OPINION: Olasunkanmi AbdulKadir And the Dangers of Dogmatic Followership . By Abdullahi Imam Abdullahi

Date: 2014-09-06
Harvard public leadership professor, Barbara Kellerman argues that the dark side of leadership--from rigidity and callousness to corruption and cruelty--is not an aberration, rather, she insists, bad leadership is as ubiquitous as it is insidious and followers like Olasunkanmi AbdulKadir enables and abets these kinds of leaders.

If many political office holders that served the former Kwara state government under Bukola Saraki and the ones currently serving under AbdulFatah Ahmed are Frankenstein monsters – we all share in the blame. Many of their followers and the rest of the population in Kwara state have indulged this corrupt hegemony and allowed them to become tyrants that listen to no one and do as they please. From King Henry VIII of England to General Sani Abacha, the history of politics and enterprise is filled with destructive leaders who harm their people and their organizations.

Olasunkanmi AbdulKadir in advancing the arguments for continuity came up short in the task that Saraki, Ahmed and the rest of the APC crew assigned him. In his futile attempt to revamp the bad image of the Ahmed administration amongst the Kwara electorate, he listed four areas of intervention where the Ahmed administration has "performed" in his estimation.

1. The five renovated general hospitals

2. The phantom jobs that was created for young unemployed graduates, this was put at 10,200

3. School renovation

4. International vocation centre

Now let's carefully examine these four interventionist programs:

1. The five renovated general hospitals: The Kwara Restoration Project carried out an investigation on the five general hospitals and our findings revealed that the five hospitals renovated were over invoiced and grossly inflated. We also discovered that for purposes of commissioning, the Kwara state government moved diagnostic equipments from the Harmony Advanced Diagnostic Centre to the Ilorin General Hospital and they have since returned them and left the hospital to grapple with the attendant consequences. Our interactions with the personnel also revealed that most of the medical personnel were redeployed from medical facilities that were hitherto insufficiently staffed from across the state. This latter action has resulted in enormous hardship on the patients and staff of the affected facilities while also insufficient for the needs of the Ilorin General Hospital. This is a lose – lose situation for all the parties concerned.

In all, the general hospital project is another sham project in a long list of many from the annals of the Bukola/Fatahi Ahmed led Kwara state government.

2. The phantom jobs that was created for young unemployed graduates, this was put at 10, 2001: Before now, the Kwara Restoration Project asked the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor, Muyideen Akorede, to furnish Kwarans with the list of beneficiaries and their designations. Four weeks and still counting, he has not risen up to the challenge. Kwarans would like to know the names, local government areas, and designation of the beneficiaries. Perhaps, Olasunkami can use his influence in the Kwara state government to furnish Kwarans these details since it is apparent that the SSA on media is not up to task and has less clout.

3. School renovation: Our investigation revealed that instead of the 897 million Naira that was said to be the funds expended on classroom renovation, the sum of 300 million Naira was the actual funds spent and the difference of 597 million allegedly pocketed. This much we gathered from a member of the state executive council sympathetic to our cause.

Despite the huge differentials from the actual funds appropriated and collected and the funds that was eventually expended, our investigation showed that there is no commensurate renovation of classrooms across Kwara state that reflected even the 300 million. And yet, most of the public schools in Kwara are without standard laboratories while some do not even have any. Many are without toilets, no geographical gardens and there is a widespread shortage of essential manpower in the core subjects, etc.

4. International vocation centre: Ordinarily, a vocation centre is a welcome development and its proper execution would have been the only signature achievement of the Ahmed administration, but so far, it has been improperly managed from inception. Feelers from inside the Kwara state government revealed that right from inception, some policy experts advised the Ahmed administration to embark on vocational studies with a clear head. One of the policy advices given was for the government to establish smaller vocational centres across the sixteen local government areas; equip and have them certified by a licensing body. The government was also advised to use existing facilities and human resources to reduce overhead while investing in modern equipments for the centres.

Presently, the international vocational centre located at Ajasse Ipo has gulped over 1.6 billion Naira in construction alone. We are aware that the government is having sleepless nights on how to properly staff the centre and purchase equipment. Because this otherwise laudable initiative was not properly thought out, it is likely that it may end up as a white elephant project with no long term sustainability.

I have explained all of the above to demonstrate that Governor Ahmed like Bukola Saraki before him is an inefficient leader enabled by dogmatic followership with herd mentality.

Abdullahi Imam Abdullahi writes from Ilorin



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