Hmm, you know, it is so interesting how you wake up every morning in this highly forested village and hear the same things blaring on the airways and splashing in our faces from the pages of the tabloids.
Zealously, like a host of invisible beings, they all sing in unison but with different verses and stanzas, as if they have been assigned to them by a choir master specifically with a dedicated note and pitch. Yet, for whatever reason, the villagers are never tire of listening to these verses days in and days out with excitement too.
One would think that with the kind of responses that come as a feedback from these verses and notes, the villagers would get it right the next time they show up to decide who should lead our village. But unfortunately, they would show up the next time making the same choices that have kept the village in perpetual retrogression.
And come to think of it, these melodious verses and fined tuned notes have been read and sang over and again embellished in them warnings about the choices we make concerning our village. Yet, our people for whatever reason continue to vote the same way as if they have been cast under a spell by a single gift of a bag of rice or a cash of just five dollar Uncle Sam’s money.
Ours is a sad story Father. Some people think we are cursed as a people and a village for a sin unknown. But I don’t’ want to think so Father. Yes, I just don’t want to think so because we are a village rich in everything.
Our problem has nothing to do with wealth, because we have rich mineral resources which are the envy of other villages. It is a hard thing to imagine a village rich in iron ore, gold, bauxites, soon to find oil, diamonds etc, and could be as underdeveloped as we are.Father, some people blame it on our leadership. They say our village leaders have brought us here. Yes, they say leaders in and leaders out have failed to deliver. Imagine this Country Boy that was overwhelming voted for quite recently, see how he has and is miserably disappointing the entire village.
But come to think of it again, Father, I strongly disagreed that we have leadership drought in our village. Oh yes, I certainly disagreed on this one. The problem of our village is the people.
What do you mean by that my son?
Yes, Father, the people are the problems of our village not the ones we select to lead us. When you have a village of gullible people who continue to make the wrong choices despite waking up to these early morning choruses, then the problem is not the leaders rather it is the people who put them there to lead. So, you see, we get the kind of leadership we deserve-plain and simple.
Yes, Father, we get the kind of leadership we deserve in this village. The reason why we as a village and people will continue to repeat the same mistakes year in and year out is because whenever we decide to choose a leader, we don’t place the overall general good of our village ahead-rather we think of our personal benefits and not the village. Uh um. It is about what I stand to gain as an individual when Paul is place in leadership and not what can Paul do for our village.
So, when we decide to choose our leaders based on our personal benefits, like rice, lapa, small cash, then we are simply telling ourselves I have already reaped my harvest, whatever the person does while in leadership is up to him or her.
Now, this is why when the chiefs at the Traditional Council are ask to sign a piece of document, they would first ask what is in there for me? Don’t blame them, they have already paid you for the position. You were only seeking your personal benefit when you took those T-shirts, rice, lapa and small cash. Now the chief must get return on investing in you to place him or her there.
And there are some though, who would continue to back these people regardless of the ills. Recently, one of our now much celebrated chiefs received bribe of USD 6500 like the rest of his colleagues to sign a certain paper. They coined it as operational fund and defended it to the letter that it was not a bribe. His supporters without a second thought that whenever you are promise a reward to do something, whether that reward is legitimately yours or not-once a promise is made it is a form of inducement for you to act and that is tantamount to a bribe-it is as simple as that.
But they ignored this very moral principle and decided to lynch the messenger-sycophancy. Sycophants, these are the kinds of people prevalence in our village and therefore make the kinds of political actors we have today.
Yet, they will throw insults and broadcast for hours on social media when the doer of the act is from another camp. Until we look at our village as the bigger picture and forget our individual benefits, we will always produce leaders after our kinds and we will deserve them.