Thursday, 16 May 2013

A Man of the People: The Case of Jonathan Nigeria cum Moses Egypt

There are mixed opinions as to what makes a man a man of the people.

Who is a man of the people? Is he a man who tries to satisfy everyone because he wants peace to reign? Is he the kind that demonstrates wisdom in dealing with issues in ways that favour majority of the people? Is it possible for a man to know the minds of all his people without knowing their individual needs? How can a single man know the minds of so many people without erring? Are majority of the people always right? These are questions the people must ask themselves.

Who are the people? Are they persons within the extensive conclave of the man they call their own or those to whom the same man is publicly accountable? What are the criteria for being an associate of that particular man? Who or what factors determine these criteria? Why should several individuals come together to determine who should drive them forward? When a person is chosen to lead other persons (collectively called the people), should they not trust him to lead them aright? These are questions the man should ask himself.

Many would raise their eyebrows if someone called President Jonathan a man of the people. Well, is he not? Though several millions did not vote for him, he was voted in by the people who liked him rather than his political party. You may reckon otherwise but be reminded that the electoral results (whether manipulated or not) actually indicate that majority of the people fingerprinted for the umbrella party.

The Nigerian elites loved President J.E.G because he owns a PhD. Ordinary Nigerians liked him because his Obama story was inspiring. Those within the middle class wanted him because they expected his transformation agenda to open wider doors of opportunity. The rich that cared enough to vote believed it was his time to lead. Resultantly, many Nigerians voted him president. But when he re-engaged the presidential power as an elected leader and spent several months with a performance that measured below the people’s expectations, the same people resolved to do grumbling. They observed that he wasn’t solving their problems at the speed of his promises and gradually disliked and mocked him in the presence of his commitment to his only wife. When he decided to remove the fuel subsidy in accordance with the advice of proactive economists who consistently sit in meetings where the peculiar problems of Africa (or indirectly, African greediness) are discussed as the growing headaches of the global community, fire burned upon waters.

The people said that little consideration was given to the reality of epileptic power supply and openly renounced him. They called him cursed names sourced from the devil’s book and wished him the wishes of an enemy until he ranked the most damned president on Google’s search engine. These happenings and countless others which may not be mentioned here are the unfortunate byproducts of followership distrust; they are evidences that question the trust of the people who once sang the choruses of a man. Now, one remembers how these things happened to Moses in the wilderness away from Egypt and asks if Jonathan could be compared to Moses? If a president were comparable to a prophet, what would be the story of the new Israelites living in Nigeria?
Leadership is not the business of human satisfaction. It is about setting objectives and pursuing their attainment. It is about striking a balance between what must be done in the best interest of the people and what must be done to sustain harmony amongst the leading minority in alignment with the overall goal. Since human beings are the most difficult resources to manage, this task remains an ever-present omnipresent challenge.

Nigeria has never had a perfect president since we obtained independence and the incumbent one is not an exception. In fact, when you consider the problems Nigeria is facing currently, you would realise that this is one the most unfortunate periods to lead in a government position. The odds against you are tough. There are many more corrupt persons working within your circle. The masses’ sufferings have increased and whether or not he/she exists, they seem to want a saviour or leader that can do the betterment magic. If things do not go the way the people expect, they soon cease from singing songs of praise and learn demonic chants. If the media influenced by leadership is unable to interpret the decisions of the man of the people to demonstrate his interest in their development, things go worse. In the end, the people renounce their elected man and dream regular dreams of the end of his tenure.

So, who is a man of the people? It seems he is the man who is able to lead the people. Who is a leader of the people? It seems it is he who is able to show how the people’s interests comprise his priorities. Who are the people? They seem to be those whose lives are influenced by the leadership of a man, whether or not they all voted for him.

Truly, the best season to be the president of Nigeria is not today and the finest season to be a citizen of Nigeria is still yesterday. Nigeria’s fate is at the mercy of men and women who sincerely seek change both on their knees and from within their home outwards. Today, you will know where you belong before tomorrow comes with its influence.