Published On: Sun, Dec 1st, 2013

Sad Encounter between Oshiomole and a Poor Widow: A Reflection of Leadership Failure

Edo State Governor, Comrade Adam Oshiomole

LAGOS DECEMBER 1ST (URHOBOTODAY)-The sad encounter between Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole and the hapless Widow to whom he said, “Go and die” is not just a reflection of the leadership failure in Nigeria, but a naked expression of a nation that is increasingly becoming oppressively impersonal.
For the purposes of objective analysis and realistic appraisal, let us take a critical look at the unfortunate encounter between the Governor and the Widow captured in the now viral video (see: If you paid attention to details while watching that video, you would have noticed that the Woman was painstakingly explaining to the Governor, on her knees, that she was not selling her wares on the roadside, but was waiting at that stop to board a vehicle, as that is where they usually stack their things to wait for a vehicle because of the police; and she probably was saying the truth, because all her Goods were either packed or sealed; none appeared to be on display for sale, so she apparently couldn’t have broken the law banning street trading, yet neither the Governor nor his Aides considered what she was trying to explain, and despite her appeals for mercy, the Governor said to her, “You are a Widow, go and die.”
Now, there is the possibility that the Woman actually had the intention to sell her wares there, and was simply making up those stories, but the point here is that the Governor never gave her the benefit of doubt and the chance to defend or clear herself; that is the real issue, and that is what is driving the Nigerian people mad. Whether the Woman was on the wrong side of the law or not, the Governor as an elected leader or public servant, should not have made that vitriolic statement; it was a most insensitive and cruel statement to make, a clear psychological attack on her person, and an outright violation of her fundamental rights to dignity and self-worth, as enshrined in Chapter Four of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And make no mistake; the Nigerian people are not reacting the way they are reacting because he is a Governor who has ridden roughshod over a poor Widow, after all other Governors and so-called leaders have done even worse; but Nigerians are miffed and rattled because of what this Governor seemingly represents. Here is a Governor who literally rode to where he is now on the back and strength of the Nigerian people! Here is a Governor who was once the nation’s number one Labour leader, and ought to understand the people and their travails! Here is a Man who ought to know what leadership truly entails! How could he have done what he did? How could he not understand that development policies must be given a human face? As someone said: what is leadership if not present help in time of crisis? Leadership must heed the call of conscience, redemption, expansion, healing and unity. Time is neutral and does not change things. It can either be used constructively or destructively. With courage and initiative, leaders change things. No generation can choose the age or circumstance in which it is born, but through leadership, it can choose to make the age in which it is born an age of enlightenment, an age of jobs, and peace, and justice. Only leadership-that intangible combination of gifts, the discipline, information, circumstances, courage, timing, will and divine inspiration can lead us out of the crisis in which we find ourselves; leadership can mitigate the misery of our State and of our nation.
And it is sad that this Governor of all Governors failed this test, and it is certainly the likes of this Governor that makes the public to be forever distrustful and wary of Labour leaders, Activists, Human Rights and Social Workers. Strangely enough, not a single one of his Aides, including the comical Honourable Patrick Obahiagbon, present at that ugly scene could tactfully caution the Governor or prevent him from falling below the mark; sycophancy and bootlicking just could not make them do the right thing. Well, some are now arguing that the Governor has apologised, but honestly speaking, those are no apologies but mere justifications for what he did; the Governor truly needs to apologise, and a good way to start is to really seek out that Woman himself and apologise to her sincerely.
With hope and determination,
Comrades Eneruvie Enakoko, Omotunde Adetula, Olaide Ekeolere, Papa Siakpere, Abu Babangida and all of the Conscience Reports Team.
(+2347083251850, 07063440429, 08182042143

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