Amb. Obi Adim wrote.
My brother, I agree with you on this one. The only way out is for a leader to be true to himself and the people he serves, having absolute loyalty for his oath of office. Simple as this may sound, it needs emotional maturity, unselfishness, and sincerity of purpose.
Strangely, these qualities have nothing to do with education, experience or wealth. Pedigree gives that foundational emotional maturity and unselfishness. We take it for granted but that’s the nucleus that brings stability in a leader.
This stability mitigates inferiority complex, which makes it easier for a leader to be open minded to run an all inclusive government whereby appointments and political patronage will cut across party lines. This way, the best brains even among the opposition would be made part of the government and with them constructive criticism and robust opposition will not be lacking. Opposition brings out the best in every government that listens to the people for instead of being carried away by praise singers, they will be challenged to be meticulous and do more through due process and rule of law with a good sense of accountability.
Odogwu Sam Mbakwe exhibited such treat when he appointed my late father of blessed memories as Chief Medical Adviser and Chairman of Imo Health Management Board respectively, despite the fact he was the personal physician of his political opponent, Chief Colins Obih.
Today we have eze-onyeagwalamist who want to shove their cheap policies down our throats. We no longer have opinion polls, we are forced to swallow every policy thrown at us.
Leaders who are so reluctant to take a firm stand, along the popular wishes of the people they claim to serve.
It is imperative we know the true essence of power and government for abuse is common where value is not known.
Everyone who believes in the transient nature of life will realize that position and power are also temporary. With this realization a leader should put in his best knowing well that his actions and inactions will stand for or against him and probably his family when he would have gone so he will be humane and accountable not being carried away by the intoxication of power.
Anyone who can indulge into insincere flattery to gain advantage is a sycophant. Such a person tries to win favour from another person especially wealthy or influential people by flattering them.
On the other hand, sycophancy politics is the political art where the practitioner deliberately goes out of the way to hoodwink his principal with acts capable of deception for political gains. It is perfected using someone, often a superior or an opponent, as a cover up. It thrives on blackmail and backstabbing.
Bad as it is, there is a kind of patronage and reward for sycophancy in politics. It can help an undeserving person to get an appointment. Even though it can result in the erosion of internal democracy. In Imo State, it has become the basis with which people are appointed into political offices. And guess what? When a sycophant gets to power, propaganda becomes the rule. This creates a system of “us against them” that brings about mediocrity, abysmal performance and eventual failure.
Sycophants are purveyors of half-truths. They call black white and labour in vain to make people believe that vices are virtues.
The intelligent ones (Maladministration Certificate Holders) manipulate data to serve their selfish interests and they can do so without regards for decorum and civility while the loquacious unintelligent ones can wrestle like pigs and dance naked at the market square. However, with a change of baton they can easily switch loyalty and shamelessly turn against their former principal. Like we all witnessed when our dishonorable members of the house of assembly switched camp when the Supreme Court struck.
Whatever the approach, every political sycophant secretly seeks political relevance through the back door and can stop at nothing to achieve this.
When someone in a position of authority is surrounded by sycophants, he becomes a victim of emotional manipulations with false narratives and assurances. To insulate him from reality and keep him in bondage they can tell him that his evil is the best. With persistent lies they divert their victim’s attention thereby giving room for mediocrity and abuse of office that if not remedied in time will compound and worsen situations.
However, it should be noted that in some instances and to some extent, politicians are happy with sycophants and encourage a higher degree of sycophancy. To massage their ego, some rulers appoint some praise singers, like we are experiencing today.
Association is affective and character is inductive. The company we keep affects the life we live. “When the goat that does not eat yam begins to mingle with the ones that eat yam,” says an Igbo proverb, “it will begin to eat yam.” The things we repeatedly hear can change our perception and mindset.
That evil communication corrupts good manners is also true in politics and government. Whenever a man is held hostage by liars with lies, after some time he would begin to buy and believe those lies to be true, and it becomes worse where sanity of the mind is deficit.
The major consequence of sycophantic politics is that it creates a culture of deception in a system of falsehood, promotes bitter rivalry with bigotry and thuggery, leading to suspicion, fear and erosion of trust even among party members with resultant acrimony, conflict and division.
The danger of sycophantic politics is bad governance through desperation and corruption. When someone in a position of authority is surrounded by minions, charlatans and sycophants, listening to their fairy tales, he will begin to lose consciousness, causing him to drift away without the right to make informed choices. As time progresses, he begins to see things from a skewed point of view and with a poor sense of importance. Like we witness in Rochas iberiberism system of governance.
Sycophancy politics contributes immensely to the making of tyranny and the emergence of an emperor. Whatever the case, the people suffer and the society deteriorates.
Knowing the effects and consequences of sycophantic politics, everything should be done to checkmate it and if possible stop it.
Until these gluttonous sycophants that eat around Douglas-House (Peoples-House) table and infulence polices for their personal aggrandizement are cautiously purged from our Political landscape . Not untill, a great-thinker, irrespective of his or her zone, financial powers, and his political affiliation is voted to lead , a greater IMO could still be an illusion.