The idea of the robust man is synonymous with African leaders who construct up the picture of indispensability and infallibility. They defend themselves from the folks that they govern and are seen as demi-gods whose whims and caprices should at all times be worshipped and attended to in each minute element. Many names of those blood thirsty dictators come to thoughts: Idi Amin of Uganda, Mobutu Sese Seko of Congo, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Sani Abacha of Nigeria, King Mswathi of Swaziland, Paul Biya of Cameroun amongst many others alive or lifeless who’re within the corridor of infamy.
Nelson Mandela of South Africa emerged because the exception to the rule. He spent twenty-seven years behind bars within the anti-apartheid wrestle and served for just one time period opting in his phrases to change into the daddy of the nation at a time when the nation would have been greater than eternally grateful to have him as President for all times.
The Madiba syndrome as Mandela was fondly known as unfold to all components of the continent with democrats falling over themselves to be recognized along with his noble beliefs despite the fact that their actions tilted in direction of autocracy.
The return of democracy to Nigeria, essentially the most populous nation in Africa twenty years in the past has the tragedy of the so known as leaders not having learnt the teachings of servant management that’s the anchor of democratic management. From the monumental corruption scandals to the ‘Don’t ask, don’t inform’ secrecy coverage of the Governor’s safety votes to the massive price of Nationwide Meeting governance, the Nigerian political experiment reveals an enormous disconnect between the rulers and the dominated.
Naturally, it was with skepticism that I greeted the information of the current need by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to drop the age-long title of ‘His Excellency’ for ‘Mr. Governor’. In his phrases ‘“Within the final 5 months that I’ve been privileged to train the mandate freely given to me by the good and hardworking individuals of Lagos State, it has come to my consciousness to assessment sure options of citizen-government relations which impede the real expression of the democratic spirit of our society and the significant train of the sovereignty of our individuals.
“The workplace of the Governor has been celebrated because the paragon of excellence, a temple of perfection and a throne of purity.
“This demi-god mystique spreads over the complete equipment of the manager arm of the federal government, symbolising an authoritarian disposition on the ruled.
“It has deformed the orientation of elected and appointed individuals who’re paid from the taxes of the individuals to see themselves as oppressors who can do no improper and have to be served, slightly than serve the individuals.
“No matter may need been the rationale for this fantasy, allow us to be trustworthy, the workplace is occupied by a mortal who has been known as upon to serve the citizens with humility – and sincerity. The workplace of Governor is a public belief that requires sacrifice, modesty and willingness so as to add worth to the lives of the individuals.
“Fellow Lagosians, I’ve come to the conclusion that for us to alter the narrative of governance, we now have to strike down this seeming image of government vanity that instructions standard obeisance and undermines the democratic position of residents because the masters of these they’ve elected and appointed to serve.
“It’s a conviction that I consider will ship the precise indicators to all politicians and civil servants that service to the individuals has introduced us right here. It’s the responsibility we’re obliged to do. It’s the accountability that we bear wherever we discover ourselves; at any time when we’re known as to serve.
“Solely God, the Almighty, the Creator, the Protector is the Most Wonderful. No man can share His everlasting qualities.
“Thenceforth, I want to be addressed merely as Mr. Governor, a title that may always remind me that I’ve been chosen out of so many fellow compatriots to steer a collective salvage of our political economic system.
“A salutation that sanitizes the paraphernalia of workplace and reminds us all of our imperfections and mortality. To provide official impact to this announcement, I shall problem tomorrow an government order that may formally guarantee full compliance with this new coverage.”
I hope he isn’t taking part in to the gallery as most Nigerian public officers do. We recall the case of the previous Governor of Niger State, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu who used the title ‘Chief Servant’ however was so unpopular that he misplaced the 2015 senatorial elections. He’s presently dealing with a graft case with the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC).
Sanwo-Olu for starters might dispose of the massive perks of workplace – safety votes, unwieldy powers to award contracts with requisite accountability and so forth. Additionally, he ought to instantly get to work. The state is a big dumpsite – refuse litters all over the place and it stinks to the excessive heavens. The roads are in extraordinarily unhealthy form and the presence of the rains make a few of them downright impassable.
There ought to be huge infrastructural improvement in order that the a lot wanted employment will be generated for the nice of all of the residents. Safety ought to be tackled headlong and one thing ought to be executed in regards to the menace of the road urchins popularly often known as space boys or agberos.
Alhaji Lateef Jakande bore the title ‘His Excellency’ however he lives on within the hearts of Lagosians perpetually due to his lengthy lasting professional individuals insurance policies in simply 4 years with far much less assets that the present crop of governors have.
The time is ticking away fairly quick; its excessive time Sanwo-Olu started working and stopped tickling the minds of Lagosians along with his new title adoption.
Tony Ademiluyi writes from Lagos