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Mr. President, Why Ministers Defy Order on the number of Aides

John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D  
 Published Published  April 12th, 2012

It is now in the public domain that a good number of Nigerian Ministers have openly ignored your directives to curtail the number of their Aides in regards to special adviser/assistants and personal assistants.

Mr. President the reason for this defiance is clear given your declarations not long agoó ďIím no Pharaoh or army generalí. Also, "I donít need to operate like the Pharaoh of Egypt, and I donít need to be an army general to change the country". Actually you are quite right.

But from the point of psychological science these words might just be signs of frustration at the time of their expression or mere points of euphemism or understatement.

However, there are those humans who will unconsciously or consciously interpret your words along the lines of weak character, executive  weakness, presidential softness, open-leadership, elastic-headedness, managerial slackness,  leadership shallowness, executive insufficiency, and  easy-going leadership.

Mr. President, while many Nigerians now know you for your conscientious, calculated, pointed and meticulous leadership there are times when you have to creatively act in a despotic, ruthless, and in a pharaoh-like manner.

Psychologically, there are some humans who just like to defy orders as that is part of their authoritarian tendencies, and as such they need to be humiliated and humbled through presidential instruments of reprimand or reproach which some of them may equally enjoy oddly.

But what is clear from these punitive responses is that these sorts of characters must sometimes be displaced of their negativities and authoritarianism.

It has been over one year that this presidential order on the number of aides was reportedly given for the Ministers or your cabinet members to have only one special adviser/assistant and one personal assistant; as this type of move could save tax payers some money and make the government more fiscally responsible.

As part of these Ministers hard-headedness, some of them equally refused to listen to pleas from the office of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission.

As part of their leadership style and power needs, some of them reportedly continue to retain more than ten Special Advisers/Assistants each and remain in defiance to your authority.

This is pure disobedience to a head of State, especially to a non-royal or ceremonial head, who exercises active executive power in all aspects of government and in the day-to-day affairs of the government.

Mr. President because of your appearance of gentleness, meekness and cheerfulness how many more directives or presidential circulars have largely gone unheeded and continuously ignored?

Mr. President, this is an embarrassment especially at a time when the Nigerian people are looking at your presidency and wondering how much wastage of resources abounds everywhere in the midst of abject suffering, apathy and worry.

Mr. President with just another executive order with attached consequences for disobedience to it; make it a rule for all your cabinet members to get some of their aides from the civil service leaving some room for very little number of political appointees.

As a matter of fact it will be better for the country if most of their aides come from the civil service as many have the necessary experience to do their jobs.

Mr. President, we will all wait to see what type of sanctions will be meted out to the   disobedient ministers, as it will tell the people that  you are truly a Commander-in-Chief and not a mere meek President.

John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D., is a Forensic/Clinical Psychologist and the Secretary-General of the Nigeria Psychological Association (NPA), Abuja. 08126909839

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