Given that it is ideal to sometimes praise our leaders where they are deserving of praise, should not make us praise them where they have not proven worthy of our praise. Matter of fact, there’s no need praising a leader that exhibits tokenism just to get the praise of the people. When you praise your leaders that are not worthy of your praise, what it does is to create a resolve in them to perpetually misgovern without repentance or having a conscience with guilt. And this is not what Nigeria and Nigerians need at this juncture of our nationhood.
Nigeria is a very good case in sight. Over the years we’ve had leaders that are in reality worse than rulers, for not all rulers are corrupt like the rulers we have in Nigeria. The average leader in Nigeria has an abused motive for vying for political office. This is a mentality being instilled in the young men and women unconsciously, and oftentimes, deliberately by their folks. If you do a survey in Nigeria to ascertain what propels the average Nigerian student for acquiring education, you would be amazed at your findings, for you would realize that it is nothing other than self aggrandizement.
Let me be fair to Nigerian politicians. You seldom find a Nigerian politician who would tell you in clear terms that he is into politics for money making. However, they would be quick to give you a clue, with which you can draw your conclusion. They would tell you how lucrative politics is. Now, if they eventually become leaders, what should you expect from them?
Former governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili and His Delta State counterpart, James Ibori are two of a kind. While they were governors of their respective states, the people they governed were always singing praises to them, this they kept doing notwithstanding the mal-administration, appalling corruption amongst others that accompanied their reign in government. The people murmured within themselves of the untold hardship these governors caused them, but when they are in the open, all they do is praise-singing unto the very ones causing them so much suffering and pains. How do you praise a man causing you hardship, yet you hope for a better life? Why are we good at suffering and smiling at the same time?
The irony of it is that, no sooner than they have left office, you see the same people that used to sing praises to them, pouring curses at them as though they just realized that they are bad leaders. Is it fear or cowardice that’s responsible for a people losing their self-worth and oftentimes, selling it for a plate of porridge? What on earth should make a man fraternize with the very person sending him to early grave? Why should we be afraid of our representatives when in reality they are our servants that should do our bidding?
What lessons are there to learn from these people by their children? Does it not make it somewhat impossible to have a generation of credible self-esteemed young men, who would defy the status quo in the future, owing to the fact that they’ve been bequeathed with a bequest of cowardice?
The dangers of undue praise-singing cannot be overemphasized. It keeps a people perpetually immured.
There are a handful of reasons people sing praises to their leaders unduly. Primary amongst others is the thinking that, when you praise your corrupt, undeserving, ill- motivated leaders, it would put you in their good book and thereby avail you the opportunity of being their successor or beneficiary as the case may be. This makes both the leaders and the led culpable of misgovernance and corruption. There’s also the erroneous thinking that the leaders are the owners of the resources they manage. So, when there’s an exhibition of tokenism from the leaders, the people praise and pray for them to continue in office because of their perceived kind gesture. This is the height of ignorance and the most annoying of it all.
If the people are aware of their right, as a result of adequate information, they would realize that they deserve far more than they get, and that they are being shortchanged by those that are supposedly their leaders. This is the key reason our corrupt leaders have sworn to deny us education. They know that well educated are a people adequately empowered to grapple with ills in the society, And being that they are aware of their rights, they would stop at nothing to get it.
Praise only those leaders that have proven their leadership to be deserving of your praise. It matters not whether you’re considered a critic for life. Do the ideal always.