Sycophancy rules Nigerian politics – Niran Adedokun

Sycophancy rules Nigerian politics – Niran Adedokun

One of the reasons why Nigeria is where it is today is because we have men and women with very feeble hearts and sometimes, very little minds around the seat of power.

Sometimes, these guys are truly brought up to suck up to power; you know that do-not-rock-the boat, be-stupid- forever kind of loyalty. As unfortunate and sad as this is for the development of the country, one cannot be angry with this category of public officials, as they do not know better?

These guys are perpetually subservient followers and rather than being angry at them, I would rather we pitied them and I‘ll recommend same attitude to you. There is a lot of wisdom in conserving your anger for more productive ventures, lets pity these irredeemable men and women and hope for the sake of our country that they don’t transfer that long-suffering spirit on to their descendants.


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The ones that we should worry about are the smart ones who pretend to be dumb. I hear some of our public officers speak and you wonder whether people lend their brains out when they are invited to serve in government.

But no, a lot of those people are quite savvy. They just play to the gallery in order to impress their bosses so they can stay in the corridors of power for as long as they live. To achieve that, they would say anything that suits the leader for as long as he wants to hear it and the moment, his song changes, they are ready to pick up the newest tune. They lie, concoct stories and even swear on their mother’s graves and when you catch them at it, they will always find a way to wriggle out

I heard the story of a man who had told his political godfather tales about another associate. He didn’t know that the godfather was going to call a “truth conference.” One day he got an invite to see his mentor ASAP. Of course, he was on his way within minutes only to meet the man he had told on and a couple of others with the godfather. He had hardly taken a seat before the old man said: “oya, you told me that so so and so said something, I have called him here to come and tell me why he said so, but first, I need you to repeat what he said in his presence…”

Our friend‘s tongue grew boils immediately, he just could not get his tongue to speak.  When he attempted to talk he ended up stuttering. He lost hope in his ability to communicate universally and resolved  to move toward the old man for what looked like a save my ass appeal.

But the old man insisted that our friend who had lost his radiance out of the shame of the situation must speak and when he would not, this mentor now revealed the allegation he brought against the other man. It was a most outrageous lie!

Mentor asked why his mentee would engage in such a dangerous game. He apologised profusely and then told the godfather that “it was all because of survival” He thought that the other man had wormed himself into the heart of the old man and the best way to forestall a complete takeover was to paint the favoured person in black and diminishe his chance. He didn’t see anything wrong with it until then because it’s alway been the way to survive!

This is, to borrow from the minister of Finance the life of the politician in Nigeria, lying and hero worshipping the leader. Because a lot of  those who find themselves in politics have no other pre-occupation, they join oga in loving those he loves and hating those he hates without even knowing why.

You hear a Nigerian minister speak about the President or a commissioner speak about a governor and you wonder if he is talking about God.  And this is mostly not out of respect but just so that he sustains his meal ticket.

But can a country move forward when those who should advise the leader have become errand boys and girls trumpeting anything and everything the boss says?

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