The saying that "leaders should lead by example" in the Nigerian context, has for long been evasive. For one reason or the other, this saying may eventually begin to hold sway.
This is on the backdrop of a statement made by the governor of Abia State, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu (Ph.D) while speaking with Vanguard in Abuja on Sunday, where he admitted that as leaders, they owe apology to the masses, admitting the failure of Nigerian leaders to represent the citizenry.
Suffice it to ask, in view of this re- awakening, why did the Governor not deem it necessary to begin the apology with those of his kith and kin? That is, pensioners, teachers, health workers, polytechnic workers among others in his state whom he has deliberately owed several months and arrears of salaries?
After all, a wise saying has it that "ana eshi n'ulo Mara mma fuwa ama". What better way can the Governor apologise to the masses if not through payment of salaries and providing them with basic infrastructure? Abia is not in the league of States with good infrastructure. She has no good road network, welfare of workers is nothing to write home about.
Since the Governor talks about apologising to the masses, it then means he and his cohorts actually understand that the masses have never accused them wrongly of failing to fulfill their election promises. Then why accusing critics of being myopic in their criticisms these past years?
His admittance of apologising to the masses can only make meaning if he leads the way by paying salaries, embarking on human faced policies and programmes, infrastructural development turnaround in the state as well as acting like an academic that he is by taking cognizance of teachers, lectures, pensioners and other individuals owed in the state. Only when this is done, can one say that his call for recompense is actually genuine.
Aside these, one may be tempted to ask if this is another case of lip service to the people, political gimmick or simply a case of re-awakened consciousness.
If actually this statement is credited to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, then the macabre dance is just about to begin. Dancers should get ready for new dance steps as a leader wants to set the pace.
By Ijeoma Ekeleoma (Ph.D)
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