Nigeria’s once upon a time leaders ~ By Prince Charles Dickson
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” John Quincy Adams
In the United States, there are three ways a president can leave office mid-term: death, resignation or impeachment. In Nigeria, there have been several impeachments especially legislative heads, and a few conspired impeachments of governors, only a handful can be recalled to honestly resign and that is rare, really it is forced resignation in our own climes.
In the saner climes, most presidents fulfill one or two terms and are either defeated in re-election or retire. So what’s life like for a person who’s been the leader of the free world? Generally, it’s good.
Some presidents retire to a life outside of the public eye. Many have published their memoirs. Others use the prominence afforded by the presidency to continue or even improve their work. Jimmy Carter, after leading an unpopular single-term administration, went on to create what many agree is the most successful post-presidency. The former president established the Carter Center, a human rights organization, and became heavily involved with Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for the poor.
So, in recent times, a Barack and Michelle Obama opened a “centre for citizenship” on the south side of Chicago, after taking a break.
Outgoing presidents get to open a presidential library in their home states.
So, while we have started another four-year race, we have seen governors that are going to the senate, or possibly retirement home cum protective custody called the National Assembly. A few others will become Ministers and others certainly will be board chairmen.
But truth be told, as a sizable number of Nigerians focus on the failure or otherwise of the Buhari led ‘change’ and now metamorphosed into ‘next level’ adventure many Nigerians do not realize or choose not to look at the failures of their respective state chief executives, they are the real heroes or villains, the local government chairmen, and in any case woman. We are left with the Sarakis, Jangs, David Marks or Ngiges.
These are the persons that are closer to us in the governance structure. Infact the truth be told, the chances that a Nigerian citizen would ever met his/her president is simply what it is; CHANCE!
So the likes of Rochas have come and gone, and like the once upon a Chief-Servant, the big-eyed one. Who was once everywhere delivering papers, and no pun intended it is good to do that, at least telling us those beautiful tales by the moonlight of power, politics and the accidents that follow, but the man on the streets deserve more than those papers in terms of service from these men. The men are all gone! Gone with all the wealth, and big pensions allotted to themselves…
Like wonder working Mu’azu of Bauchi State, after the brief love affair as PDP Chairman he vanished into some form of air, thin and otherwise. Like Bamanga Tukur, like Barnabas Gemande who became Silent Senator Gemande representing one-place-some-where constituency in Benue State and has left.
We all know that ‘most handsome’ governor produced till date, he tried to be President, but I guess he is better playing Saxophone but how many of us really get to benefit from his night octane wind instrument and heavy laced elite crowd…that are part of his performance.
Where’s Imoke, how about that governor in the South West that made sure bleaching cream remained an expensive cosmetic item, he still continues to dance around political parties in the city with plenty Kings and chiefs. His bleaching counterpart from Kogi has simply disappeared, not sure any of his carpentry sorry I meant upholstery shops are alive.
You wonder why when leaders are elected, selected they loot you and I blind? Truth is that their morality or otherwise will never and cannot be questioned. Infact they are chastised by their own for not stealing enough or stealing well. Hate EFCC for all you like, I guess that is one good place it serves, hunting the haunted!
Where is the diminutive House of Representative corruption czar who at the height of his fame was ‘capping’ in petrol dollars into his cap and agbada pockets, he even had the entire Kano legislators tour Kuje Prisons on a visit to him. And how about the Saloonist and notice I did not call her hairdresser (no one should put words in my mouth). And after her was the always white wearing young phonetically endowed Speaker Banko…le (meaning help me carry the house). After his travails with EFCC he simply has vanished and after few attempts to re-launch and he’s been active on Facebook (Imagine).
Nigeria is blessed with clowns everywhere, my grandad Obj went back to study Theology, and asked us his kids not to call him Mathew. IBB my uncle for life, each time he speaks you sense a bitter sponge of missed chances. I love Abdulsalam, at least if all he showed us was his white peaceful beard. So where and what will Ambode being doing, will he get a Fashola chance to megabytes or “kilowatt” Nigerians?
Earlier I whispered EFCC, almost all our past governors have one outstanding assignment with the anti-graft agency, but how about the people that led this agency, where is Farida, and how about the real deal Nuhu Ribadu… and if I stay put in Adamawa what is now become of Boni Haruna, one time he was chairman of Former PDP governors. We can like all forms of associations and titles that bring no worth to ordinary Nigerians.
We are blessed with leaders who we know were broke ass before they got power, but the common lines or lie, “I was comfortable before government…I had a thriving business before…” Yet we all know how they all engage in anticipatory stealing via the CCB declarations. If indeed they were, why don’t they go back to those THRIVING businesses?
So imagine Babangida Aliyu was teaching Party Politics 101 in Change University in Umuahia or Orji Kalu rather than wasting at the Senate. He could put more energy into a few of his business concerns, and be a visiting lecturer in UDU Sokoto teaching Political Economy 606. What will Akpabio be doing these days!
Where’s Ghali Na’abba, Salisu Buhari, Pius Ayim, Chime, have you ever seen a former this, and ex-that, they are pretty much worthless. Begrudge him, that’s the place of a Tinubu, an Oby Ekwesili, Many so-called leaders become redundant.
What value can our former leaders bring to bare, with the wealth they possess, how can they be the bedrock of industrialization, how can they contribute to knowledge apart from playing either opposition once they are out or technically being members of the elite Any Government In Power. While Nigeria has plenty problems, this is one that if we consciously choose to interrogate and solve, we may finally be getting one thing right, for now—Only time will tell…
Prince Charles Dickson PhD, Development & Media Practitioner, 234 803 331 1301, 234 805 715 2301, Alternate Mail: email@example.com, Skype ID: princecharlesdickson