By Joseph Edgar….
This morning, I was hit with a clip showing our new Senator Adeleke dancing to the hilt. His moves shows an expatriate and one content with his life. These were no dance steps of a social neophyte but that of one who had over the years horned this skill with the dexterity of a maestro. So what did I do with the clip?
I promptly forwarded it to all my contacts the same way I received it and instantly a volley of responses came back at me. After succinctly reading all the responses, I clinically divided them into two broad based categories – the positives and the negatives.
The positives I would say are those who did not see anything wrong with the middle aged politician being himself, the jolly good fellow. They based their positions on the need for us to have transparent and ‘this is what I am’ kind of leaders. They claim to be tired of leaders who pretend to be what they are not, portraying themselves as distinguished and honourable. The position here is that Mr. Adeleke would be bringing to the Senate his bright side, his free self and his ability not to take ourselves too seriously which in their position believe that this is what we need in the country at this time especially with all the challenges that we are facing today in the country.
The second school of thought frowned considerably at this vision. They felt that a personality of this stature should not have, especially in public, displayed such vulgarity all in the name of dancing. They opined that this display showed the kind of leader we were sending to the Senate. A leader who lacked depth, who lacked decorum and whose personal attributes have shown that he would not have the necessary skill set to show the kind of responsibility that would be thrown at him as a Senator of the Federal republic of Nigeria.
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So the question now is where do I stand on this matter as a socio-political commentator. I will take a little bit from both sides. I agree totally that his dance and indeed social lifestyle does not and will not in any way impact on his ability to provide the expected level of seriousness for the task ahead. In saying this, I would also mention some very eccentric leaders like our great Obasanjo who in some instances have been accused of being unpresidential in some of his utterances and even in his comportment. Pictures of him dancing and enjoying himself bound. But today, in my books he is considered one of the greatest Nigerians alive. His uniqueness did not stop him from growing our economy, tackling corruption and gaining international respect.
Another quick example that comes to mind is Ayo Fayose, the Ekiti State Governor. Today he is as ‘troublesome ‘as they come. Leading a life very far from acceptable and expected of someone holding the kind of high office he is holding. He has been known to wear a casual jeans to present his budget, stop by the wayside to eat from local people and even played in a band and sang songs. His brilliance cannot be denied despite these. Dino malaye who is today facing a battle for his recall, has danced and sang his way into notoriety but his brilliance and sagacity can not be denied.
What exactly are we looking for in our leaders, a politically correct thug? What is in the outward appearance that makes us feel he will ‘perform’. Do we prefer the holier than thou, ice-cannot-melt-in-the mouth gentleman who is as deadly as sin and as corrupt as the devil over a gentleman who shows you openly his true colour while still having the interest of the people at heart.
I think we should look beyond this demola’s dance and see his pedigree. Coming from a distinguished family, he has shown tremendous courage and persistence to take on the strong structure of not only the incumbent State Governor but that of a ruling party and defeat them in such a fashion. A dancing goon can never achieve this feat. He has shown that in all that love for merriment, he has the conviction and spirit to run an effective campaign, connect with the people and win their support all on a very weekend and almost annihilated platform that the PDP presents. This person cannot be side lined, this person is on a mission.
I fervently believe that we Nigerians should now begin to look beyond the superficial, try to remove the veil and look deeper at issues and our political actors. We rush to condemn someone who has just achieved a feat of goliathisque proportions simply because of his dance while failing to look at his essence, his story, his pedigree. This will continue to be our folly as a sycophantic race.
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