Spokesperson for Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin and the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; over the weekend traded words on who between leaders and their followers were responsible for the crisis of bad leadership in Nigeria.
While Omo-Agege heaped the blame on followers of politicians, Odumakin disagreed, saying “when a fish begins to rot, it starts from the head and not the tail.”
They both bared their minds during the 10th annual independence lecture in Abuja organised by a political movement, The Change We Need (Nigeria), with the theme, ‘Social contract and leadership in Nigeria: Experience and Prospects.’
The event was convened by the General Overseer, Charismatic Renewal Ministries and chairman, African Centre for Leadership, Dr Cosmos Ilechukwu.
Omo-Agege, represented by his Chief of Staff and civil rights activist, Dr Otive Igbuzor, said the social contract in politics is “an unspoken bargain between the government and the people where the former is obligated to deliver good governance, and the latter loyalty and total acceptability of the authority upon which the government governs.”
He said, “When people vote, they express the type of government they want and deserve. When we vote right, good leaders naturally emerge. On the contrary when they accept inducements, offer themselves as thugs to snatch ballot papers and create terror during elections, bad leaders become the trophy.
But Odumakin reminded Omo-Agege that followers would naturally abide by the rules when they see leaders doing same.
He said, “It is the kind of leadership that we have that produces the kind of followers that we have in Nigeria. In a situation where the people do not matter; and you have pauperised them, they are not empowered to act or change government.
“You don’t blame the followership. When a fish begins to rot, it starts from the head and not the tail. It would be wrong to say it’s the followership. It is leadership that cast a vision for the society and tell people the way to go.”