Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has stressed the need for an honest implementation of ideas by a focused leadership despite the increasing pressure on scarce resources amidst other emerging challenges.
He said this could improve the fortunes of societies and make them better.
The Vice President stated this at the virtual public presentation of three books on Policy, Politics and Governance written by Mr Simbo Olorunfemi.
He said the events of the last few months around the world have proven that leadership is consequential.
“If there was any doubt about the fact that the quality of leadership is central to the fortunes of society, this pandemic has established that to us in plain terms.
“It may literarily mean the difference between life and death.
“If leadership is that consequential, it must then suggest that politics, may be, belong in the same existential category, being the production line for leadership.”
The vice president said the author of the books, Simbo Olorunfemi, has, through the years, in many articles and commentaries, ranging from the economy, to development, international relations and partisan politics, consistently applied rigour, deep thought and scientific discipline to his analysis of the people, the events and the policies that have shaped these issues, and the societies and publics that they impact.
“I think his strength is in his capacity to take on the big issues, the complex ideas such as ethnicity and cultural politics and also the more retail questions around the daily disputes on rightness or wrongness of government policy or their efficient or sloppy implementation, all with the same clarity of thought and presentation.
“His projections on political outcomes are eerily accurate, and his prescriptions are practical and clearly thought through even if controversial.
“His three latest works ‘The Devil is not in the Politics’, ‘Politics is not a Game for Gentlemen’, and ‘Every day for the Goliaths’ (what manner of democracy is this), is a successful attempt to put in print his thoughts in various interventions under broadly descriptive titles.
“And I think an incredibly insightful review of the books have been done.
“We are by the way he has put this together, been able to follow and argue with his thoughts on the dynamic interaction of politics, policy and governance. Central to his analysis is leadership.”
“Simbo Olorunfemi strengthens the point by the metaphor of politics and policy being Siamese twins, intertwined and interlocked; one being a propeller, the other the engine.
“Success for a political leader, he submits, involves a smart fusion of both, such that policy drives politics and policies are strategically framed, pursued and executed without losing sight of one for the other.”
Vice President Osinbajo added that the purpose of politics is the attainment of power for the prosecution of the public good not as an end in itself or for personal or other parochial interests.
“And this may be no small matter as one sees time and time again the tragedy of self-absorbed, self-seeking leadership.
“Some have argued that one of the challenges that we have faced as a nation is that of reluctance of our best minds to get involved in politics, leaving it to the second eleven, as they say.
“But the other point is in my respectful view, the error of assuming that the failures in governance is on account of professionals and other decently engaged people leaving the space to career politicians.”
Insisting that the elite in most societies must determine what the direction should be, even if the primary purpose is self-preservation, he pointed out that the problem has been so much concern with narrow parochial interest.
“The Nigerian elite is unable, even out of self-preservation, to find a consensus, not only to move the nation forward but also to prevent itself from destruction.”
He commended Olorunfemi for painstakingly writing the books in the era of the mindless tweets, and other digital enablers of lightning-speed communication and the puerile attention span they nurture.
Source: Voice of Nigeria