Hobbled By…

Spread the love

Abubakar D. Sani, Esq.,


Few nations have been cursed

With such a sustained surfeit

Of bad leadership

As one which shall, for now, remain anonymous


But not for long

As shall become clear

As we go along

Albeit by inference


It was touted as the hope

Of the black race – nay, Continent

At independence

All of three score years ago


The political leadership

Which that water-shed moment birthed

Particularly at the center

Consisting of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Tafawa Balewa


Had little prior experience

Of managing such a complex structure

Beyond colonially-superintended

Stints in the Regions



However, their shortcomings were

More attitudinal than anything else

Best summed up as

Nepotism, corruption and words similar


Little surprise, then

That their political immaturity

And, indeed,  naivety

Ensured that they lasted less than six years


But, alas, their successors

Whose starched uniforms

Gave them the aura of integrity

Were worse (it was merely a mystique)


They first led the country

Into a disastrous civil war

Which, even though its end was

Proclaimed as “No victor, no vanquished”


Has continued to haunt its citizens

As those animosities and tensions

Which directly led to it

Have remained with us


Indeed, they’ve been compounded

By newer, deadlier, threats:

A religious insurgency

And armed banditry


You’d think such a cocktail

Of centripetal forces

Tearing at a Nation-State

Would catalyze the requisite leadership



After all, it is said that

“Cometh the hour, cometh the man”

Unfortunately, in our case

Successive leaders have been our bane


The military adventurists

Who abandoned their primary calling

Ostensibly to “save” the rest of us

Soon showed their true colours


Their motivation was no different

From those that were elected:

To live out their delusions of grandeur

And gain access to the national purse


For the good things of life

Everything that money can buy

This applies to all of them –

Except, perhaps, Gowon, Ironsi and Murtala Mohammed


Indeed, in many cases, they out-did the civilians

In outright looting and graft

Infamously exemplified by Sani Abacha

Who seemingly turned it into an art


But before him was Babangida

The gap-toothed General

Who was worldly-wise and politically-savvy

Far beyond his primary constituency


His endless experiments and political chicanery

Pushed the country so close to the abyss

That he was forced to ‘step aside’:

His exit was anything but dignified


Not to forget the man from Otta

Whose post-retirement status was a chicken farmer

A reluctant successor to Murtala,

He returned triumphantly 20 years later


This time, as a civilian President

But, in reality, still a soldier to the core

As he brooked no nonsense

And was constantly at odds with the Legislature


Because of his perceived token efforts

At fighting corruption

That charge continues to be made

Against him to this day


How was he able to rise,


From the ashes

Of post-prison penury?


Arising from his incarceration

By Abacha for a coup that never was

However, given that the evidence is purely anecdotal

He surely deserves the benefit of the doubt


Of those that came after him:

Yar’adua, Goodluck Jonathan and Buhari

Only his immediate successor, Yar’adua

Came away relatively intact


In terms of legacy and reputation

The median one – that is, Goodluck

Seems to have fared the worst

Fortunately, he redeemed himself – somewhat


By his gracious concession

Of defeat to Buhari at the 2015 Presidential elections

Talking of whom, no one seems quite sure anymore

Indeed,  he is the subject of much speculation:


Is it really him?

If not, who is it?

A body double, perhaps?

If he is ill, is it dementia?


Allegations of nepotism

Incompetence and cronyism

Are rife and are, indeed

Credible, given the evidence and the optics


From all indications

This is not the Buhari of yore

The no-nonsense, tough-talking General

Whom some of us recall with nostalgia


So what went wrong?

Not with Buhari – no

But with all of us

Why is the place we call home


Perpetually crawling

Always failing to live up to expectations

While its erstwhile contemporaries

The likes of South Korea, India and Singapore


Have made the transition

(Or have almost done so)

From Third-World status

To rubbing shoulders with Europe


In terms of diagnosis,

The answer is simple: Leadership

As famously observed by the author of “Things Fall Apart”

In another book: “The Trouble with Nigeria”


So much for the analysis

What about the prognosis?

Is there a solution in sight?

Will we ever get it right?

Only a brave man, indeed

Will hazard a guess

As to when – or if

We will ever solve our leadership problems


In the interim

We will keep plodding along

Stumbling from crisis to crisis

Waiting, perhaps, for the Lord’s intervention







Abubakar D. Sani, Esq.

18th January, 2021


Click to Join Our Facebook Group

Call Bridget Edokwe Esq on 08060798767 or send your email to ngbarrister@gmail.com

Alexander Payne: Get these Law books to aid your practice.

The Reports contain valuable and uncommon locus classicus for Legal research, opinion, and advocacy. Grab your copy now!!! Call 07044444999 or 08181999888. Visit our website: www.alexandernigeria.com/


Steps To Subscribe To the Court of Appeal Reports Nigeria

Win your Court cases today, Get Affordable Supreme Court Law Reports >> CLICK HERE

BESTSELLER: Get A-Z of contemporary laws of ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE in Nigeria By Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye. To ORDER, sms or call : +2347063666998, +2348159307051 or email jurispublicationseries@gmail.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: