By Abdu Labaran Malumfashi
This is a sentence that is rarely uttered in the presence of ‘Their Excellencies’, be them the President or governors, because sycophancy is very much ripe on these shores. And it is much more alive on the corridors of power than anywhere else.
Their Excellencies may start as ‘people’s President or Governors’, but when the power given to them by the common man begins to go into their heads, they stop being leaders and become rulers, since the sycophants have taken over the Villa and the various government houses.
The ‘yes men and women’ take over everything in the corridors of power, and only their voice can be heard, because their Excellencies now prepare to hear them speak to them, in place of those who will tell them the truth as it is.
But who are the ‘yes men and women’ who have taken over the various corridors of power? These are the people who agree with everything the rulers say even when they know that the rulers are not speaking the truth. They are the people who, in political parlance, are referred to as people who never lose. They will be with the devil if that will keep them relevant and their pockets full.
The ruler, weather the President or a Governor, may look at a very black object and deliberately say that this thing is very white and is so very eyesore. The ‘yes sayers’ will agree with him and even add their own condemnation of the ‘white’ object and its eyesoreness to show their agreement with the Excellency.
These are the people their ‘Excellencies’ would rather have around them than those who will occasionally tell them the truth no matter how bitter it may be. And those who insist on telling them the truth are, in their view, their worst enemies, and such people are only given the appointment, but not the chance to do their job as it should be.
These are people who will deify their principles, or those aspiring to be one of them, for doing what they were ‘elected’ to do, because ours on these shores have not passed the stage of the promises to ‘build this road or that hospital or those drainages’, etc.
It is the promises the rulers have made to the electorate, yet some sycophants will congratulate them for doing just that and that will go into their thick skull as if they have done something so fundamentally different and worthy of praise.
In other climes, they have long passed the promises to construct these and that, as the only promises they will make to their people are how to advance the interests of their countries on the world stage. And they will quickly resign if they feel that they cannot fulfil those promises, a thing never heard of on our shores. In our clime, the victim is always the criminal and the so-called big man is the offended party no matter his complicity in the crime.
Before the Euro-and-America centric people rost me alive in deference of the countries in those places and argue that those countries have been developed for centuries, let me disagree with them and give the example of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, just to name a few, as places not as ‘developed’ as we were in she First Republic, but are today a shining example of selfless leadership, as we see in the rapid development of their cities such as Qatar, Dubai and Riyadh.
A former Governor was once asked how much money he had to be able to purchase the expression of interest and the governorship forms, and he replied that ‘he did not have the money, but his brothers and friends had the money to assist him be able to purchase the two forms’.
But, about three years ago the London Economist Magazine mentioned him as one of the richest politicians in the country with an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion, with the then ordinary Tinubu topping the list with an estimated net worth of $8 billion. Well, the then Governor, perhaps, made his $ Billions in salary and allowances. A then Governor from the South South, according to the Economist Magazine, came last on the list with his $700 Million (Seven Hundred Million Dollars).
God, in his infinite mercy, has provided our country with virtually everything except good leadership, of late. The concern of the present leadership is how to advance their personal interests even at the expense of the rest of the people. The present leadership even corner the ‘big’ jobs for their children at the expense of the rest of the poor people, despite the huge amount of money that they ‘make’ but hide from the rest of the world in cellars and man made ground chambers.
Those so-called big people ‘make’ what even their great, great children cannot be able to spend in their lifetime. But they keep on accumulating, all the same.
All because the ‘yes people’ tell them it is their turn and the right thing to do, since they are now sitting on the big chair and can do as they please.
And the ‘yes Your Excellency’ people keep on lauding them, knowing fully well that what their Excellencies are doing was not right.
But their Excellencies will only come to the realisation that what they were ‘pushed’ into doing by the ‘yes, Your Excellency’ people is indeed not correct, by which their time on the seat of power will have long been over.
It is best for them to be wary of the type of people they surround themselves with.
Mr. Malumfashi wrote from Abuja.