FEATURE ARTICLE

Sunday, May 5, 2019
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CHIEF! CHIEF!

irst, he told them untruths about the current president of the association. To a prominent member, Chief said, "Did you know your president told his wife who told my Mrs. that your queen pretends to be better than everyone else yet she sleeps around."

Then he whispered to another, "This yer president only prefers his hometown people o. Anything we want to do in this association; he awards the contract to his people.

By the time he told a faction that the president had embezzled association funds, they were ready to break away with him. See, by listening to his gossip, lies, and innuendos, they'd elected him their president.

So they broke away causing a split in the twenty year association. The deceived left with their new champion. They set up similar meeting times, booked same event halls ahead of the parent association, and advertised aggressively to every newcomer. Their sell line was, "we're the original association; don't be fooled by counterfeits."

The remnant of the original association was badly shaken by the splinter. Some members left, disillusioned by the whole idea of associating with Nigerians. They dissociated from both groups. Others soldiered on, staying true to the principles that'd kept them together for two and a half decades.

Within a year, Chief's association had broken up. He'd employed the same tactics that he'd used to attract his members. He carried tales about one member to another carefully painting himself as trustworthy. He monopolized the people's calendars creating a clique and he wielded age-old divide and conquer strategies like a pro.

When he couldn't give account of funds raised for the independence celebration, the party was, ahem, over. The sheep dispersed, disgruntled and disillusioned.

Beware of chiefs…

Many have illusions of chieftaincy without leadership capabilities. Their social climbing destroy organizations, communities, and nations. Out only for themselves, they see a pile and want to seat on it. No wonder. Every hustler who has successfully climbed to the top in our society, regardless of how they got there, is hailed, "Ranka dede!"

All are chiefs; no workers hence, most of our associations are a cacophony of crabs climbing over each other. A crab may attain top position by pinching and crawling over others but, it is a temporary victory and his sovereignty leads nowhere. There's no vision. There's no leadership.

Chiefs leave chaos in their wake. When chiefs break-up a church, association, community, or partnership, they cause tremendous pain. People become distrustful of former friends, dissociate from communal assemblies, carry emotional stress, and incur financial and other losses. When chiefs strike, glass splinters everywhere.

Of course, one could also say something about folks who are quick to believe anything and quicker led astray.

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