I go today to the basics of politics and good manners to illustrate the topic of the day. This is because the issues at stake are about leadership, management and perception and they are issues not taught or learnt totally in any laboratory of science or academia of human thought.
They are issues learnt in the faculty of politics and human experience and baked in the red-hot oven of good background and thorough moral upbringing.
Today, we talk about leaders and I start on the first premise that the ‘hood does not make the monk‘ and hedge that on with the second observation that’ not all that glitters is gold’ .
Let me first acknowledge that the global epidemic has upset the known and unknown capabilities of politicians as practitioners in political systems all over the world to govern successfully and effectively.
It has tasked both their innate and intellectual capacities to govern politically which is their core duty, since politics, their domain, pursuit, or undertaking is defined succinctly as deciding on’ who gets, what when and how’.
So politics by its nature places enormous responsibility and pressure on politicians. But the pandemic is no respecter of all or anybody, including politicians.
So, we can safely assume that the pandemic has put more pressure on politicians in terms of the hazards of the job they are doing as leaders of their governments and political systems than the rest of us.
Politicians, therefore, as leaders of us, the people, face the double hazard of avoiding the pandemic, both personally first, and secondly on our behalf as followers so as not to create panic and to avert a power vacuum from nagging, disrespectful and blind pandemic.
The politician or leader in our time is a full time intellectual and political juggler aiming to keep ahead of the rest of us as leader of the pack, while keeping an eye on an un relenting pandemic in pursuit of both the leaders as well as the followers.
It follows logically therefore that leadership or politics, indeed, the leadership of society places enormous burden and more exposure to hazards of the job to politicians’ daily undertakings or way of life, than most other professions.
Just as a dedicated psychiatrist can be excused on displaying some crazy tendencies to be explained away as hazards of the job or a criminologist can sometime be overlooked for incredible or near criminal disposition on the grounds of say his job environment or pollution.
Similarly, a politician is often taken for granted as someone who speaks from both sides of his mouth to get his way or will which invariably, is power at campaigns and elections.
Which again is to say that mendacity is part of the easy apparel of credibility, sustenance or survival of the street wise or accomplished politician in political systems nowadays.
I will illustrate these seemingly contentious observations with good examples today.
The aim is not to glorify such tactics but to show they are endemic in politics, and more so in this era of a killing pandemic with the attendant hydra headed and taxing hazards of the job for global politicians .
I will use two, examples.
The first is the obvious one and ‘primus inter pares. ‘Which is the story of the 45th President of the USA, Donald Trump whose reputation for lies is such that even Colin Powell former US Secretary of State recently condemned him for ‘lying too much.
‘I really do not agree totally with Colin Powell or the CNN which has on line catalogue of Trump lies, but I will come to that later . The second is the bitter rancor in the leadership of the APC in Edo State that has led to the disqualification of the Governor Godwin Obaseki to seek re- election on the party’s platform and the confirmation of the suspension of the APC Chairman veteran trade unionist and politician Adams Oshiomhole by the ruling of a Court of Appeal decision subsequently.
The interesting thing here is that both issues are mutually exclusive in consequence even though like some court judgements they run concurrently in terms of outcome and finality .
I go back to Donald Trump who I believe for good or bad , is the most vilified president in American history .
He was branded a liar by CNN because he called CNN ‘ fake news ‘ and that was sufficient to send him to the gallows of eternal doubt and mendacity . Fortunately for him his supporters don’t see him as a liar and disbelieve CNN instead as fake news .
But Trump too has been too egoistic and overbearing in running the government as a subsidiary of Trump Incorporated .
That is a dictatorial corporate, hire and fire style, totally incompatible with a democracy in which he must renew power in an election due in November this year.
The pandemic has been an unforeseen foe that has crippled his plans and has consequently stretched his wafer thin credibility on the entrance, size and impact of the pandemic which he desperately wants to wish away.
Just as his opponents see that as the Achilles heel of his hitherto bright reelection chances before the pandemic, now compounded with his heartless handling of the George Floyd racial killing and blind support for the police in the name of being ‘ a president of law and order.
Trump is in a quandary of credibility with his endless tweets which have belittled and beclouded his credibility.
In the same way they have created immense obstacles and befuddlement on his path to reelection, hich looked rosy before a pandemic that has no respect for leaders, their elections, political life or future, took the stage globally.
In Nigeria, the Edo State APC primaries issue is case of poor sensitivity and judgement on the part of the APC Chairman.
Indeed, the Court of Appeal upholding of his suspension is a real sword of Damocles that dropped on his neck at the right time to make his punishment a real deterrent on making malice a political instrument to destroy political opponents.
Fortunately, or not, his victim had resigned himself to his fate, and resigned from the APC before the judgement.
He was blaming lack of education for his displacement before the Appeal Court ouster of his tormentor came in from the blues . Like ‘ a Daniel Come to Judgement ‘ in that famous Shakespeare play ‘ Merchant of Venice’ on justice and ‘the pound of flesh ‘ saga.
There is a lesson here on credibility and mendacity in the way that a governor installed by a godfather on his educational credentials can be equally removed from office by the same hand that put him on the throne with the disgrace and dissolution of the same educational credentials.
hat is vintage political abradacabra which makes one wonder at the sort of profession , background or skills that could have imposed such a propensity or hard hazard of the job on any politician , at this age and time.
The moral here is that justice is blind and the saying is apt that ‘ the mills of justice may grind slowly , but they grind exceedingly fine. ‘ No matter the hazards of the job in politics or any other human endeavor.
Again; From the fury of this raging pandemic, Good Lord Deliver Nigeria Amen .