One of the most misunderstood Siamese twins in the world today both by the rulers and the ruled is that of authority and responsibilities. On the surface level, the two appear to be ways apart, but upon critical scrutiny they are inseparable. They are both governed by natural as well as spiritual laws. Many public officials love the puff of authority, but shirk the responsibilities attached thereto or even take up roles totally unrelated to their assignment, of course, with consequences.
Current travails of All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and dethroned Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, exemplify this situation.
One a former firebrand labour leader and Edo State governor and the other an economist -turned –banker whose career peaked as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the two men’s legacies of many years are being threatened for sleeping on their responsibilities while in the embrace of power and authority.
Yes, Oshiomhole and Sanusi deserve sympathy, not gloating. It is not easy rise to the top and crash with ignominy. Sanusi is a smart, vibrant, outspoken and ultra-intelligent economist with uncommon courage. But, his predicament is justified and self-inflicted. Although speculations that the erstwhile top banker misused his authority as Emir of Kano has not been proven, he obviously dozed off on the responsibilities of his office. For one expected to preserve Kano’s culture and traditions of, Sanusi failed as he rather promoted western culture at the expense of the historic ancient city’s customs and traditions. Not only did the 58-year old Msc degree holder constantly criticized his more academically qualified elders notably Governor Abdullahi Ganduje (a 70-year old Ph.d holder), he drove a wedge between the state government and his people whom he had responsibility to bring closer to each other with his authority with his trenchant criticisms of government policies. He also showed his disdain for constituted authority by non- attendance of meetings called by the state governor to whom he was subordinate.
Again, Sanusi failed to be a role model of what he advocates. While he preached against poverty and polygamy among poor northern Muslims, he himself lives in opulence and without a single philanthropic project to better the lives of his teeming subjects living in squalor and penury, while also maintaining a harem of four wives with the fourth reportedly married as a teenager. Where is the moral in all this?
Now, it bears stating that whosoever arrogates to himself power and responsibility not given to him is certain to fail and end in disgrace. That character flaw was Sanusi’s Achilles’ heels and had roared since his days as CBN governor. Rather than attend to his mandate of ensuring fiscal discipline in the nation’s financial sector, he assigned himself the responsibility of criticizing the government of the day, casting himself in the mold of an activist and politician. If these were his preference, Sanusi ought not to have accepted the CBN job or the Emirship.
Going forward, Sanusi should see this as a weakness in his character and work upon it. He should be wary of emergency friends crowding around him for photo ops and political gains.
Oshiomhole’s is the tragedy of a party boss who undermined himself by igniting and being part of crises in a party whose cohesion is his primary responsibility. He is forever locked in fights with former governors Ibikunle Amosun, Rochas Okorocha and lately his home state governor, Obaseki and other party bigwigs. But Oshiomhole has no business fighting governors and his party men, certainly not for egoistic and political gain as he so displays. Immediately he slipped that alley, things also began to fall apart for him. As a leader, he ought to be a dustbin that every dirt could be thrown at without complaints in the interest of the part. I think Oshiomhole is still the best person to lead APC and removing him now, as being plotted may harm the party.
But, the ruling APC leader must backtrack on the war with Obaseki as he cannot win. The moment he stops fighting the Edo governor, all his foes and traducers will vanish.
*Paul Omoyefa teaches Philosophy and Political Science at the University of Regina, Canada.