For those of us who used the Oxford English Reader,we may remember this story. I think it was Primary 3 or 4(can’t exactly tell). Though not in its exact form, but the substance of the story is the same.
Ali was a very cunning man who was always looking for a way to get rich quickly. One day,he approached the King and offered to make him a coat and the King agreed. Ali ,however,told him that the coat was of such a special nature as it was ONLY the good and pure in heart that could see it. He set to work and started sewing the coat(or so it seemed). The King’s men all came around to ‘see’,and having been told only the good and pure in heart could see the coat, they all expressed how “beautiful” the coat was and went back to tell the King so.
On the appointed day,the King ‘wore’ the “coat” and went on a procession round the city to show off his “new coat”.
As he was ,”putting” on his “coat”,his officials all praised the beauty of the “coat” and how good it looked on the King and the King went round the town until a child started laughing and pointing out to the king that he was actually walking around naked. That was when the King realised he had been taken for a ride.
TAKE NOTE that all this while,the King’s men saw that there was no coat and that the King was naked,they didn’t tell him so as they wanted to appear good and noble in the eyes of the King.
I may have read this story a long time ago,but I still find it very relevant in today’s political scene in Nigeria where those who hang around our leaders ,even when the see something wrong,still give them the impression that they are the best thing to have ever happened to us as a people(e.g., a prominent politician once hailed our President as having brought Facebook to Nigeria,as part of his achievements.)
I would dare say ,that one of the obstacles to performance by our leaders is arse-licking sychophancy,such that even a leader who has intentions of performing,cannot do so, as there is no effective barometer for measuring his performance. In our society where somebody is “equated” with Jesus,in a society where someone(Alhaji(Dr) Jubril Obokhale,the ogidigan of traditional medicine). comes on tv and says “if Abacha doesn’t become a civillian president,he would die” (Anyway,he died of heart attack upon hearing of Abacha’s death) or Ojo Madueke who said,”if Abacha doesn’t rule,Nigeria would cease to exist”.(He has served in virtually every government after Abacha).
Everyday,we see arse-lickers and sychophants on tv “extolling” the “virtues???” of our leaders,while tertiary institutions,traditional rulers and religious bodies fall over themselves to “(dis)honour” these great leaders.
Na so we go dey dey?