Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo commented that, the problem of African leadership is their reliance on sycophants. He said, "sycophancy is a big problem to African leaders. Because they always tell them what they want hear." He further said that, he recognise two major errors in the attitude of African leadership. "An error of omission and error of commission" meaning, sometimes, the Head of states don't have a clue what they are doing, and those around them don't know any better. He said, such error is not serious.
But the errors of commission which is when leaders commit fraud, criminalise the state machinery, act unfairly, deprive the rights of the people, align themselves in close circles or within their tribe, he said, such errors should be punishable.
Obasanjo said, the question of leadership transition is a major problem. African leaders he said, don't know when to quit, "because sycophants encircle you, telling you things that cloud your judgement." He said "every leader should prepare somebody within their party to succeed him. That way, power transfer will be smooth and less problematic."
The remarks were made on sky Chanel 199 ( A moment with Mo) Sunday, the 12 June 2011
Obasanjo being a former leader captured the essence of our African problem. Many of the so-called close aids to the head of states are actually self-serving people. They careless how long the Presidents stays in power. They careless who he jails, and frankly, all they are interested in is to enrich themselves and create bigger profiles for their future business ventures. These pseudo elites are the big destroyers of the African dream.