ABUJA (Sundiata Post) Writing on the parlous state of security in the country some Thursdays ago, precisely April 19, the Editorial Board Chairman at THISDAY, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi told an interesting story. The dateline was 2005 and involved here were Dr. Edmund Dakorou, then Minister of State for Energy, and Mr. Funso Kupolokun, former Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), both of whom refused to work as a team despite the required synergy of their respective portfolios.
When it became disturbing that they could not work together, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Adeniyi said, drafted his National Security Adviser (NSA), Lt General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau (rtd), to quell their differences whichever way.
Thus, one afternoon, according to the story, Gusau invited both Dakorou and Kupolokun to his house, where he asked them both to the dinning table. After sometime, Gusau, he said turned to both men each and said: “The president said I should tell you that you are doing a very good job at NNPC and you should continue.” That’s for Kupolokun. To Dakorou, he said same thing: “Edmund, the president said I should tell you that you are doing a very good job in the Ministry of Energy and wants you to continue.”
The clincher, however, was this: “Gentlemen, the president said I should tell both of you that if you cannot work together as a team, he will sack you together.” QED!
As Adeniyi recalled, while Kupolokun and Dakorou did not exactly become friends after the encounter with Gusau, it marked the end of their acrimony, at least as seen in public. They learnt to tolerate each other in the interest of the administration in which they both served.
The solution to that crisis cannot be lost on anyone. It was leadership provided by the quintessential Obasanjo, like or loathe him. Period!
Unfortunately, since he came into office in 2015, apart from the fleeting period that he savoured the magic of his body language, President Muhammadu Buhari has failed exponentially in delivering leadership, either at the party level or the administration of the country. It is either he was not aware anything was happening even when his orders are being brazenly flouted or felt the need to just mind his personal business other than that he was elected to do.
The problem of the APC started with the election of the National Assembly leadership, where he first failed to deliver leadership. During that period, that which he desperately desired, he also failed to go for, because of the façade of his integrity and did not mind that some people had tried to clandestinely get it done on the strength of his name. Even when the man at the centre of it all met with him and asked pointed question, he denied having any interest and declared the race open. Finally, when the clandestine plot blew on their faces, he took the back seat and allowed the party to stew in its own juice. Leadership failing!
APC is the ruling party but one without a caucus and no properly constituted Board of Trustees (BoT), yet, the supposed leader of the party continued to pretend as if all was well. On the contrary, everything sane and normal has not been close to the dwelling of the APC. Leadership failing!
Now, the latest is the jostling for the APC national chairmanship. President Buhari is said to want a former Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, even though it is public knowledge that he never really liked the incumbent, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. And after maintaining his silence that has never been golden by all standards, he recently brashly openly declared support for Oshiomhole, who is from the same place as Oyegun. Leadership failing!
Oyegun is human and it is natural he would feel bad. Therefore, what was wrong if the president had called the two men to a meeting and told them his plan with an instruction to go and work together in the interest of the party? That Oyegun never offended him apart from the fact that he simply does not like him clearly presents a president that, like former President Goodluck Jonathan had turned out, remains eternally unteachable. Leadership failing!
APC’s ward congresses were held at the weekend and it was a total disaster. The coming local government congresses may not be far-fetched and the cycle goes on till the national convention, which is going to be a make or mar exercise for the party. So, if anyone is dissecting the plight of the APC, look no further for where to honestly lay your blame: Buhari! He has failed in delivering leadership and the ghost of that seeming habitual incompetence will continue to haunt, not just him, the party and his government.