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Published On: Thu, Sep 18th, 2014

TAN: Improvisation of the mind and failure of followership (II)

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Transformation-Ambassadors-of-Nigeria-TANBy Olumuyiwa Babatunde Amao

Not only has this government been romancing terrorism, it has cultivated friendship ties with individuals with known links to Boko Haram (BH), and it has done so with reckless abandon and impunity. Today, all of the alleged sponsors of the BH insurgency are card carrying members of the PDP; with Senator Ali Modu Sherrif, Ali Ndume, and Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika topping the list. Yet the TAN group wants us to support a Presidency which cannot contain an apparent lack of military loyalty and its history of security negligence.

Under this Presidency, Nigeria has effectively been partitioned by Abubarkar Shekau, hoisting their flags and daring the Nigerian Army to a fight; while the Army, to put in the words of Gen. Chris Olukolade is busy making ‘tactical manoeuvres’ into Cameroon and other neighbouring villages due to a lack of ammunition, and poor motivation, while Nigerians are been slaughtered. The likes of TAN need to be reminded that even President Jonathan himself has admitted his unworthiness for a second term in office while speaking to journalists shortly after the Nyanya bomb blasts in Abuja.

On that occasion, the President Jonathan did concede authority to Abubarkar Shekau and his gang of criminals, when he confessed that: “I, as a President, I may not go to everywhere I would have loved to go, these are some of the challenges I have to face”. The TAN group and its sympathizers need to be reminded that under this same government, a sham in the name of recruitment was organised by its Ministry of Interior. Not only were jobs not given to anybody, the Jonathan-led government also exploited an already impoverished population, made up mostly of youths, through the collections of #1000 each from applicants; murdering in the process at least 18 Nigerians.

Today, the world appears to have forgotten about that sham, but can the families of the bereaved ever forget? And more importantly, this government have continued to maintain criminal silence on what has become of the over #700m realised from the sale of forms, while Minister Abba Moro remains untouchable. Pitiably however, I do understand the dilemma of the TAN, and other groups, clamouring for a return of this leadership in 2015; they are (like most Nigerians) victims of circumstance, impoverished both in thoughts and in purchasing power, having been initially stripped off of their sense of reasoning as a being through poor political leadership.

The only difference of course, is that unlike the TAN group and their committee of brainwashed fellows, a vast majority of Nigerians still have their dignity intact, and would not stoop so low as to celebrate the kind of mediocrity that this TAN group calls achievement. The more reason why they can afford to accept and engage in their macabre dance of shame for as low $50, is as result of their desperation and the demystification of their sense of reasoning. They have relegated themselves to the sole duty of endorsing whoever the PDP fields, making them eligible to work only once in four years!

Interestingly, TAN is not the only group guilty of this aberration, reports in the dailies has it that about 8000 other splinter groups of largely hungry and unemployed youths are presently competing for space and recognition by the Presidency. However, one previously prominent group among them is the National Association of Nigerian Students led by one Gbadebo Yinka; a purported diploma student in the Department of Local Government Studies at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria.

This act by NANS, as led by characters like Gbadebo Yinka, further reinforces my belief that leadership, has gone to the ‘dogs’ in the students’ movement in Nigeria. To have elected/appointed an intellectually/academically backward character like him as NANS President is an incongruity that should not have happened in the first place. How can a body, hugely significant as NANS, be led by an individual at the lowest ebb of University study? How can?

Given his low level of intellectual/academic status, it is unsurprising therefore that NANS is singing the praises of a government which until very recently kept its primary constituency (Nigerian students) at home for over 9 months in the name of ASUU and ASUP strikes. Certainly, it takes a man with sight, to recognise a blind man, and the NANS leadership is obviously blind!

If not, how can the body premise its support for President Jonathan’s second term on what it calls “the administration’s infrastructural and social transformation agenda”, a basis for which the body is unflinchingly determined to put Mr President’s political detractors and evil geniuses to shame in 2015 through the singular and total support of all Nigerian students?”

To demonstrate their thirst, financial desperation and bleak future, GbadeboYinka and his clueless and futureless posse further presented a certificate of credence to Mrs Jonathan, supposedly in recognition of what it calls ” her pursuit of peace and empowerment of women and the youth in the nation”. How hopeless can a nation get if these are the accidents of history representing Nigerian youths?

I am certain the spirit of the late Moses Osakede et al will be turning in anger in his grave in protest against the bastardization of a once vibrant pressure group. The unfortunate reality in the expedition been embarked on by the likes of TAN, NANS misfits, and other characters advocating for the return of this government is that the followership, and not only the leadership, is the reason why we are not, and may never, move forward as a nation.

They are the oppressed, and yet the most reluctant to change, extremely conservative in thinking, highly parochial in judgement, and more disappointingly, tribalistic and religiously biased. These are the reasons why Nigeria keeps getting its leadership wrong. The quality of the followership itself is suspect, and in countries where a responsible followership is lacking, its people will continue to get this type of lame-duck leadership.

Olumuyiwa Babatunde Amao via


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