5 Dangers Many Powerful Leaders Aren’t Objectively Introspective

Wake up, America, because, if the individual, and/ or, individuals, you vote for, and elect, supposedly, to serve and represent the public’s common good, are. either, unwilling, or not ready, to pursue ideas, which are idealistic, while being pragmatic, enough, to consider various options and alternatives (not, simply, his personal/ political agenda, and/ or, self – interest), our nation and citizens, in the longer – run, will be losers! Powerful public leaders must align a high degree of objectivity, with a willingness to be truly, introspective, if they hope, to make a difference, for the better, rather than, merely, change, for change – sake! With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, 5 potential dangers, when the wrong – type of individuals, are elected.

1. Unbalanced views: Beware, always, of anyone, with a, My way or the highway, perspective, and orientation! No one, no matter, how well – intentioned/ meaning, has all the answers, nor, even, can always, perceive, and conceive, of all the options, and potential considerations! When someone, refuses, to admit, his ideas, perhaps, might be improved, by modifications, etc, it produces, a lack of balance, and serving the needs, of the greater good. If, he can’t admit, any personal faults/ lack of understanding, how can he address all the needs? The current, United States President, Donald Trump, appears to, consistently, resist any possibility of his having personal responsibility, making an error, or, it seems, even, considering alternatives. Whether this is due to ego, narcissism, or lack of understanding and thorough, relevant knowledge, by refusing to be introspective, and looking, objectively, at himself, the nation’s possibilities, and alternatives, are weakened!

2. Won’t expand comfort zone: When/ if, anyone refuses to expand the self – imposed, limitations of his comfort zone, his constituents,. generally, lose! How can anyone, become better, and more thorough, without doing so?

3. Don’t effectively listen, with genuine empathy: Don’t we deserve to be served and represented by individuals, who are willing, and capable of effectively listening, and learning, from every conversation, instead of falling – in – love, with the sound, of his own voice? Great leaders, consistently, proceed with the utmost degree of genuine empathy!

4. Limits perceptions and alternatives: When, one limits his possibilities, he limits his perceptions, and ability to consider options and alternatives! We need to elect people, who have the inner strength, and fortitude, to make a true difference, for the better!

5. Isn’t honest with himself: It’s never in our best interests, when any public official, refuses to be, absolutely, honest, with himself, and proceed, with the utmost degree of, putting – others – first!

These are simply, 5 dangers, when powerful, public officials, refuse to be, objectively introspective. Voters must take the time, and personal responsibility, to consider, the quality of character, of any candidate!

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Imo Lawyers Reflect On Supreme Court Judgement On Imo State

“It is the right of every man, in parliament or out of it, in the press or over the broadcast, to make fair comment, even outspoken comment, on matters of public interest. Those who comment can deal faithfully with all that is done in a court of justice “. – Lord Denning in R vs. Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Exparte Blackburn (No. 2) (1968) 2 Q.B. 150.

In an unanimous judgement in Suit No: SC 1462/2019 (Senator Hope Uzodinma& Anor vs. Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha& 2 Others) delivered on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, a seven-man panel of the Supreme Court of Nigeria nullified the election of the erstwhile governor of Imo State, Emeka Ihedioha, and ordered the immediate swearing in of Hope Uzodinma as the validly-elected governor of Imo State.With the above dictum of Lord Denning in mind, Imo Progressive Lawyers Association (IPLF) has deemed it necessary to ask certain pertinent questions regarding the Supreme Court rulingthat sacked Emeka Ihedioha.

First off, we make bold to state that both Ihedioha and Uzodinma are respected sons of NDI IMO. This reflection specifically responds to the controversy which the Supreme Court judgement generated since it was delivered. And more importantly, it is not lost on us thatformer governor Ihediohahas approached the apex court for a review of the judgement that ousted him. The consequence is that the matter having been submitted to the Supreme Court remains subjudice. As lawyers, we are mindful that commenting on cases sub judice are generally considered inappropriate. However, we are constrained to raise the following questions after having read the full judgement of the apex court.

Before delving into the facts of the matter, it is instructive to note that Section 179 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) deals with the votes that a candidate must garner at a gubernatorial election to be declared winner. That section provides:

179 (2): A candidate for an election to the office of governor of a state shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being two or more candidates –

he has the highest number of votes cast at the election; and
he has not less than one-quarter of all votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the local government areas in the state.

Guided by the constitutional directives above, we examine the undisputed facts in the recent judgement. The specific facts to note are:

The 1st Appellant (Hope Uzodinma) filed a petition challenging the return of the 1st Respondent (Emeka Ihedioha) on two grounds:

(a) The 1st Respondent was not validly elected by majority of lawful votes cast; and

(b) The declaration and return of the 1st Respondent is invalid by reason of non-compliance with the Electoral Act. (See page 2 of the lead judgement delivered byKudiratMotonmoriOlatokunboKekere-Ekun JSC).

Elections were held in 27 Local Government Areas, 305 electoral wards and 3, 523 polling units. The 3rd Respondent (INEC) cancelled the election in 252 polling units, collated results from 2,883 polling units and excluded results from 388 polling units. The 1st Respondent averred that he scored 213,695 votes from only the 388 polling units excluded. (See pages 2-3 Kekere-Ekun JSC’s judgement).

Paragraph 7, a, b, c, d, e and f of the 3rd Respondent’s (INEC’s) Reply categorically denied the claims in the Appellant’s petition, especially the incorrect computationof election results as alleged. (See pages 31-32 of Kekere-Ekun JSC’s judgement).

Having established the law and the undisputed facts in the matter, we seek to raise the following questions concerning the judgement –

A. The Appellant (Hope Uzodinma) pleaded that he scored over 213,000 votes from 388 polling units. However, during the trial, his star witness, PW54, a police officer, only tendered the results of 366 polling units instead of 388. The findings by the Tribunal, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court also established that PW54 tendered results of 366 polling units as against 388 polling units. Does this discrepancy not place the Supreme Court on its enquiry?

B. The court is bound to take judicial notice that the maximum number of voters per polling unit is 500 unless there are additional voting points created. Again, 500 voters multiplied by 388 polling units cannot be more than 194,000.00 votes. That is to say that 500 voters multiplied by 366 would also, give only a maximum possible of only 183,000 votes. Cognizant of the certainty of deaths, voter transfers and voter apathy, the possibility of all 500 voters in each of the 388 (or 366) polling units voting during an election is very remote, if not impossible. So, whether by 366 or 388 polling units, the figures presented by the Appellant leave both mathematical and logical gaping holes that ought to put the apex court on its enquiry.

C. Curious enough, the Supreme Court refused to look into the cross-appeal of the First Respondent (Emeka Ihedioha), holding that the main appeal had made it unnecessary to evaluate the cross-appeal. With due respect to the apex court, perhaps, if the cross-appeal had been evaluatedon its merit, some of questions highlighted above would been dealt with.

D. In light of A and B above, has the Supreme Court satisfied itself that the conditions set out in Section 179 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) have been fully complied with as would warrant the nullification of Ihedioha’s election and the declaration of Uzodinmaas the actual winner?

Justice, they say, is not a cloistered virtue. She must be allowed to suffer the scrutiny and respectful, even outspoken, comments of ordinary men”. – “Lord Atkin in Ambard vs. Attorney-General for Trinidad & Tobago (1936) AC 322, 335. As ministers in the temple of justice and equally as stakeholders in the Imo governance architecture,

Imo Progressive Lawyers Association are moved by Lord Atkin’s admonition to raise the above legal questions. We table these concerns as amicus curia, fuelled by the deep concern that the doctrine of stare decisis would be threatened if these issues are not exhaustively reconsidered by the apex court.

In the final analysis, the Supreme Court is a policy court, with its decisions binding not only on every lower court, but on all other institutions and executive arms of government. In line with the total bindingness of Supreme Court’s judgement, Hope Uzodinma was sworn in as governor with alacrity. Our primary concern therefore is that justice prevails. Not only that, every regime of the state must derive its legitimacy from popular democracy and sound application of the rule of law.

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Why Voters Must FOCUS Better?

If future sociologists decide to decide the era, we currently are experiencing, all they need to do, is review video footage of, either, nearly every time, President Donald Trump speaks (and/ or, Tweets), or, of the debate between the Presidential candidates, held on February 19th! This so – called, debate, was more, debacle than discussion, with, apparently, the rest – of – the – pack, piling – on, against Michael Bloomberg, often doing so, more like a soap opera, than political theater, etc! Calling Mike, a billionaire, and, implying, all billionaires are the same, and evil, is both, inaccurate, as well as nearly as abhorrent as lumping – together, any other group! Every candidate has, both strengths and weaknesses, and isolating issues, out of context, may attract certain supporters, etc, but provides, at best, an inadequate, incomplete picture! This type of behavior, and campaigning, continues being used, because it seems successful, to some, and a path, of least resistance! If we hope to have an America, which we are far more proud of, and is saner, and fairer, individuals must take the personal responsibility, to effectively, FOCUS, more clearly, thoroughly, effectively, and with an emphasis on the bigger – picture! With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, using the mnemonic approach, what this means and represents, and why it matters.

1. Face facts; future; furnish; fruition; faithful: Instead of empty rhetoric, and promises, we need to elect people, who are ready, willing, and able to face the facts, and articulate a compelling message, accordingly! They must be relevant, and sustainable, and furnish ideas, for present needs, as well as future considerations. Examine, whether they are faithful, to the public, or to their personal/ political agenda, and/ or, self – interest. Will they simply bring forth, pie – in – the – sky, idealistic ideas, with little, to no chance of approval, or introduce viable, pragmatic solutions, which create a genuine path, to making a change – for – the – better?

2. Options; opportunities; organized: Avoid the My way, or the highway, type of public leader! These people, generally, refuse to consider, anything other than their way, and, thus, limit the possibilities, by limiting options and alternatives! We need public officials, who will recognize opportunities, when they present themselves, or, create their own opportunity, in an organized, well – considered manner!

3. Character; creative; coordinate; cooperate: There’s no substitute for quality of character, which co – exists with creative leadership, and a readiness to be the cause of a meeting – of – the – minds! When one coordinates his activities and ideas, with a cooperative attitude, citizens win!

4. Usual; unusual; urgent; unifying: The finest leaders address, both, the usual, as well as unusual needs and requirements, of our society! He must be able to recognize urgent issues, from petty ones, and prioritize, unifying others, for the greater good!

5. Sustainable; solutions; service; stronger: One shouldn’t be elected, if he fails to serve and represent his constituents, by considering options, and introducing viable solutions, which provide service, and make our nation, and citizens, stronger, and better!

We can’t afford to keep electing people, based on their promises, and rhetoric! The only way to make the nation, greater, is to, Make America Sane Again! Are you, ready, willing, and able to FOCUS clearly, and emphasize choosing, in a well – considered manner!

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