Enough is enough, a person like Austin Umahi tells Nigerians regarding patronage, which is the awarding of jobs or contracts to political cronies and nepotism, which is showing favoritism toward one’s family members or relationships, in both economic and employment practices.
This blunt psychological open rebuke is evident in a statement from Austin Umahi, the younger brother to the Ebonyi State governor David Umahi, as he rejects President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment as the Secretary of Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
In his own words, “I am honestly humbled by this show of love. However, I regret to inform you that I declined the appointment because it is at best for job seekers or retired civil servants, or better still, anyone who loves the job, and secondly, I am convinced that at my age and work experience, it is not in doubt that I know what I want in life.” “Please if you are interested in the position do not hesitate to approach our indefatigable governor to do the needful because as far as I am concerned the position is still vacant. Thanks and God bless”.
In other words, there are people who need jobs more than I need this one. There are people who really need jobs. And he is saying this publicly on ethical grounds.
For reasons best known to him, Austin Umahi, a reported Christian minister and one with an accounting background, is tired of a situation where human resource practices are corrupted or contaminated by political patronage, nepotism, or cronyism as they have a profound negative impact on recruitment and appointment processes, productivity, discipline, satisfaction, and credibility.
He sends a message to all Nigerians, particularly to public and private sector employers, that granting favors or jobs to families and relatives without regard to merit are practices that have damaging effects on equal economic opportunities and effective institutions, as such acts exclude vast groups of needy people and weaken the growth of democracy.
A young democratic society whose human resources are founded on nepotism, partiality, favoritism, clannishness, and patronage, as is happening in Nigeria, forms quick and lasting psychological paths to political crises, social conflict, crisis of government, and general discontent and unhappiness, which threaten justice, peace, and security across the nation.
The brother of Governor Umahi, who I must say is educationally qualified for the stated job given his accounting, finance, and money science background, like many Nigerians, is just tired and frustrated about a society rooted in greed, partiality, cronyism, tribalism, and abuse of power that can result in intended and unintended consequences for democracy.
Let’s hope that this new psychology set by Austin Umahi is learned or copied by employers, especially in public and corporate service, regarding the reality that nepotism, manipulation, and marginalization hinder economic and democratic growth amidst the current insecurity in Nigeria.
Even a 7-year-old child in southern and northern Nigeria knows all is not currently well in society given the worsening economic and security situation in the country, and Austin Umahi, unlike many in leadership, is leading Nigerians to say it is high time Nigerians begin to speak the truth. Let’s hope President Buhari, Governor Umahi and their likes start acknowledging this reality.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, who was born in Uromi, Edo State in Nigeria to a father who served in the Nigeria police for 37 years, is an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult and child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional, and Career Development. He is a former Interim Associate Dean/Assistant Professor at Broward College, Florida. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African Settings In 2011, he introduced State-of-the-Art Forensic Psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C and Nasarawa State University, where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. He is currently a Virtual Behavioral Leadership Professor at ISCOM University, Republic of Benin. Founder of the proposed Transatlantic Egbeazien Open University (TEU) of Values and Ethics, a digital project of Truth, Ethics, and Openness. Over forty academic publications and creations, at least 200 public opinion pieces on African issues, and various books have been written by him. He specializes in psycho-prescriptive writings regarding African institutional and governance issues.
Prof. Oshodi wrote in via [email protected]