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Poor followership: The Nigerian dilemma.

President Muhammadu Buhari recently launched the “Change begins with me”, the main goal of the which is to instil discipline and patriotism in Nigerians. Nicholas Oluwaseyi, the star blogger, agrees with the president saying that the problem of Nigeria is not the poor leader, but the poor followership. Mr Oluwaseyi lists seven qualities of a good follower. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Buhari acknowledging cheers at the flag off of the “Change begins with me” campaign on September 8. For all years of my life till now , I’ve heard the phrase – “Be a good leader” much more than the phrase – “Be a good follower”. I’ve read a few books on leadership, but there’s a little about followership in circulation. I’ve received much advice on how to be a good leader, but only a few of my mentors so far have taught me how to be a good follower as much as they’ve on the subject of leadership. Every one of us wants to be a good leader, but no one wants to be a good follower. The humblest of us just want to be a “servant-leader” not just plain servant.  But to take our society to the next level, the subject of followership has to be raised a little in our society. Now, everyone has a right in the society but no one has a responsibility again. This is not another David Brooks article on the subject of followership problem. I’m not writing in response to what the GCFR of the country said days ago, but his words only reminded me of this subject that has lingered in my mind for much time. I’m just here to deliver my piece, I don’t consider my view superior or inferior to anyone. I’m not here to confuse you of what you believe, I’m just here to give you something to have a rethink on.

Buhari accused of plagiarism over “Change begins with me” It’s obvious that what Mr President said on followership days ago is another masterminded use of clever words by politicians, something that was written for him by some “intelligent guys”. When the CHANGE campaign came, I said at home then, we have intelligent guys working for our politicians! These guys just want to make money with their creative minds. Should we blame them? That’s a question we all have to answer.

The word CHANGE was brought and it is a very clever word. It looks ordinary to you, but the psychological effect it had on many Nigerians during the campaign period was great. Change! Even the old village woman who knows nothing about politics can quickly be drawn to that. At that point, those guys thought and worked on the emotions of Nigerians. The change was what everyone wanted. My mother wanted a new pay scale; so to move on what was needed was a CHANGE in the old scale! Every Nigerian wanted to see the country move forward. The poor farmer in the village wanted a better market sale, the students wanted better learning conditions, and so on. So the word CHANGE was brought to do the work. Now, they raised all the expectations, I have not been disappointed in this current administration because I wasn’t expecting more. I have always been of the opinion that followership is our nation’s problem contrary to the popular notion of leadership problem. Since a large percentage of our politicians don’t play a large part in the mental side of their speeches I’m not always surprised of contradiction between what was said during the campaign period and the actions after their emergence in their various offices. Poor followership? I will not want to heap the blame on Nigerians for going for any leader they desire, but Nigerians must learn to stay with their decision through the election than to start complaining about for humanely everyone delights in something new but everyone must learn to suck the lemon he plucked than to complain about . For the lemon has no power in a sense to throw itself down at anybody, you pluck the lemon that appeals to you. The lemon can attract you, but the onus of choosing still lies in your court for any decision you make stays with you in the long run. So Mr President said a change has to start with Nigerians. I agree with him totally, but not on the same note. Nigerians should have changed their thinking  before the election probably and Mr President should have offered this advice during the campaign or earlier. Nigerians need to think better I must say. Now, high expectations have thrown everyone into a DILEMMA, what’s next? Many people have attributed the slowness of Nigeria  development and the rest of the world to bad leadership. We blame bad leadership for problems at work, problems in the Nations and problems everywhere. Even a father who cannot control his family blames the leadership of the country. What if the problem had nothing to do with leadership at all? Could we be victims of bad followership and not bad leadership as we have always believed? I want to propose that the bigger problem lies in those that voted the problem into power in the first place. Why would people in their right minds vote for people who they know have nothing to deliver? Why would intelligent people vote for non-intelligent people? Why would people of dignity walk away from their dignity when their nations need it the most – during elections and then allow lower minds to vote on their own? READ ALSO: Why does change have to begin with me? If democracy is the government that represents the people then do the people have any moral right to protest bad leadership? The leadership merely represents the people who sent them in. A nation cannot rise beyond the mental capacity of its leaders. This leads me to ask the question, why do people vote for people that they will protest against? The very concept of democracy means that the people in the office are a reflection of the people that voted them. When we look across the country then this becomes a very scary thought. We will continue to lag behind as a people until we groom our minds to the point where we will elect our own – people with mental processing capacity to take us to the next form of our Nations. Every election is an opportunity to reveal where we are mentally. Will emotion triumph over reason? Will short term excitement and passion take the place of long-term development and dignity? In this season, please, Nigerians do not complain about what you permit. Where are the so called leaders coming from? Every leader had once been a follower. Let’s tackle the root cause. It’s the same class coordinator who kept spending the class money that’ll graduate to being the state governor one day. It’s same bully boy who beats ladies around in school that’ll turn out to be a husband beating his wife some day. Let’s think! 70% characteristics of a leader are something that has been formed in him or her as a follower. He might hide it and escape and win the election, but it’ll definitely show up. That’s why we have to look deeper into the mind before choosing, probably we all have to emulate that in choosing the so-called leaders at any level. Leaders are built as faithful followers, they may be weak no problem, but they’re good and faithful. Show me a good follower and it’ll only be a matter of time till he becomes a leader. For it’s easier to tell someone to sit down than to be told sit down. It’s affecting the society a lot today, we all want to run and lead but then no one wants to sit and obey. Is there really anyone who is a leader? I don’t think so. I think the concept of our leadership should be called stages of followerships. For we all have one leader- God. The flawless leader whom we’ve refused to heed to His instructions. So we don’t have a leadership problem because the Almighty is flawless and ready to teach us every time, but where are the good followers of His? His followers are we and if we do as He has commanded there won’t be chaos and problems. God is flawless so truly the problem is a followership problem. Mr President was right in his words, but his words are beyond what he’s said. I stand with him, Nigerians have to change but not for the same reason he said it. Nigerians have to change and listen to the only one leader we’ve and not someone higher in the followership hierarchy whom the human community has tagged a leader.

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