*Hello! This is a post that was sent to me by my 50+ year old friend. I read it, thought some good issues were raised, and I’ve decided to share. Enjoy!*
Recently, I attended the 50th birthday party of a Secondary School mate. At the well-attended party which had Ebeneezer Obey on the band stand, and while gulping down his expensive red wine, it suddenly occurred to me that if this guy is celebrating his 50th birthday this year and I celebrated mine two years ago, then we should not have been in the same class back then!
You may perhaps be searching for the connection between my friend’s birthday and “leadership sincerity”. Allow me to make the connection right away! My friend is the son of one of the prominent politicians at that time- mid sixties. And what I am driving at is that his father must have used the proverbial “long leg” to make him gain admission into the primary school before the attainment of the official/mandatory age of six years old. In short, he had beaten the educational system by two years! Shocking! How did this happen?
As I mentioned earlier, every kid in those days was mandatorily required to reach the ripe age of six years before entering the Primary School. To make assurance double sure, there existed then a very crude way of ascertaining this by the school authorities. Simply put, all children were made to bring their right hand across their head to touch the left ear. It was believed that the hand of any six year old (and above) child should touch the left ear. Therefore any child whose hand did not touch his ear was denied admission.
In the unfortunate circumstance that a child is six years old and is perhaps stunted in growth to the extent that he cannot perform this simple task, then he/she is forced to come back the following year. Such was the strict nature of admission at that time and there were no Nursery schools to take your child to. The child/ward will have to wait out the year or go and learn a trade until such a time that the system can certify him fit for admission into the Primary school. Majority of the children at that time never went back to school!
If that is the case, how did my friend beat this strict system to gain admission at four years old! There is only one possibility, the law that was applied strictly for the children of the poor was bent to enable him gain admission without all the fuss that was the norm at that time. He had beaten a system built on an egalitarian principle put in place to provide equal opportunity for the children of the high & the mighty, the poor and the rich, the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, for those in government and those out of government. And this is the crux of the matter!
Our leaders are not sincere and have always had two sets laws for the country – the harsh & draconian law, like the one mentioned above for the children of the less privileged and the soft and backdoor law for the children of the ruling class or rich. They and their children have always beat the system. As a result of this, they perpetuate themselves in power through various means of corrupt practices meant to ensure that the grass is always green on their side of the fence.
In present day Nigeria, a common thief who steals a N2,000 worth handset is given long prison sentence while Ministers or Bank Executives are given very light sentences for stealing billions of naira. How then will the ordinary people on the street trust their leaders with the common wealth? No wonder, the ruled also go about stealing public goods that they can lay their hands upon. Is it not strange that Aluminum guard rails on our bridges are missing? Check this out! The common thieves have melted and turned them into aluminum products! What about overhead cables stolen from power lines,
Cast-iron covers from man-holes, or stealing of mercury from inside working transformers to make money! The same mindset that the leaders exhibit in beating the system is also used by the people to perpetuate acts that expose them to willful danger of death by electrocution or death of unsuspecting fellow compatriots who are made to fall into exposed ditches from exposed man-holes. And all of these because of leadership insincerity.
Only God will save Nigeria. Everything will fall into place the moment our leaders start to behave in a sincere and truthful manner.