By Frank Opara
Watching Amaechi and Wike hurling invectives at each other the other day on television, you can’t but see two people who never one day before now, envisaged to find themselves in the exalted positions they are occupying today.
First, it was Amaechi, in his ever protruding pot-belly, a palpable evidence of his earthly possessions, acquired stealthily over the years, from his errand boy days for his well known mentor, Peter Odili.
He never stopped telling his army of supporters the most unusual habits of his perceived enemy, Nyesom Wike. He alleged before them that Wike spends so much money on liquor consumption; that he couldn’t imagine them voting in a person who is habitually drunk; a bar fly.
In doing this, Amaechi inadvertently forgot that everyone of us has a few little idiosyncrasies. They say that those who live in glass houses do not throw stones. In the heat of the moment, we are quick to cast aspersions on a campaign rival and subsequently accuse one of a sin we are guilty of. This is most unchristian. And this is not the stuff true leaders are made of.
However, in this season of tit-for-tat, measure for measure, the spirit of revenge obviously is hovering strongly in the air. It flows like running water on whoever invokes it for the needful.
Just yesterday, at one of his campaign stopovers, governorship aspirant, Wike, had a beautiful opportunity for a repayment. In a vocal tone probably made bearish by alcohol, he reeled out with evidence all the corrupt practices of Amaechi and finally stuck it in with an allegation that he (Amaechi) was once caught red handed with the wife of his best friend who was inadvertently away.
For a better understanding, Amaechi loaded with cash chose one odd hour to visit the wife of his friend who was unsuspectingly away. Please don’t ask me what happened.
However, by the time Wike was done with Amaechi there was little time left to address critical issues of governance and administration that are most pertinent to the army of supporters who stood in awe and blurred over all the ad hominem attacks. This is how unworthy our campaigns have gone. This is the tragedy of our democracy; the inferior and disgusting state of our so-called leaders.
A couple of days ago, the Vice President, Arc. Namadi Sambo, went off his rocker in his campaign speech in Minna, Niger State, by adding his own knife to the division already existing amongst us, by campaigning along religious lines.
I wonder at that level, dear Mr. Vice President, when your government is daily being harangued by all and sundry for incompetence and constant administrative faux-pas; when the country is going through an unprecedented ethno-religious division, you heedlessly chose to preach ‘hate’; talk of adding salt to an injury. You did not do well! Permit me to say in our local Nigerian parlance.
The problem with Nigerian leaders is their inability to go through vocational leadership training necessary to provide the dynamics of the leadership process, before assuming power.
Few of the personalities in the category mentioned, rarely passed through reputable organizations that will enable them acquire the basic leadership skills such as work ethics, values, resilience and zero tolerance. All these bring about a corresponding change in the leaders, behavior and performance.
In contrast, to be a leader in our society, you just simply need the blessings of your political godfather. Sometimes, mother fate determines who becomes a leader.
True, there are not many natural born leaders out there. In view of this, how many of our leaders do take the responsibility to train themselves to be effective, realizing that effective leadership is all about what you do and not what you say.
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