In 2010 I was a senior manager in a…
By Kurtis Adigba
In the course of my daily activities (struggles), I meet many people; in public offices and private organizations. They are all concerned about the state of things in Nigeria, and want to see things change for the better! They are also, very aspirational about the future- they hope to occupy higher offices, and perform better than the present crop of leaders.
But in my dealings with many of them, I found the opposite to be the case. The man or woman, who has just lectured me on the sorry state of things in the country; and laid out ways he or she intend to do things differently in higher position, won’t do his or her job without me paying a facilitation fee. Files will not be treated, or moved to the next table without a tip. This happens even with openly religious folks!
No place is sacred. No emotional state, is deterring. When my friend passed almost 3 years ago in a hospital, in Lagos, the morgue attendant, was not willing to accept his corpse for deposit until he was settled. He had invented an excuse of no space; but after settlement, he created the space. There are many more examples of these behaviors, in different places, and by different people.
Friends, the pervasive thinking that you will do things better, or rightly, when you rise, or occupy higher position, or authority, is delusional and a tantalizing mirage. More power, or higher position, will not change your character, or make you a better person. On the contrary, it will only reveal the true you, and expose your worst instincts. Power, don’t change people, it reveal who they are.
Higher office, or greater power, will not confer on you integrity if you don’t have it. Integrity, is a virtue that is deliberately imbibed and cultivated. It is not given by power, or office. It has to be learned.
If you are not honest as a Treasurer of a local Community meeting, you won’t be honest as a Treasurer of a department of any government organization. If integrity is not your strong quality as a state Governor, or minister, you won’t find integrity as a president. Stop deceiving yourself!
I have said this before: the dancing competition arena, is not the place you go to learn how to dance, no, it is a place to display your acquired dancing skills. If you don’t have the skills already, you are just going to make a mockery of yourself, and miseries for others.
If you have been wondering why ordinarily good people who are so passionate about doing good, go into government and fail, look no further. The reason is simple: they are not grounded in the values and virtues they talk about. They had thought that higher office, or more power, will enhance their capacities for good. No, it doesn’t.
Michelle Obama, former First Lady of the US said” the presidency does not change people, it reveals who they are”. Friends, be who you want to be now. Do you what you want to do in your current positions. You can’t give what you don’t have.
God bless Nigeria.
Kurtis Adigba is the Principal Partner at Kurtis Adigba & Co.