One of the dictionary‘s definitions of leadership is the state or position of being a leader. However, in some Nigerian states, evidence are fast emerging, to suggest the bastardization of such meaning of leadership, in a manner reminiscent to what obtains in the animal kingdom.
Case after case, some scenarios are surfacing, in circumstances that lend credence to the speculation that some governors are governing their states under inverted instructions.
The leader or governor giving orders in the office is only the shadow, as the real governor, and by extension, the real leader is being tele-guided from the other room. I don’t have any quarrel with that, provided the leader is courageous enough to discard deception.
There is a Nigerian adage that says, “Every day is for the thief, one day is for the owner”. The day the public comes to know that they are being deceived by the lion, who for long has been playing the leader at the altar of sincerity, he would become a subject of ridicule, whose limitless loyalty to the lioness has turned him into a liability of deception.
A prominently powerful state in northern Nigeria is playing host to such an unpalatably inverted style of leadership. And the coast is getting clear for confrontation.
Information from the grapevine has long pointed to the leader as a lame duck, that would only be acting as a lion, while power is actually residing in the hands of a hidden lioness. Alas, the lies of the lion, alongside the impact of the dominant control of the lioness, are conniving to give out the leader as nothing but an elected fibster.
What a disaster to a state, that is seen as the political pillar of the region, and the democratic pilot of the country.
Reminiscent to what obtains in the wildlife sanctuary, the lion lives with the lioness, who exerts excessive powers in the lion’s den, through the use of some tested and trusted cronies, or the antelopes.
The relationship between the lioness and these antelopes is well known to the lion, who does not frown at it, because it’s not a relationship at variance with the norms of the den, nor one that is threatening to the lion’s best interest. In fact, it adds value, sometimes in “foreign feed”, to the lion’s fodder and forage.
The antelopes keep lubricating the chain through a chop-I-chop symbiotic relationship, by constantly initiating avenues for food supplies, and making sure the meat reaches their carnivorous benefactor. Because they know the potency of the lioness, who is only keeping the relationship in order to lengthen the deceit, they dare not renege on any promise.
One that was calling the shots at a fearful and powerful arm of the den has reportedly reneged, which led to his removal and now red-baiting.
Only recently, at a congregation, the lioness made a public announcement, to the effect that a particular antelope in attendance, should be singled out to succeed the lion in the den. The lioness did not mince words in highlighting her reasons- his undiminishing loyalty in regular remittance of returns, even when the duo of the lion and the lioness were out of the shores. And the lion is fully aware of this.
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Although the lion is the king of the jungle, the fierce powers of the female counterpart, the lioness, can be injurious to many of his interests. Hence the necessity of maintaining the peace of the graveyard.
For this reason, the lion continues to fear the lionesses, knowing fully well that it may not win a fight against it. As such, the safest option is deception, through the tale of lies in leadership.
As the time for the change of guards approaches, and subtle moves are being made to take, or keep territorial control of the den, all animals are on their toes in the sanctuary, with the lion and the lioness on maximum alert.
There are fears that the lioness had used many antelopes, in particular the proposed and the preposterous antelope, to steal a lot of the animal’s concentrates, and the day of reckoning is fast beckoning.
In the animal kingdom, territoriality is only shown by a minority of species. More commonly, an individual or a group of animals occupies an area that it habitually uses but does not necessarily defend; this is called it’s home range.
The home ranges of different groups of animals often overlap, and in these overlap areas, the groups tend to avoid each other rather than seeking to confront and expel each other. Within the home range there may be a core area that no other individual group uses, but, again, this is as a result of avoidance.
By use of deception, the lioness would want to retain her home range, by controlling the core area, in such a way that would clear conflict with the other antelopes, whose open anger must be avoided. And there are ways of doing that, which the lioness knows very well. And is trying to use them.
Animals rely on smells to mark their territories, spraying urine, leaving droppings or rubbing scent glands around the territories’ borders. Approaching animals will be warned off the territory without ever encountering the territory’s defender. Here, the lioness has left the droppings.
The lion has been telling different lies to the many friends that were defending the territories. Almost always, according to the dictates of the lioness.
A recent exercise nationwide in the lion and lioness’s colony has exposed the long deceit of the duo, as many forces, that were sincerely supportive, in anticipation of anointing, have been left bruised and brushed behind, as the lioness is now pointing a finger. And going by antecedents, that is the direction the lion would follow.
Unless there is a concrete, collective and courageous commitment by the people to crush her, the lioness would lead the lion to tell more lethal lies, in the name of who would succeed his leadership.
Ibrahim, a media advisor writes from Abuja.