Why do our political Leaders fail ...?

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

Why do we have political leaders? What are the roles of these leaders? How do they perform their statutory roles as leaders of a people? Are their services commendable? The lists of these questions can be endless. But let us limit ourselves to a few of these. The answers to these questions will also be varied as there are persons. But there could be some similarities. What is central and of paramount importance is the fact that we have political leaders.

They are chosen or selected from among us to represent our interests. It is their bounden duty to use the resources of the land to impact on the life of every citizen. They have the sacred mandate of the people. Especially in the democratic dispensation the role of the political leaders is to guarantee the common good for the citizens. They are the servants while the people are the masters.

It is nothing else than to be at the service of the master, caring for their welfare and seeing that their lives flourish. With the sacred mandate of the people the political leaders form the government with all the rights and privileges, including of course the obligations. Governments are therefore organized to do for the individual citizens what they cannot do for themselves.

Political leaders and people at the corridors of power fail in their duties when they do not pay sufficient action-attention to the fundamentals of good governance namely the care for the integral welfare of the people. The welfare of the people is the essence of any government. Most of our so called leaders have failed. They pay attention to their individual pockets.

That explains the scenario of scandalous poverty among the majority of Nigerian citizens in a land richly endowed with abundant natural resources. A leader is adjudged to have failed in the mechanics of management when the subjects languish in avoidable misery and disease.

Sycophancy on the part of the people towards the elected or selected leaders is another reason why most leaders fail. Nigerians are funny people. While in office one gets the impression from sycophants' that one is doing very well. One is praised for doing nothing. Praise-singers give the leader the impression that the leader is the best thing that can happen to the people.

Yet there are no evidences on the ground to show that the leader actually works. It is unfortunate that the so called leaders would want to hear what they want to hear. And no one has the courage to call a spade by its name for fear of losing one's individual gains or the connections. Sometimes one gets the impression that some of our leaders are blind and deaf. They do not seem to understand the business of government. They do not have the concept of service for the common good.

Neither do they believe that governance is all about serving the people in their needs. It is not about the weight of the pockets of the leaders. Leaders make even heroic sacrifices for the welfare of its subjects. But it is not in Nigeria. Political leaders in Nigeria are demi-gods. They do not serve, they are served.

Even as we prepare for the next general elections in 2015, attention must be paid to the actual performances of the government in power. Accountability fora or public Score cards for good governance should be instituted for proper checks and balances. In fact, most Nigeria politicians do not even remember that they had an agenda on accession to power.

We should rise above the campaign rhetorics. Political promises during campaigns are important roadmaps through which the administration of the one seeking public mandate should take its bearings. The verdict at the people's parliament is dispassionate and does not admit of compromises!

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