By Chike Duru, Ph.D
In the political arena, the adage “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is often wielded as a shield against potential adversaries. However, for President Bola Tinubu, it seems the true enemies may not be those openly opposing him, but rather those who remain silent in the face of critical issues.
The ongoing Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) strike present a crucial litmus test, revealing the concealed adversaries that surround the Nigerian President.
It is no news that President Tinubu, a seasoned politician with a significant footprint in Nigerian politics, has weathered numerous storms. Yet, the recent labour strikes have cast a spotlight on a different breed of adversaries – those within his inner circle who fail to provide candid advice.
The absence of truth-tellers, willing to speak their minds on the best course of action, poses a grave threat to Tinubu’s political legacy. One of the primary culprits contributing to the discord surrounding the strike is the dearth of transparent communication within the president’s camp.
The real enemies are not those who challenge him but the individuals who, out of fear or self-interest, avoid addressing the pressing issues at hand. This lack of open dialogue and constructive criticism perpetuates an environment where missteps are not only likely but also inevitable.
The NLC/TUC strike has unfolded as a test of leadership for President Tinubu, demanding a thoughtful and decisive response. However, the deafening silence from those close to him serves as a stark reminder that true loyalty should manifest in truth-speaking, especially when it is most needed. It is within this vacuum of honest counsel that the genuine enemies of President Bola Tinubu find refuge, allowing potential solutions to slip through the cracks.
In the realm of politics, the ability to navigate and resolve challenges is paramount. The NLC/TUC strike underscores the importance of confronting issues head-on and developing effective strategies to address the concerns of the Nigerian people.
Mr. President, the truth is that Nigerians are suffering. Six months after removing fuel subsidy, the fact that nothing serious has been done to ameliorate the sufferings of the people suggests that the present administration had no concrete plans before announcing the removal of fuel subsidy. Nigerians are dying of hunger and life has become most unbearable. The crime rate is increasing daily, and things are getting from bad to worse. Many state governments are irresponsible in their management of the affairs of their states. They care less about the wellbeing of their citizens and impunity reigns supreme in some of the states.
The NLC National President, Joe Ajaero was assaulted in Imo State by persons known and identified. It took threats of strike action for the Inspector General of Police to announce that it was going to investigate the issue, among others. The issues are enormous. The list is very long. For how long shall we continue like this?
While one agrees that some of the issues were inherited from the last administration, the truth is that the President knew the situation of the country when he applied to govern. He, in one of his addresses, accepted same, when he stated that no one should pity him. Excuses are therefore not acceptable.
Sadly, while some great brains within the President’s circle make efforts to guide aright, by suggesting workable solutions to the issues, many seem not interested in getting the issues resolved.
By turning a blind eye to dissenting voices within his circle, President Tinubu risks being led astray by misguided advice and a lack of diverse perspectives. The enemies of the President are not limited to those who openly oppose him but extend to those who prioritize personal gain over the well-being of the nation.
The failure to provide candid feedback on the NLC/TUC strike is indicative of a deeper malaise within the political landscape – a culture of sycophancy that stifles the growth of leaders and hinders progress.
To combat these hidden adversaries, President Tinubu must actively cultivate an environment that encourages open and honest dialogue. Constructive criticism should be embraced rather than shunned, as it serves as the bedrock for informed decision-making. The true enemies are not those who challenge his authority but those who undermine it by fostering an atmosphere of conformity and silence.
In navigating the complexities of the NLC/TUC strike, President Tinubu’s strength lies in his ability to surround himself with advisors who prioritize the nation’s interests over personal agenda. The enemies within are the individuals who, knowingly or unknowingly, contribute to a culture of complacency, shielding him from the inconvenient truths that demand attention.
No doubt, the real enemies of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu are not the external forces seeking to undermine him but the internal voices that remain silent in the face of critical challenges.
The NLC/TUC strike serves as a poignant reminder that a leader’s strength is measured not only by the allies who rally behind him but by the truth-tellers who dare to speak against the tide.
The President’s legacy hinges on his ability to discern between loyalty and sycophancy, acknowledging that the latter poses a far greater threat to his administration’s success than any external opposition.
Procuring restraining orders of courts to stop strike actions and protests, without addressing the issues is not the way forward. It adds no value to the discourse. It rather ridicules the system.
It is therefore time for the President to watch his men closely, to distinguish between his true loyalists and sycophants.
Mr. President, please, address the labour issues now. Ignore the sycophants. They are your real enemies. Those politicizing the issues are enemies of Nigeria and as such enemies of my President.
The time for selection is now!
Dr. Chike Walter Duru is a Public Relations Strategist and Consultant. He could be reached on: firstname.lastname@example.org.