You do not lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case- Ken Kesey
The sitting room of the Faculty of Arts’ Legislative Council (FLC) was close to fistful exchange of words but for the peaceful legacy of “live and let live” that echoed suddenly from the National Assembly.
Over and over again, the Speaker of the FLC and a number of its honourables have shown that they need to be tutored on how a legislative house should be run. We plead that before the FLC approves of the one day orientation programme for the executive as recommended by the Audit Committee, the house should as well take a complete dose of the constitution while whipping forceful doses down the throat of the Deputy Chief Whip.
It pains the bottom to spend hours among legislators who do not know what the supremacy of the rule of law asserts. Point of mighty observation Mr. Speaker, to loan the creativity of our dear Deputy Chief Whip: “Honourable Abdulsalam should not be allowed to address the house in an attire that is non- African, un-AFAS and defiant to the FLC standing order” as Hon. Abdulsalam Sakiru of the Arabic and Islamic Studies who was dressed in Arab-style stood to address the house even while it was clear that the standing order states that all honourables should be dressed in a formal decoration.
It should be noted that Honourable Tobias Banjamin, the 400 level representative of “the good and bad people of the Linguistics constituency” had earlier notified the house when the Deputy Chief Whip seems constitutionally-no-where-to-be-found. However, the Speaker appeared to be acting unlike Jesus, a respecter of no man because to Honourable Tobias, he was glaringly bias. “Mr. Speaker, the Council, the Deputy Clerk should be allowed to take her position then though unofficially dressed,” unbiased Tobias insisted. However, there was no way to crucify the Speaker as Madam Deputy Clerk who had earlier left the sitting reappeared in a formal attire.
Shortly after, Honourable Tobias whose seasonal knowledge seems to be on a high level took a “to-hell- with-you-walk” out of the sitting, only for Honourable Dara to follow. Norman Schwarzkopf said, “Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy”. It is not surprising that Hon Tobias and Hon Dara left the floor of the house because in a perilous time, when the wise fail expectations, we end up being wrong to have tagged some as fools. If the Speaker failed in doing the expected thing, we would be wrong to tag the honourables as dishonourable for their dishonourable action.
It was an “I stand with Tobias” mantra, but they returned, sheepishly having satiated their anger with doses of rebellion. However, one could have thought that was all until these honourables started pulling different deviant acts. The seasoned senses of the Deputy Chief Whip had then returned and would not stop nudging Hon Dara to head his cap in conformity to formality. Their loudly silent tete-a-tete pierced the ears of the Speaker who had initially noted the flaming rebel of Hon. Tobias and Hon. Dara.
He after all decided to be blind for he was on no moral ground to call to order. However, it got to a point, Hon Dara said,, “What is wrong with my cap?”
“The house is bigger than anyone” the Speaker responded to the obviously recalcitrant Hon Dara while Hon Tobias looked on in a way that Yoruba would say, “Dada o le ja, Dada lero leyin”
But this time, Hon Dara’s rebel was bigger than the house could voice against in unison. For the house was there when its eye opened the door for a rebel. As the Deputy Chief Whip was told to “walk him out”, Hon. Dara took another creative turn. For him, that implied that he had to walk behind the Deputy Chief Whip and so he insisted that the later must go out first with him (Dara) trailing behind him. His three years in the Department of English could not have been a waste.
Without nothing ado, the Speaker had left to call the security officer. Still, this rebel stood on his right. Again, the peaceful echo of “live and let live” from the saintly National Assembly deported the Speaker who returned calm and collected. And then, Honourable Dara wins! He sat down triumphantly.
We can only choose to hope the future of Nigeria isn’t getting gloomy by the day, if people who should serve as examples and representatives of the people choose to abuse the house and make it a place where people come when they want to ease out the day’s stress by the so much dishonourable drama that go on. It is germane that the Speaker and all honourables gather resources that will teach them the tenets of leadership; we are tired of folly when we have serious and better issues at hand that need our attention. Enough of the child’s play, we need leaders who are focused!