1967
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has a doctorate degree but obviously lacks any administrative acumen or leadership qualities. One could readily concede that Nigeria’s problem predates Jonathan and he should not be blamed for the myriads of problems assailing Nigeria. His many blames however lies in his lack of tact and seriousness. His approach to Nigeria’s hydra headed problem has not been sure footed and when he did took decisions he often complicates simple problems with politicking.
The leadership Nigeria needs now is one that is willing to do what it takes to pull the country together in these trying times. We are fighting many wars, even though the presidency will want us to think Boko Haram is the only problem we faced. The Niger Delta militants despite billions spend placating them are still striking the poor people of Niger Delta with deadly force. Just last week another explosion went off. As usual, the presidency never uttered one word about that incident nor commiserates with the families of the victims. The war against corruption is also dead on arrival because our dear president as usual is often too busy laughing and “jollificating” over dinners with corrupt politicians while they milk the nation dry. A president that will give the nation’s centenary honors to the most corrupt and vile military head of state like Sanni Abacha is definitely not ready to fight corruption. What is more, for many months, the minister of aviation, caught with her hand in the “cookie jar of corruption”, was allowed to continue in office ostensibly so she can obliterate all evidence against her before she was rotated out of that office.
The pivotal test of leadership’s good managerial acumen lies in response to difficult circumstances. Our president’s response to every problem often complicates and compounds the problem. Take for instance the assignment of a murder suspect as the supervising minister for police affairs. Alhaji Abduljelili Adesiyan was not just fingered in the deadly assassination of a former federal minister, Chief Bola Ige, he was arrested for it. In strange circumstances, the evidence was allowed to gather dust in the police force headquarter and President Jonathan has now handed over the key to that evidence room to the same murder suspect; possibly so the latter could get rid of the evidence and potentially fired the officers or otherwise demotes those officers who investigated him. What in the world was the president thinking when he made this appointment?
Nigerian of all hue gave Jonathan every opportunity to prove his leadership mettle but time and time again he throws everything up in our face with his ineptness and perfidious mendacity. The fact that he is sitting in Aso rock is due largely to the sacrifice of many Nigerians who risked their lives to force Yaradua’s wife and her “chicken cabinet” to abdicate power to Jonathan. And now the beneficiary of that largesse rules with disdain over the very people that brought him to power. Someone said the coteries of the sycophants that surround the president often leads him to take bad decision, but how long should we continue to wait for him to get out of the bubble and see the anger on the street?
Nigeria is in dire straits and bad leadership is compounding our problems!