Iyinoluwa Aboyeji: Sanusi and the “god complex” (YNaija Frontpage)

When all is said and done, our big men will do well to be reminded that those whom the god’s want to kill, they first make mad. And few things are as maddening as the God complex.

Most Kings get their heads cut off
With the same sword they knight you they gon’ goodnight you with
– Jay Z  (Most Kingz)

No doubt this will sound in some sense like a premature obituary, but I think when all is said and done, one of the biggest lessons in “how to waste a people’s goodwill” this democratic dispensation will have to offer apart from President Goodluck’s  so far will be Sanusi Lamido. With the reversal on the N5000 note (illogical as it may be), the presumed independence of Sanusi’s central bank is now under siege.

It’s a tragic fall from grace anyway you look at it but I don’t pity him. In fact, I already lost patience with Sanusi’s policy summersaults a long time ago. A year ago, in the wake of his populist bank headhunt, I wrote a blog post on how unnecessarily interventionist he had made the CBN. As far as I was concerned, he seemed more dedicated to the ambitious monetary policy experiments he was carrying out on we, his 160 million lab rats than he was to his assigned roles as central banker.

That said, I think it is important to note, however that he’ll be joining the lengthening line of messianic Nigerian leaders who have experienced the full swing of public opinion’s pendulum; from near sainthood to public enemy. I think its time someone asked why do our leaders fall out of grace with us so quickly and so easily?

I don’t have a lot of great answers to this question but one uniform trait that seems to connect these Nigerian politicians that I can quite confidently point to is what many have call the  “God Complex.” In his famous TED talk, “Trial, Errror and the God Complex”, Tim Hartford eloquently identifies the trait I believe plagues our “big men”. According to him, most people who possess a God complex have an absolutely overwhelming belief that despite the complexity of any given situation,  they are infallibly right in their solution. The God complex is far from foreign to our nation of big men. We saw it drive Sanusi to fat fingered whimsical tinkering with monetary policy where a delicate financial system was driven to near madness by inconsistencies. But we have also seen it do worse…

The God complex drove former President Obasanjo to a third term campaign, and when it failed to champion a do-or die election where a half dead President was imposed on our country leading us to the advent of unchecked lootocracy. I imagine must have believed he was infallibly right in hand picking and installing Yar’adua as President. Perhaps that we would even one day thank him later. “Nigerians are too dumb to pick a decent president. My pick would be better,” he must have thought. Alas, he soiled what was by any standard a decent record of service to Nigeria by that one single act.

I’m sure several other examples exist of how God complexes have altered the future of this nation and soured our people to its political leadership. Perhaps, others more knowledgeable will be willing to share in the comments.

When all is said and done, our big men will do well to be reminded that those whom the god’s want to kill, they first make mad. And few things are as maddening as the God complex.

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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