On a daily basis our loyalty is tested: loyalty to our country, spouse, friends, ethics of profession. Loyalty comes at a cost. Our loyalty is proven when tested.
Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor of Lagos State, may either have neglected or forgotten the handover notes of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, his predecessor. The cerebral lawyer and Senior Advocate Nigeria, SAN, who at the twilight of his tenure as governor was thrown into collision course with the leadership of his party, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who weighed him in the party’s balance and found him wanting despite being adjudged the best performing governor in his time. He narrowly escaped the hangman’s noose, and was grudgingly handed the party’s ticket for his second term. No sooner had he signed out of Government House, Alausa, than the bad blood spilled unto his ministerial screening at the Senate in October 2015.
Unlike other lackluster sessions, where nominees were simply asked to take a bow without a clear and concise roadmap of assigned portfolio for robust engagement with the screening committee of the National Assembly, BRF as he was fondly called by Lagosians was ruthlessly grilled. The session was so engaging that the current Minister of Works, Power and Housing trended on Twitter as far as New York on account of his profound responses. May my loyalties never be tested’ was one of the seven quotes from Fashola in response to a veiled remark about his perceived disloyalty to his party. His successor apparently did not heed the prayer embedded in the famous assertion that, ‘The concept of loyalty is a strange one, the real answer is that may our loyalties never be tested. I always pray that may my loyalty never be tested… in public life, I have remained loyal to causes signed on to.’
While I firmly concur that the concept of loyalty is is strange, the reality is that loyalty is an integral part of human existence which plays a defining role in relationships.
Loyalty takes no prisoners, it is either for or against. The age long argument about loyalty over competence reinforces the uniqueness of the concept where professionalism is sacrificed over perceived allegiance. Former Minister of Women Affairs Aisha Alhassan’s inglorious exit from her party after being denied the APC governorship ticket was expected given her avowed devotion to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. In similar vein, issues of gender parity and other traditional concerns of the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, are greatly hampered by a disposition that is perceived to undermine her loyalty to the President.
Our national pledge, which enjoins the citizenry to be faithful, LOYAL and honest, may have firmed up Governor Ambode’s resolve to go against the run of play by exercising his constitutional right to seek a second term as a serving governor. He may have lost his second term bid, but he has booked his place in history as one who was faithful to the laws of the land rather than cower over intimidation of overbearing power mongers.
On a daily basis our loyalty is tested: loyalty to our country, spouse, friends, ethics of profession. Loyalty comes at a cost. Our loyalty is proven when tested. Fashola dodged the bullet, but his successor was not so lucky. His prayer was unanswered as his loyalty was tested.
The present democratic dispensation is a fruit of MKO Abiola’s fidelity to the mandate freely given to him by the generality of Nigerians which informed his resoluteness to pay the supreme sacrifice after losing his wife and massive business empire.
It is disheartening that Chief Abiola’s devotedness to democracy is violated by godfatherism, vote buying and election rigging, all of which subvert the will of the electorate by politicians, who prioritize personal interest above patriotism.
Loyalty is a noble virtue and key component of etiquette. As aptly captured by Susie Wilson, “Manners, ethics, loyalty, integrity and honesty, these things never go out of style. They stand the test of time and will help you sleep better at night.”
It is unfortunate that our democracy has remained on the cradle because rather than deepen our democracy, politicians derail the wishes of the people through godfatherism, vote buying and other elements that contravene the true definition of democracy as government of the people by the people. In reality, it is unfortunately about the personal greed of politicians. Putting personal interest against the wishes of the people.
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