The commonest definition of leadership is given as, the process of social influence, which maximizes the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal. To be a good leader, therefore, one is expected to have certain qualities, topmost amongst them being the ability for A, communication, B, vision, C, empathy, D, accountability and E, gratitude.
This article would centre on the leadership style of President Muhammadu Buhari, and the extent to which he complies with item E, or his perceived compliance with the culture of gratitude.
It is the ability to be thankful, or the readiness to show appreciation to those that render a good job that would naturally determine the proportion of return for such gestures. This has long been provided for by the principle of reciprocity, which is one of the basic laws of social psychology, and which says, in many social situations, we pay back what we received from others. In other words, if Bala does you a favour, it is expected that you would naturally return it to him.
A very good friend of mine, and one time a “dyed in the wool” supporter of Buhari, has turned his back against the President now, because of what he called the refusal of Buhari to appreciate those who chest out for him.
Even God, he argues, by His infinite grace, rewards those who faithfully work for Him with the power of wealth, or give them advantageous positions over others. Which is why faithful Muslims are relentless in the worship of Allah, because of the promise he made of taking them to the best part of the Garden of Paradise.
The ambition of every good Muslim is to arrive at Jannatul Firdausi, the best of the heavens promised to the most dedicated worshipper by God himself.
This underscores the eminence of the reward system, as a consideration for rendered service.
Party politics and participation in politics is principally premised upon the concept of a reward system, that has a similar mission with such assurance from God, i.e, if you help the party win, the party would help your wine. The reverse is the case with Buhari, according to my friend.
I am not a politician, nor one that had actively participated at partisan level, towards the success of any political office holder, so I have no grounds to complain of being shortchanged. But I know quite a few politicians or people that have acted beyond the call of duty, towards the success of some officeholders, and many of them are now lamenting over the inability of the government they brought, to reciprocate with brighter batteries for their torchlights.
The APC, with President Muhammadu Buhari as the leader, can not escape the liability of being held responsible for provoking the bashings of lamentable party followers, who are accusing the leaders of operating a party with a faulty and foible reward system. Many, are now beginning to groan in the open, over what they called a system of “use and dump”.
While some are complaining of not being carried along by way of appointments, others are registering despair for the failure of the regime to listen to their advice, with the latest coming out of the mouth of an ardent supporter of the President, in the person of Barrister Daniel Bwala, who has released a video of visible lamentations online.
For starters, I have never met Bwala in person. Never interacted with him on the phone, by mail or virtually, so I am not writing with his consent. However, Bwala commands my respect because of his fluidity of presentation and enthusiasm for the defence of the APC as a party. This, by extension, is a devotion to the duty of showcasing the success stories of President Muhammadu Buhari.
In the video, which has gone viral on social media, Barrister Bwala was lamenting about the collapse of intelligence, pursuant to the embarrassing episode at the Nigerian Defence Academy, NDA, last week. And he attributes it to the refusal of the President to listen to the advice of his lovers.
Different narratives are emerging from different people, including security operatives, suggesting the compromise of the security architecture at the NDA, and almost everyone is alluding the blame on the failure of intelligence.
If diehard defenders of the Buhari regime like Barrister Bwala, whose love for Buhari as he said, flowed from the tales he was told by his late father, who served under Buhari during the war, can go public in lamentations, then the need for the President to do a rejig cannot be overemphasized.
Watching him in the video, when juxtaposed with the passion with which he always speaks in support of the President, my guess is that Bwala’s father must have convinced him about the impeccable and unimpeachable leadership qualities of Buhari, some of which he admitted to seeing himself.
But questions are now being asked about the sincerity of purpose of some of the people in government. Are they genuinely for, or against the President’s interests?
Many Nigerians, including yours truly, have chosen to see the President only through the prism of the unblemished.
And this is coming at a time the Africa Polling Institute released the result of a survey it carried out, which revealed that Nigerians’ trust in the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari has gone down to 26 per cent.
Whether or not the survey is authentically reflective, the fact that inner members of the support group are being emboldened by prevailing circumstances to speak in the negative, is a wake-up call for the leadership, to look into the liabilities that could come with such lamentations.
Ibrahim, a media adviser writes from Abuja