Who belittled the Nigerian Presidency? By Anthony Chuka Konwea, P.E.

map of Nigeria

The writer argues that poor leadership is trickling down across Nigeria from the office of the president

Leadership ought to be by example. There is a country called Nigeria where it is said, this is not the case. I have this on no less an authority than the great Chinua Achebe, who wrote in his book ‘The Trouble with Nigeria’ that the problem with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. Fortunately we now have another case study to test this Achebean hypothesis.

A couple of months ago, when asked about the possibility of publicly declaring his personal assets so as to give fillip to his administration’s fight against corruption, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr. Goodluck Jonathan declined this gesture, declaring emphatically “I don’t give a damn!!” on public TV.

A couple of days ago in the presence of Mr. President, Mr. Steve Oronsaye, one time Head of Service of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in other words one time number one civil servant of Nigeria, who must have worked closely with the President said “… and so what” (without public apology) regarding a presidential directive that the report of a probe panel on (you guessed it right) corruption in the Nigerian petroleum sector be submitted to the President’s office on a specific date.

Was this a case of over familiarity breeding contempt? Remember it is said, a King is not without honour except in the eyes of his valet. Or was this a classic Achebean failure of leadership? More specifically, was this a case of leadership without good intention? Well the jury is still out. What is certain as night follows day however is that what goes around comes around. Or as Sir Isaac Newton would put it, to every action (or inaction, I must add here) there is an equal and opposite reaction (or re-inaction).

May God bless Nigeria and deliver us from the rabid and rampant corruption which has reduced the nation to its knees and made virtually every post in Nigeria a toll point for the amassment of mere lucre at the expense of the weak and downtrodden.

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