Hungarian President, Pal Schmitt, resigned Monday because of a plagiarism scandal regarding a doctoral dissertation he had written 20 years ago. The scandal that dethroned President Schmitt had initially precipitated street protests in the streets of the capital, and just like every other human beings the president saw no reason why a doctoral thesis should generate such a furore because, according to him there was no correlation between his thesis and the office he held.
Eventually, the president succumbed to public opinion. His detractors argued that he had lost credibility to lead Hungary, and that it would be a sacrilege for somebody with a blemish to hold the office of the president.
And because that society does not celebrate mediocrity and because the office of the president is not regarded as a place where personal opinions superimpose public desires, the president resigned.
“In this situation, when my personal issue divides my beloved nation instead of uniting it, I feel it to be my personal duty to finish my service and resign from my presidential mandate”, Schmitt said. That statement elicited applause, even from the opposition who was consistent in their calls for him to resign because it shows true statesmanship.
But events around us make me wonder if we will ever have such leadership in Nigeria. A country where corruption and arrogation of power is the order of the day
Just of recent, Hon. Herma Hembe who chairs House Representative Committee on Capital Market was accused of bribery of over N40 million in the cause of investigating another corruption; Ms Oteh Arunma, the Director General of Security and Exchange Commission was accused of mismanagement and financial impropriety; President Jonathan early in the year said there were known “Cabals” whose corrupt practices necessitated the fuel subsidy removal that further impoverished Nigerians and the attendant mass protests that followed. Yet, nothing was done.
The above are just few of the leadership misfortunes and ‘acceptable’ official corruption that we read and hear daily.
It seems the government and the society has agreed that corruption and violation of societal norms are an acceptable canker that we cannot live without. It is sad that we have accepted negative tendencies to define our nation; that there is nothing wrong to use titles, offices and official position to rub our nation blind. SO SAD!
By – Femi Olabisi