Modupe’s Note: This is a guest post by my friend, Kehinde Toluwani, I fondly refer to him as “Boss”, he is a writer and a strong contender of unnecessary social norms that cripples rather than build.
The next voice you’ll be hearing will be Toluwani’s. Enjoy!
I stumbled on something about two Fridays ago, quite saddening a discovery and most definitely impactful as I almost gave up on my country’s ability to recover again. But I quickly resolved not to be discouraged, rather, I decided to be more accountable and hold as many around me accountable as well.
Still finding the title puzzling? Just stay close.
I was at one of our public institutions on this very day where I needed to get a document, a personal document. Unfortunately, I couldn’t as the situation I met turned out to be quite different from the one I envisioned. The set-man of the institution told me I had to pay a sum of #5,000 to get this document, a clause which was absent from the start, I was stunned to say the least, I couldn’t believe my ears!
The reason I had such feeling wasn’t for the amount attached to the acquisition of this document but because I’m not required to pay a dime for the document. I had recently, at different times, collected the same document at no cost from other institutions. After recovering from my shock, I told the man I wasn’t prepared for such expenses. The man in question started a rant I am yet to understand, even as I write this: ”What do you want me to do?”, ”Is it my money?”, ”It’s government’s money”, he continued.
I was infuriated, but still managed to be respectful. I made him understand he, not the government, was the one imposing the charge. No! Not after he had beaten it down to #4,000 (If it were government’s money, there would be no negotiations). There and then, I made up my mind not to pay such money, yet find my way around getting those documents through lawful means; I still don’t know how that will happen as he seemed pretty determined, but then so am I.
I tried to appeal to his conscience thinking he would see reasons as I was scheduled to travel and told him so, but he didn’t so much as bat an eyelid. He drove off, I felt bad. Yet, in my anger, I got thinking: This man is just one out of the many opportunists we call leaders.
MY POINT OF REFLECTION IS THIS:
This man, who’s responsible for a public institution obviously must have at one time or the other tagged some of our national leaders as inept and corrupt; the same accusation that many make recurrently as though they’re commissioned to do so. And it often turns out to be the case of the proverbial saying “the kettle calling the pot black”. This unbecoming act isn’t peculiar to this man – a towering number of us do just that. The truth is, while we are so apt to condemn our leaders, we are oftentimes as guilty, even TWICE AS GUILTY, as they are. Yes, we are! There are times when we also join in flying the flag of corruption.
When you aid examination malpractice in your, you’re as guilty. When you place levies on what is meant to be free, you’re as guilty, Madam. Sir, when you manipulate your age to defer your retirement date, and when you don’t work for the pay you earn, you’re as guilty. When you cheat a cab driver, and you don’t fulfill contract terms, you are as guilty. Mr. Lecturer, those times you won’t release the lady’s result because she failed to do your bidding, you’re as guilty. And indeed, you can be TWICE AS GUILTY if you have the same platforms these leaders have. As someone once put it, “…if you want to test a man’s character, give him power”.
I’m not in any way oblivious of the fact that there are amidst us people that would as leaders fare better. But, I’m also not unaware of the large crop of people who would perform horribly, given the chance. Young people whose corruption would dwarf that of our present crop of corrupt leaders, if only they can get to such positions. I’m not ignorant as to think that a man who cannot return a lost wallet he found would restore sanctity and order to our institutions, if presented with the opportunity. I’m not so oblivious of the fact that a youth who lies about the time he got to work will put in the picture that stealing isn’t corruption when he is trusted with leadership. I’m not so naive as to believe you’ll do it right when you get “there” when you can’t do it right now? Your little ‘corner’ is in a moribund state now, and you want me to have a second guess about what will happen if you accidentally become a governor? Certainly not!
It’s high time we stopped being in the wrong of the same things we so condemn in our leaders. Whatever we are in ourselves now is what leadership would magnify when it comes! And when leadership magnifies our ‘little guilts’, some of us would be TWICE AS GUILTY, if not more.
Live! Learn!! Inspire!!!