July 15, 2022 at 8:15 PM #37700justseyiKeymaster
The Leader and the Led is a poem of twenty-four lines arranged into twelve stanzas each with two lines; an overall of twelve couplets. A stanza of two lines is called a couplet, remember? I guess you wouldn’t forget that so easily.
Beyond its form, the poem theorises the necessary embodiments of a leader. The poem begins with the picture of an animal gathering in their quest for one who would be their leader. Some animals “stake their claim to the leadership” position; lion, hyena, giraffe, zebra, elephant, warthog, and rhino all said “it’s their right to lead”. But the colleagues (that they want to rule) only picked out their faults and flaws instead. When they could not see a flawless and perfect leader to pick, the Forest Sage calls their attention to what they need in a leader.
In Lines 1-2, the lion “stakes his claim” to the leadership position but the antelopes (lines 3-4) remember his “ferocious pounce” on them. A leader does not feed on his subjects; thus, the lion is ruled out.
In Lines 5-6, the hyena claims “the crown” is his to take but “the impalas shudder” at his brutality and “lethal appetite” only satiated by their kinds. A leader does not oppress his subjects; hence the hyena too is disqualified.
In Lines 7-8, the giraffe tries his luck. He “craves a place in the fault”. However, in his case, “his eyes” are said to be “too far from the ground”. A leader ought to be close to his subjects, see what they go through and share in their experience. An animal that would be distant to their everyday experiences would not do for a leader.
In Lines 9-10, the zebra comes next but “the pack points to the duplicity of his stripes” which suggests his crookedness and double-dealing. One who is not forthright cannot make a good leader.
In Lines 11-12, the elephant “trudges into the power tussle” but “his trampling feet” puts him at a disadvantage. Guess no animal wants to be crushed under those heavy feet.
In Lines 13-14, the warthog and the rhino run lose becoming favourites in the contention on the basis of their “ugliness” and “riotousness” respectively.
In Lines 15-24, the gathering of animals is unable to come to a conclusion on whom to choose as their leader. “The pack trashes around like a snake without a head” until the Forest Sage comes to its rescue. The Forest Sage declares that the leader they need should be “a hybrid of habits.” He should take a little of a lamb’s meekness and a little of a lion’s fierceness. He should be “tough like a tiger” and “compassionate like a doe”. He should be “transparent like a river” and “mysterious like a lake”. The Forest Sage finally concludes that they need a leader who knows how to secure legitimacy and trust and from his followers and also respect their opinions.
He main theme of this poem is the struggle for political power and relevance at the centre of government by the major linguistic groups in the country. It is simply a rat race for the oil money and political power. The rulers in civilian flowing clothing, have shown that they are as venal as the military in power .they cash – in on the level of abject poverty at the rural area, to perpetuate their vote buying and Even use foodstuff to “win” themselves into power. Anyone who is poor in the country is faceless, nameless and voiceless. As a result, he can easily be manipulated by the unscrupulous power hungry politicians with money.
The Nigeria’s battered image is an continuous state of flying half-mast as a mourning flag, for the political process that throws up the imposed rulers. The best ruler are denied the opportunity to prove themselves at the central stage of governance. In the words of Catholic bishop kukah, “Nigerian rulers are simple accidentail tourist”. The canonization of the wrong political process in voting the rulers of this country, leads to the proliferation of poverty in the midst of plenty oil money. Since the rulers are poor in the art of governance, they help to create ” mystery index” by making some Nigerians miserable to the extent of committing murder without thinking twice.
Niyi also explores the theme of poor governance and poor followership. The satirical poem symbolized by the animals, examine the process of electing a good leader in power at the Central government. Besides, it also sees the need for the leader to have the ability to follow the ” follower mindful of their right to led”. Nothing is wrong with the geographical area occupied by Nigeria yesterday, today and in the future. The country is simply a victim of years of poor governance, which flow throw the political process and election of the ruler at the centre of government. Poor governance has affected the national orientation of most Nigerians, especially those at the grassroots.
This group of Nigerians have accepted the fall-out of bad governance, lawlessness, bad behavior and corruption exhibited by the political rulers Even in national television, as part of the nation’s culture and way of life. It is a reproach to region and government to suffer much poverty and excess” William Penn. Poor governance breeds poverty and very persons super magally rich, from the common wealth of oil resources.
There is also the theme of corruption, a fallout of poor governance. It weakens the socio-economic system and brings about unemployment with other related crimes. It is a known fact that the epileptic power supply has crippled the industrialization of the nation. The cost of generating power to provide service and manufacturer manufacture goods, has forced many manufacturing companies to relocate to nearby countries. It is a great irony that some of these countries get their power supply from this country. Corruption has not allowed Nigerians to enjoy the use of electricity for service delivery, production of goods, entertainment and personal enjoyment.
The problem of power supply is as old as Nigeria, with no solution in sight. A poorly paid worker will resort to sharp corrupt practice to survive in a tough economic situation. The level of inflation is on increase and workers salaries can not take them home. Besides, there is huge disparity between the nation’s economic situation and living standard of Nigerians.
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