Opinion: Mr. President, we don’t need you to resign (A rejoinder)

by Terseer Ugbor

JONA-11

I will encourage him to stay on and should he desire to pursue re-election, he is free to do so. Winning, however, is another story.

READ: YNaija Editorial: Mr. President, we’re  going to need you to resign

I make an obvious suggestion, if you want President Jonathan out, I suggest you maintain the momentum gained by his perceived incapacity to handle the security challenges facing the country with a view to getting Nigerians to vote him out at the next elections, President Jonathan on the other hand needs to reverse this perceived incapacity quickly and turn the momentum around so that Nigerians will vote on the basis of his good works and not the perceived failure to tackle security challenges. If he doesn’t, he may lose.

These are difficult times for Nigeria, but wrongly so, there have been calls for President Jonathan to resign his position as Nigeria’s President and Commander in Chief. I will explain. Nigeria has exactly the kind of leader it needs and deserves at this point in its history for many reasons but I will try to mix management principles and political expediency to draw a parallel as to why resignation is not an option.

There are five types of leaders; Laissez-Faire, Autocratic, Participative, Transactional and Transformational leadership styles. President Jonathan sees himself as a transformational leader which he hopes to express through his well publicized Transformation Agenda. Unfortunately, GEJ is not your typical Transformational leader; he is more of a Laissez-Faire leader. I tried to find similarities between GEJ’s leadership styles and the 4 other styles but came up empty. I will not bore you with definitions of all the leadership styles just the two in focus.

The transformational leadership style depends on high levels of communication from management to meet goals. Leaders motivate employees and enhance productivity and efficiency through communication and high visibility. While a laissez-faire leader lacks direct supervision of employees and fails to provide regular feedback to those under his supervision. This leadership style hinders the production of employees needing supervision. The laissez-faire style produces no leadership or supervision efforts from managers, which can lead to poor production, lack of control and increasing costs. President Jonathans style over the past four years points to a laissez-faire leader. The recent handling of security challenges facing our country highlights to a larger extent Laissez-Faire than Transformational styles. This may not be entirely the case, but we have been given nothing inspiring to hold unto.

Paul B. Thornto, a speaker, trainer, and professor of business administration opined four leadership styles, Thought leaders, Courageous leaders, Inspirational leaders, Servant leaders, in this categorization, where does President Jonathan belong? None. I will show you why. Steve Jobs and Jack Welch are Thought leaders, Rosa Parks and Abraham Lincoln are Courageous leaders, Ronald Regan and Martin Luther King are Inspirational leaders, while Mother Teresa and Oprah Winfrey are Servant leaders. You be the judge, where does President Jonathan belong among these eminent personalities. I will say he portrayed Servant leadership traits at the beginning, but Nigerian is a complex country, it challenges even the conviction of strong men.

I will tell you what I think, President Jonathan is the most misunderstood leader in the world because under this administration perceptions have become reality while facts have been swallowed up by louder often non factual narratives. Impunity seems to be on the rise and often goes unpunished indicating a lack of willing leadership and supervision, while the lack of regular communication by Mr. President himself to clearly express his policies and actions does nothing to inspire much confidence in his government.

But this administration has done a lot to move Nigeria to the part of growth and development. Progress in agriculture, aviation, infrastructure, power privatization, finance, entertainment, media and communication etc, are undeniable, whilst setbacks in security, poverty alleviation, petroleum industry and job creation are also evident. However, as I like to say, you will need a heavy duty utility vehicle to tow a heavy duty cargo truck. Nigeria is a large and vast country, to pull its citizens out of poverty after so many years of decay will require a large “heavy duty” economy. Nigeria’s economy as it is cannot pull majority of Nigerians out of poverty yet. It will take a little more growth and development of some critical infrastructure. I believe President Jonathan’s is making the necessary investments and it seems obvious to me that the next global economic boom will have Nigeria at its nerve center.

On security, Nigeria faces a critical time in its socio-political history, a historical era shaped by religious, tribal, sectional and political interests that won’t go away, a clear recipe for disaster if the experiences of other countries are anything to go by. It is not a political option for a sitting president to resign his position in the face of insurgency and terrorism been used to create general fear in an attempt to destabilize a country for political expediency, especially the type sponsored by faceless citizens in connivance with international secret agent organisations and terrorists groups.

Syria and Lebanon are recent examples where the leaders refused to step down in the face of sponsored insurgents, while Egypt, Ukraine and Libya are examples where leaders were forced out of power with dire consequences for the stability of those countries. Which is the lesser evil? I make an obvious suggestion, if you want President Jonathan out, then I suggest you maintain the momentum gained by his perceived incapacity to handle the security challenges facing the country with a view to getting Nigerians to vote him out at the next elections, President Jonathan on the other hand needs to reverse this perceived incapacity quickly and turn the momentum around so that Nigerians will vote on the basis of his good works and not the perceived failure to tackle security challenges. If he doesn’t, he may lose.

We are not unaware of the high powered political intrigues that always play out in Nigeria during electioneering, zoning negotiations and horse trading that end up shaping who gets what, where and why, but I believe that President Jonathans personality and leadership style (which I have been unable to properly define) may lead him to inadvertently concede the presidency to opponents within his party our to the opposition parties. This in itself will shape our democratic growth and hopefully lead Nigeria to narrowly escape dooms day. Since I am not Nostradamus, I can only posit conjectures based on current realities and hope for the best for our dear country.

These are indeed opinionated times; Nigerians are hurting as we have been for 14years of our current democratic experience. It’s good to see many Nigerians add their voices to the Nigerian’ debate and discuss through peaceful rallies, public protests and social media activism to great effect. But calling for Mr. Presidents resignation will do no good at this time. Yes, President Goodluck Jonathan is perceived to be showing little bite to challenge the status quo, tackle entrenched interests, fight corruption and curb impunity, but he has by all means made investments and pursued policies that provide a roadmap for the economic development of this country and for this reason, I will encourage him to stay on and should he desire to pursue re-election, he is free to do so. Winning, however, is another story.

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Terseer Ugbor is a sociologist currently studding for a Masters Degree in Public Policy, an entrepreneur and founder/editor-in-chief of Gwarinpa Metro Newspaper an award winning community newspaper in Abuja.

 

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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