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Leadership, expectations and democrac

By horilines • 24 days ago • 33 views • 2 comments
Leadership, expectations and democrac

Democracy  largely is an ideology of great expectations of leadership by the electorate who  elected leaders into power in  the hope that promises made during campaigns  will   be  met. When  elected  leaders  meet  such expectations or  even  part  of it,  the pendulum  of   satisfaction   and   fulfillment swings   up  and down. When expectations are  not met at all  there  is  at  first indignation,  leading to despondency  then  the anger of betrayal makes  the political  arena tense and at  times violent. It  follows  therefore that it is better and even safer that elected leaders keep  their election  promises  so  that they can gain the confidence and support of the electorate and keep  their power  and the perquisites of office deservedly  instead  of attracting the hostility, distrust  and contempt  of those who elected them by not keeping their election promises. Today  I look at the ways and means that some  leaders in some nations are using to  ensure that they  do not lose  the confidence of  their people  because they  elected them into office in good faith to keep election promises and make life  better  and comfortable for  them.

It  is always better here that charity should start  at  home in Nigeria where a new cabinet  was sworn in this week with fanfare in the capital in Abuja.  We  shall  examine  the level  of expectations in the land on the new  cabinet  more  so that the  government is a re elected one that has a score card already on its performance in office in the first  term from 2015 to  2019.  That  certainly creates a spring board  on  the quality  of expectations or  hope  of Nigerians on what is in the offing for them  in the next four years.

We  go  to Italy  too where  a leader of a coalition government  has literally broken  the coalition and brought the government  down  because he feels  that  the electorate is in tune  with his kept promises  and  he thinks it   would  be  propitious     for  him    to call    for  an   election  for now  so   that   he  can   win  and  do away  with his coalition partners. We  look  at the two  leaders  of the Western  world, namely Britain  and the US as  they  cope with political situations and unique  leaders that  have divided their  stable  governments sharply if  not  wildly  in a way  that even  they are shocked at how  and why they  got  to the messy impasse  they  have found themselves.  Brexit  is rocking Britain  with Boris  Johnson behaving as if he is the  Messiah to make Britain great  again when  EU  leaders  have told him bluntly  that  they   are  ready  for the  specter of No Deal   he has used  to  get  into power as PM. Donald  Trump, the maverick  US President  has  boasted  always  that  he has kept  his campaign  promises  but now that the economy  is  shaky  he is not fazed  as he  even  joked  that  as  President of the US in these unusual  times,  he is the ‘chosen one ‘.

We  go back  again to  Nigeria  where a new  government is in place   with  many of the old Ministers  still  on board. The  fresh  faces too are not that new  as   some    have been  governors before. In  terms of  expectations the old hands  could search  their conscience on their last performance and beat  their chests if they  think they  have satisfied Nigerians in terms of  expectations or bow their heads in shame if they know they  have  not. Generally  expectations  are low  of this new  cabinet  in the nation. There  is a saying that  you  do not  change  a winning  team but  this was not one in the last  four years  and there  is no need to mention names or portfolios.  The issues of insecurity, terrorism,  banditry, herdsmen and farmers are  still  untouched in terms of  their  savagery  and pervasiveness  in  Nigeria.   The   fact  that  at  the time  the  Ministers  were  being sworn  Nigeria’s  borders   were  closed   to  check    the influx  and   menace of  illegal   immigrants  threatening our collective  security  is  ominously  symbolic.  That   really  is a  big challenge   for   the new  Minister   of Interior   former Osun State  Governor  Rauf  Aregbesola.  Indeed  there  is  a saying that  it does not  matter  how the snake  is killed  as long  as it is   killed  and its menace  removed. Unfortunately  the ‘snake’  marauding  our citizenry  is wildly alive  and well.  Our  hope is that  the new government will   kill  it permanently  so  that Nigerians  can  pray  and  clap  for  government and its ministers  as they go  into  the government’s second term, hopefully  to meet  the expectations of the Nigerian  nation, this    time   around.

In Italy  the Interior Minister Matteo Salvini  who  has become popular with the implementation of Italy’s anti Immigrants  policy became opportunistic   to  become PM by  precipitating a crisis  that  forced the PM  Guisseppe  Conte to  resign  and for his coalition  partner  to  seek  new coalition  partners.  What  interests  us here is that  Salvini  is savouring the joy   and strength  of  living up to the expectations of the electorate and is cashing on that  to get   even  more power. That  really  is how a democracy  should  run.  The  fuel   of a  vibrant  democracy should   be  the  realization of  election promises  by those  elected  into office  and Salvini  is gambling  on that right now in Italy  and I wish him luck  and   hope  that his huge  democratic  gambit does not  back fire as a bird  in hand is worth two  in the bush.

With  regard to Britain and  the US  and  the menace of Brexit  and a Trump  presidency  I  see  the two  leaders as two  sides  of  the same  coin.  Trump  even  before Boris Johnson  came to power  was in favour of Brexit  saying  loud  and clear that  the US would  make a  better  trade deal with  Britain  such that it would  never regret leaving the EU. Boris Johnson  on the other  hand is  holding the British electorate  by the jugular  that it voted to leave the EU   referendum  and that  it cannot change  its  mind and  would leave by October  this year  deal  or no Deal. That  too is  living up to  the  expectation of the British  people inherent in the referendum  result,   no matter   how   close.  The  fact  that the implementation of Brexit is difficult  does  not  invalidate the expectation of the British  people in such a way  that a second referendum  would  be  required. That  again shows  that  democracy  is not always a bed of  roses  as  the  British  electorate  wrestles tirelessly  with its own Brexit decision and expectations.

Similarly, the US President Donald  Trump  should  be commended,  no matter    how grudgingly  for living up to his election promises on Immigration and  a buoyant  economy.  He has also brought China to its   knees   to respect  intellectual property and control  piracy  in its economy and   internationally. Trump  has  been  his  government’s  most vocal  trumpet  and talking drum of his  government’s achievements  and he has been  helped  immensely  by the technology of tweeter which  has  helped  him  a lot to take on both domestic and foreign enemies  and detractors  alike.  Regardless  of his offensive utterances  there is  something to be admired in a leader  like Donald  Trump   who brags about his  fulfillment of the campaign promises  he made before  coming to power. That  really is the  essence of  leadership in a democracy  anywhere in the world.  Once again  long live the Federal Republic of  Nigeria.

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