Obasanjo – The Worst Case Study in Leadership

If you think my post is going to focus on President Yar’adua’s death, then no thanks.
I feel for President Yar’adua as a person. We all know he was a pawn in the big power chess board of the destroyers of our great nation. A man who wanted nothing more than to retire back to Katsina and enjoy his family. But the cabal had other needs for him and we all know where the story ended.

Most Africans have not mastered the art of leadership and OBJ as he is called is one of the worst case studies ever to emerge on this planet. He no doubt has a big personality with a huge presence but that has never been an only indication of good leadership. Baba Iyabo is a very good example of a China in a bull shop, a level 4 leader who never attained the height of a level 5. He was never meant to become great!

Rarely can a man have so much opportunity to become a legend and a true elder than Baba Iyabo. But he chose to destroy the goodwill he started to build when he made some nice strides in developing certain sectors of the Nigerian state. First he decided to change the norm, attempting to award himself a controversial 3rd term but huge oppositions won the fight.

Good leaders take their succession plans very seriously. They believe that the strength of their successor is an indication of their own success as a leader. They are never threatened by the possibility of their successor to be more popular or better than them. The continuous greatness of the organization led by them is more important to them than phony records of being the best ever. Obasanjo was never like that.

And then selfishness kicked in and he punished Nigeria and Nigerians; a way of proving to us that we could never have survived without him. The trait carried by leaders of corporations who had the potential to become great but crashed. The kind of leaders depicted by Jim Collins in his book – Good to Great. Obasanjo is a 100% match of the bad leaders Jim Collins painted to us.

Our punishment was Yar’adua. A man who was sick during his campaign. A man with the humorous phone call on his sick bed when OBJ asked him the famous question – Umoru, are you dead? That was on a campaign for Yar’adua done by OBJ. I bet the man didn’t even have any plans for us and the popular 7 point agenda was an afterthought. The last 3 years have been very bad for Nigeria. We practically retrogressed primarily because of a vacuum in leadership.

Obasanjo should be very ashamed of himself at this moment. He should cover his face for giving Nigeria a weak successor, maybe both in health and character. For dragging Nigeria back several years. Posterity will judge him and he should expect some of his punishments right from here on earth.

As Goodluck lives up to his name, I can only hope that he will be a true leader and put Nigeria first in his heart before his personal gains and ambitions. Only when our leaders realize that Nigeria is bigger than their selfish agenda; only then would we be on the road to greatness.

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