Jonathan and Nigerian leadership traits, by Morak Babajide-Alabi

Jonathan and Nigerian Leadership Traits

Sometimes I wonder how the Nigerian leadership think. When I say leadership here, I am not referring only to political leaders. I mean leaders in all spheres – economic, religious etc. They are all with the same leadership traits.

In the past three weeks, I had undergone a “journey” on the workings of the minds of Nigerian leaders and there have been some conclusions.

Please hear me out. When I say Nigerian leaders I am not unaware of the fact that there are few good ones. But I shall use the term Nigerian leader to qualify all. So when I say the Nigerian leader is one that has no respect for the people who he is expected to lead, I am referring to the bad ones among the lots. In civilised countries, leaders are accountable to their subjects, but in Nigeria, the opposite is most times the case. In Nigeria, the leader is a god that cares less about his subjects.

This leadership “trait” is evident in every sector of the country. From Civil Service where the chief clerk is a tin god to the office assistant who has to show off anytime his service is required. And from this scale, it goes on to the local, state and federal levels.

The Nigerian president, Goodluck Jonathan, the leader, by recent comments and actions have shown he has little or no respect for his subjects.
I remember early in the year when the president was campaigning for office, this guy made use of all available means to woo voters. He was on Facebook, Twitter etc promising a new beginning for Nigerians. I made a comment at the height of all these that Goodluck Jonathan is a chip off the old block and therefore is offering nothing new. But I cautioned at the same time that the alternative, Buhari/Bakare are not better.

Goodluck has not lived up to the expectations of the people. Rather he has trampled on all the hopes the common men had before he became president. Just like a man cursed and destined for destruction, Goodluck announced his plan to remove fuel subsidy. His excuse was not different from what we have been told in the past – that the subsidies when removed, will be put into infrastructures development. Also the middlemen marketer syndrome.

Hearing all these you think you are reading from the scripts of former Nigerian presidents – Babangida and Abacha. They canvassed same excuses to remove subsidies so they could “steal” as much. Now you wonder if Goodluck ever learns from history. I doubt. He is bent on removing the subsidies and I am confident it will serve no purpose.

Not learning from history is another trait of Nigerian leaders. They rarely do.

Can you imagine the announcement that toll gates are coming back on Nigerian highways in 2012? Then you ask, where were these guys when the decision to scrap the toll gates? And could they not get one of the numerous special assistants to ministers and president to research on why the toll gates were scrapped in the first instance.

At that time among many reasons were corruption and the fact that the toll workers/operators were making far too much money than the Federal Government.

You sigh.

But in the Nigerian leadership’s desperation to find means of enriching himself, he has to think of the money-making moves.
They rarely think.
Do you think they do?

Published on November 4, 2011.






I am an experienced Social Media practitioner with a strong passion for connecting with customers of brands. As part of a team, I presently work on the social media account of a leading European auto company. On this job, I have brought my vast experiences in journalism, marketing, search engine optimisation and branding to play.