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Lead us out of temptation

Lead us out of temptation-

By Theo Adebowale
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The Master mentored His disciples for three and a half years teaching them. They traveled by foot, traveled on the road, sailed on water. He performed miracles before them, taught them to pray, to fast and cast out the devil. Before them, He surrendered to the persecutor, was crucified enduring unto death. He rose again. He instructed His disciples to remain in Jerusalem until power came. He had taught them to pray not to be led into temptation but to be delivered from evil.

Leadership encompasses mentoring, there is evil in leadership, in mentoring as many a disciple is not really looking for a leader, rather, they want a stepping stone, who is good, honorable, god sent until they ride on his back to power. Then, he has served his usefulness, ready to be disposed. So an average ‘leader’ is not one in the real sense of the word. He is merely a facilitator.

Most politicians are not looking for a man of character to follow; they are looking for money bags to sponsor them. Like the desperate yahoo boys, they would not ask for conditions before collecting the ‘blessing’. But having attained office, the godfather becomes over bearing, imposing and  greedy.

Nigerian politicians lead themselves into temptation through impatience, too much ambition and  for lack of mentor. No sooner did he win an election, or make an appointment than he started to recruit his own disciples, they are his bouncers, image launderers, Napoleon is always right. A few decades ago in Ondo State, the then Mr Governor was under pressure by workers who demanded a salary review.

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Trust workers, they can be inconsiderate! Mr Governor asked them, do you know I have power over life and death? Ladoke Akintola University, an institution under two masters had been under lock and key for more than two sessions. The students were apprehensive, unruly and unreasonable even before one of the governors. He asked them, do you know I am the constituted authority. Politicians allow themselves to be led into temptation because they subject every mechanism that would have checked their excesses to their whims and caprices. The party that would have served as a processor, disseminating information, sounding opinion, getting them feedback, they make lame duck. They look for spineless characters to run the affairs such that the EXCO is a mere megaphone. When the evil day comes, he cannot even deliver himself. Every knowledgeable, candid opinion is frustrated out of the party for theirs in the kingdom, the power and the resources.

It is not as if party membership has no fault. Every member is culpable to an extent. No member cares how the party is funded. They must be induced and motivated to attend meetings and other party functions. The other day, one gentleman got a caterer ready to minister to the need of Afenifere leaders. To clinch a senatorial ticket he supplied automobile gifts to the chiefest of the leaders. He was elected into the Senate, dumped camp and transferred to the camp of the conservatives. He bought his way all through never making a single contribution on the floor of the Red Chamber. He used Alliance for Democracy to go in, but would not submit to the discipline or supremacy of the party.

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They want to be nominated, fielded and voted through the party, thereafter they want to feature as independent candidates, the bane of the progressive camp in Nigeria. Our man Friday was more fortunate. He floated his own party and he got the mandate through it. As proprietor and sole financier, he got the party delivering to him.

Later on, it became that few were called, but many more were enlisting. He defected to his former party, when that had overstayed its usefulness for his ambition; he defected once more to his last party. Again he returned to the party where he was once upon a time, founder and financier. Then he went out to float a new party. The latest in the grapevine is that he now wants to move to the ruling party. His foot soldiers are already peddling a rumour that two governors are appealing to him to come over.

The electoral misfortune he suffered over a forth night ago has been attributed to his penchant for taking the people for a ride. But like many other fortunate politicians, it is as a result of evading authority, a tendency to be final authority that is, over which no authority exists. That is, sovereignty of the ‘progressives’.

The principle of checks and balance derived from the provisions of separation of powers was deliberately built into the constitutions of western democracies to guide against the tragedy inherent in absolute power for it corrupts absolutely. A cursory look into Russian and Chinese constitutions would confirm existence of checks and balance there. It is interesting to know that as powerful as unquestionable the Alaafin was, his monarchy was subject to the Oyomesi, the Parliament and the Ogboni was a watchdog, defender of the common good.

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Certain Nigerian politicians believe the executive must loot; the parliament must pad the budget, while the judicature should sell justice. But no human community would attain development through that path. That path brought the so-called largest party in Africa to a disastrous end. Every attempt they make since then to recover power has proved futile. In gathering, they gathered in Dubai, in South Africa, even took the back door to the United States. But because the gathering was treasonable, they got scattered. That is an end All Progressives Congress should avoid. Let the progressives arise to recover lost grounds. Let them identify the locus of power, clearly define and respect it. Let there be popular participation or internal democracy.

Those who preside over the affairs of the state must recognise that power belongs to the people. They should therefore comport themselves as custodians of people’s power. That is the way to sustain authority. Through fair play and equity power is consolidated.

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