Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tinubu and the Singing Sycophants

Deji Tinubu

I am a proud Nigerian and this piece is not in any way meant to bash or denigrate Nigerians. It is a commentary on what I perceive as a societal ill.

The cabinet of the Lagos State government was inaugurated on Monday and one of those sworn-in is the new Special Adviser to the Governor on Sports and Chairman, Lagos State Sports Council, Deji Tinubu who is definitely qualified for the position having been in sports business for about 2 decades.

What happened when he resumed office as shown on Lagos television epitomizes why and how many of our leaders fail. He was being introduced to staff and there was nothing out-of-place with the men but the women had started praise-singing. Praise-singing is the tool of Nigerian acolytes particularly in politics to curry favour from their patrons.

Frankly, it is wrong when staff of a government institution are meeting their new boss and start singing his praises because it is at best a distraction and at worst a tool of manipulation that encourages a leader to be incompetent.

Leaders may be tempted not to perform when people sing their praises for doing nothing other than appear and probably throw a few 'scraps' of money at them (not suggesting that Deji Tinubu did). It is this na you biko syndrome that encourages failure to serve and deliver value in most of our public sector.

The earlier we reduce praise-singing and focus on giving our leaders legitimate support while holding them accountable, the better for us.

To be sure singing and dancing are a big part of our culture that are very difficult to remove from politics. However, it should not become so absurd to the point that it encourages leaders to fsil even before they assume office.

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