When we talk of an ideal leader, what comes to minds of many is physical strength and agility. Of course, these two are very important, but practically, they do not dictate or determine what a great leader is.
A leader may be agile and fit, and yet be abysmal in performance. Whereas, the world has witnessed frail and sick leaders who turned out to be great leaders whose exceptional legacies outlived their existence.
How strong was Mahatma Ghandi, the father of India when he liberated India? How strong was Roland Reagan when he led Second American economic revolution? While Mahatma Ghandi was frail and ill-looking, Ronald Reagan was considered an entirely sick president, yet their achievements for their respective nations were monumental.
Widely considered the father of India, the preeminent leader of the Indian struggle against British imperialism, and one of the most influential minds of the 20th century, Gandhi emerged to become one of the greatest advocates of peace and nonviolent resistance that the world has known. His vision of peace and sustainable development liberated India.
In an occasion of his 150th birth anniversary graced by UN leaders to remember Mahatma Ghandi, UN chief Antonio Guterres had this to say:
“Just imagine the frail figure of Gandhi and look at the mighty battles he led. I didn’t say he fought because he always was connected to people. Gandhi didn’t lead alone. Gandhi lead with others. Connections are critical in bringing about social justice.
“And Gandhi led despite his frail frame. He was a very strong figure and a forgiving one…we have a lot to learn from this figure. And the world must continue to deal with non-violence, including the battle to get out of our penchant for thinking that the sharper, we make our weapons, the healthier, or safer we have. This is a fallacy,” he said.
When Ronald Reagan took the oath of office as America’s 40th President on January 20, 1981, the country was experiencing some of bleakest economic times since the Depression. Taxes were high, unemployment was high, interest rates were high and the national spirit was low.Bringing America back was the new President’s top priority
At the time he was campaigning, Reagan was the oldest man ever to seek the Presidency. Thus, there was concern during his campaigns whether his health was up to the job. He sought to downplay these concerns by vowing to resign the Presidency if he became medically unfit. He also authorized the release of information about his medical history.
However, Reagan was able to deliver and rescued America from economic collapse. Ronald Reagan’s formula for a successful economic turnaround was simple but decisive:
By cutting federal income taxes, cutting the U.S. government spending budget, cutting useless programs, scaling down the government work force, maintaining low interest rates, and keeping a watchful inflation hedge on the monetary supply, he was able to deliver.
Tinubu is in the class of these brittle, but extremely intelligent leaders. He has an antecedent of outstanding performance in his previous capacities as a public officer and also while serving in private sectors. You may underestimate him for his brittle stamina, but those who did that in the past blamed themselves when they found out too late that he had outsmarted them. He has the ability to think far ahead of time, and he is sharp in mind and upstairs.
If you think Bola Tinubu is weak, if you think he is sick, you will be getting it whole wrong because the Tinubu, who survived all the rigours of APC presidential primaries without breaking down for a moment, in spite of all the wide consultations and sleepless nights in meetings and scheming, might be stronger than you ever thought.
© Alimi Ibn Fattykolly
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