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OPINION: The Need To Reinvigorate PDP In Ekiti And Beyond | Aare Amerijoye

WITHOUT FOLLOWERS THERE ARE NO LEADERS AND WITHOUT LEADERS THERE WILL NOT BE A COMMON DIRECTION.

BEING THE TEXT OF SPEECH DELIVERED BY AARE AMERIJOYE DOT.B, AT THE SECOND ANNIVERSARY OF E16 HELD AT YEMRAF HOTEL,ON 2ND OCTOBER , 2021

The distinguished Chairman of this occasion; Chief(Rotarian) Bola Olu- Ojo; the former State Chairman of PDP in Ekiti,

The outstanding Awardees of today’s occasion here present,

The Chairman of the E16; Mr. Fatai Adewumi,

The Coordinator of the E16; Comrade Adebayo Success,

Leaders and members of the E16 here present,

Gentlemen of the Press,

Ladies and gentlemen.

It is indeed my pleasure to be part of this auspicious occasion of your anniversary. Indeed it is a great honour giving me this platform to address this noble Organisation on issues of relevance. When I was informed yesterday night that I would be the guest lecturer at this occasion I would have turned it down, not for any inability but the irreconcilable short notice.

But taking into cognisance my position in our great Party. As the State Youth Leader of the Peoples Democratic Party I will love to always subscribe to activities that can create platforms for conversations among the youths and such activities should be encouraged.

May I thank E16 group for their consistency in raising the consciousness of Ekiti people and capturing the will of the youths in the State for our great Party. You have done much and greatly your activities are concussioning.

You might have noticed that I had taken a long sabbatical from writing too partisan political article, and it is real fun watching the drama from the sundeck , I became much of an ardent reader of posts, though I occasionally make comments on WhatsApp groups,often I meditate on the chances of our great Party in 2022.

My reflection has always been how do we achieve a unifying candidate for the Party, how will the Party governorship primary election be rancourous free and fair. For some of us whose flairs for writing is instinctive, intuitive and spontaneous we cannot but put our opinions into logical expression on issues.

Many are not aware that once one has flair for dissertation, then writing becomes a mandatory vocation. Like myself, I take much satisfaction in the moil and exertion called dissertation. I chew sharp and stingy words, phrases, clauses, sentences and paragraphs into painless mush, gobbledegook to myself in ecstatic withdrawal and put pen to article only when I imagine the reasonable expression, rhythm, inflection, pitch,resonance and reverberation.

But often ,different meanings are usually being imputed into my writings and even speeches. Needless syntaxes being built to my messages. I am not actually being bulged by such hecklesome. I am not a reporter but a writer and you should expect reverberating creativity that may be impregnated with meanings from a good writer. I am not a sycophantic essayist, I look at issues holistically and hold the balance of my views on them.

The reality , then, is that when you begin to pick a side that relates to you in my dissertation ,then the assumption that you are a target enveloped you and you will become emotional. My writings are much laced with satires than abuses or invectives ,It is not uncommon to hear and see many people taking my views extremely personal and today I would not be surprised to hear or see sycophants around boxing shadow on the views I want to express here today on leadership.

Of recent I have paid attention and insight to the writeup twirling the significance of leadership in term of having formidable devotees that can always keep leaders on their toes ,on issues of progress , improvement , refinement,revision and correction.

Followership is important in the discussion of leadership for several reasons. Without followers there are no leaders. For any project or Organisation to succeed, there must be people who willingly and effectively follow, just as there must be those who willingly and effectively lead.

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Leadership is a very complicated thing , there is the level of ambivalence and vileness contradiction inherent in a treatise on the godliness of leaders and leadership.Yet one can not dismiss it with a wave of hand without running the risk of being unhistorical. Ekiti for instance has had a share of leaders who lives remain shining example in specific area of their existences and vitalities.

Of course there is need to understand that there are in fact two distinct faces of leadership- the good and the bad. The leader could either be the saints or the monsters. Every President, Governor, Sheik , General Overseer, King or Sultan must necessarily fall into one of the two categories. There is no middle position. And it does not matter if the leader is radical as Fidelis Castro and Muammar Gaddafi. Or a conformist as Zik, Or a reformist as Mikhail Gorbachev. Or a recalcitrant like Ronald Reagan. Or an oligarchical like Ahmadu Bello, Or even diehard institutionalist like Margaret Thatcher or an ideologue as Awo or a populist like Fayose or possessed financial propriety like Aribisala, contented like Oni, or intelligent like Olujimi or Godfearing like Eleka, or classical as Kolawole or a result oriented like Wike.

Leaders, like the God bestowed air we inhale are ubiquitous. Call them what you may. Even an administrator of a WhatsApp group or Facebook page. He who speaks Organisation speaks leadership ,it does not matter the population , the mammoth. Neither does it matter if the person is nominal head, a balox-box elected executive or machine-gun dependent saviour. ‘ Leadership surely makes the world competition.

In Robert Michels reasoning, the 19th century German sociologist caught the essence of this phenomenon ,the inevitability of leadership in his *Iron law of Oligarchy* by saying that” no matter how egalitarian or even radical any organisation can be there must emerge an exclusive group of leaders at the centre. This inner group(the leaders )he said ,direct power and get things done through the administrative staff and evolve some kind of rigorous order and ideology to ensure the survival of the Organisation.

The concept of leadership therefore immediately creates , in the mind’s eye, a set of kaleidoscope images – of power , prestige, prominence,honour, and sometimes wealth, unlimited wealth. Besides, there is something sacrosanct about idea of leaders and leadership. Perhaps, this arises substantially from the teachings of the holy book of Christians and that of Muslims as one is told, which preaches the godliness of leaders. This holy book( Bible) among other things , that powers that be, all authorities, are” ordained by God.” Nothing could be more explicit.

But , the question ensues. Are all leadership institutions really sacred? In other words, are leaders not to be interrogated and critiqued. There are questions that tend to disclose the apparent paradoxes in the tradition of the sacredness of leaders and leadership.

To response in the affirmative could imply an approval of monstrosity and atrociousness known to have been committed by leaders over history. It could mean, for instance, an acceptance of the then apartheid enclave of South Africa. It could also infer the defence of the genocide against Jews directed by the Nazi Chief, Adolf Hitler. And more lately ,preach the inviolability of leaders and leadership is to say aye to such degeneration and scandals as the siphoning of Nigerians government money by Abacha and many other African leaders in the various Africa countries.

These, no hesitation, would indicate a stamp of repression by leaders. Graft and unreasonable embezzlement and official irresponsibility which has become almost inseparable from Nigeria’s leadership pattern these past decades.

With the foregoing ,does it mean people putting forward their graspable understanding against such leader are doomed for doing the right thing. Should we believe our leaders are not to be questioned, challenged , queried or disagreed with on issues. Leadership exist for followership. Without followership there would not have been leadership. Examples abound in the holy scriptures where men that were the apple’s eyes of the God felt short of godly behaviour and face sanctions.

Take Moses for example. He was filled with holy power and wisdom as long as he doubted his own ability (Exodus 4:10). But he made big mistakes when he licensed himself to become carried away with a sense of his own significance (Numbers 20:8-12). The exact pattern is evident in the lives of Gideon (Judges 6:15), Saul (I Samuel 10:21, 22), Elijah (I Kings 19:10), and Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1:6). And that’s to name just a few.

Clearly, leadership should be for services and not unnecessary mundane considerations and infamous subjection of others to feed fat on them. The biblical view might be better represented by Thomas Jefferson’s observation that “Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on public office, a rottenness begins in his conduct.”Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Tench Coxe, 1799. Cited in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, 268.

You may concur with me, today as was in the previous time , that leadership – followership relationship that is being run today in our system is far from what operated in the days of Awo and Zik, when things were ran on common vision with capacity for creative thinking, the conceptualisation of the system and the institution for operations, even in the North where we have a strong oligarchy system and Alhmadu Bello and Balewa reigned supreme ,leadership – followership was being run on a good culture of values and projections.

Many may not quickly accept this as a fact, that the leadership-followership relationship we have now is sycophantic and this by extension give no room for principles and is being run without values. Unfortunately, this had produced for us the Hobbesian state ,where leaders without the culture of common interests run without conscience. In doing this we had dangerously ignored the universal directive that society finds better meaning and direction” if each of us puts in common his person and his whole power under the supreme direction of the general will, and in return we receive, every member, as indivisible part of the whole”

Yet,there is a pressing fact ,that must be communicated here. If we have the right to be listened to by our leaders,it can not be obviously right when as followers we are going around despising our leaders and calling them unprintable names. On several occasions, I have impressed it on people around me that issues can be politely dealt with without going piggish about it. Our points can be made without demonising our leaders. It is human that every leader will certainly have his area of weakness. The incorruptibility of the gods or infallibility of saints can not be found in them. And as such we can not be looking for perfection in our leaders. Our leaders deserve our respect, not minding their imperfection.

They are our leaders because, in the process of various considerations and activities they emerged to lead. For example, taken for granted, every citizen can become a senator, governor, president in his or her house. But we all have all elected to put our powers in the hands of some of us. Such power is to act for us , intrinsically reverting to us on issues and taking decisions. That explicit trust must be mutually reciprocated, we must respect our leaders and our leaders showing love to us, must be emotionally attached to us, feel our impulse and protect our common interest.Such a healthy relationship will yield a frictionless workable approach for a strong Peoples Democratic Party.

May I at this juncture, therefore beseech the E16 to proceed in their onerous responsibility of reseeding this Party more in the hearts of Ekiti. But you may need to showcase your values by being part of solutions that will make Peoples Democratic Party a stronger political Party. We cannot have a Party, where there would not be disagreement, where there would not be clashes of ideas , of principles. But the ability to manage that effectively is the most important thing. E16 with strategic-guided thinking and focuses on developing a unique driven concept should live above trivial issues and grapple with the activities that promote unity in the Party and not brinkmanship, embark on various programmes for the reinvigoration of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti and beyond.

 

Long Live E16,
Long Live Peoples Democratic Party,
Long Live Ekiti State,
Long Live Nigeria.

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