In recent weeks the political train of deceit appeared to have regained some steam in a renewed ruse to make certificate of Mr President the bottom line of 2019 Presidential election. Permit me to admit that certification of classroom tutoring is the standard testimonial of its attendance but at the same time, it is only the mischievous political kindergartians that will think that political diatribe has anything to do with it. In her analysis of the critical attributes of leadership in the book: Not For The Faint of the Heart: A Lesson in Courage, Power and Persistence, Wendy Sherman has concluded that Courage and Integrity are critical attributes that you cannot acquire from the classroom because they are the inert fabrics of human conscience that dictates the power of the negative and power of the positive.
The truth is, I could not agree any better because at the end of the day, those critical attributes are the building blocks of the sincerity of purpose of political leadership. The tragedy of Nigeria as a Country is that for decades now our corrupt and inept electoral system and institutions of governance have only managed to produce certificate leaders rather than character leaders. I mean leaders whose exemplary leadership has been legendary in inspiring the next generation of leaders on ethos of governance and responsibility, I mean, leaders who are no longer celebrated as community treasures but rather revered as national assets, I mean leaders whose nationalism has conquered clan loyalties and ethnic patriotism.
It is sinically despicable that President Muhammadu Buhari, a Gen. of the Nigerian Army, a former Head of State whose honour, integrity and exceptional culture of universal humanity has become an international reference point could be slandered in a desperately dubious game of School Certificate ridicule. I even heard that the choreographed political racism by the PDP’s social media war machine has alleged that you cannot speak English, well, I am wondering when poetry of English-language and the arrogance of ethnic inheritance of it become the index for evaluating the quality and sincerity of political leadership? The truth is that, throughout history great empires that ruled the world at different stages of human civilisation did not have fraternity of English Language; the Mongols, the Othman, the Japanese, the Germans, the Russians and now the Chinese recolonizing the entire planet without English Language.
Dear Mr President, loose no sleep, speak no English, have no certificate, it doesn’t matter, that was not why we elected you, Nigerians elected you to liberate them from the colonialism of PDP whose pedigree in official corruption knew no bounds, we elected you to dismantle the architecture of stupendous State impunity, to restore hope from fatelism of absolute despair, in short, we elected you to pull the Country from the brinks and you did just that against all odds.
The truth is, the oil sheikhs of our criminal economy have regrouped for a political vengeance but be assured that the Nigerian electorates are wiser, sophisticated and ready. At the end of the day, the 2019 general election will not be decided on the gaffe of poetry of deception but rather on the strength of character and the integrity of example.
ONCE AGAIN, SPEAK NO ENGLISH, HAVE NO CERTIFICATE, IT DOESN’T MATTER.
By Professor Shehu A. Zuru
Pro Chancellor, Peroleum University