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Apologist: In the mind of the leader

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Etymologists will say that the word “apologist” originated from the Greek word “apologia” which means “defense” and or “answer.” It also stem from a religious background, depicting what manner of life the supposed faithful or devotee ought to reflect. In 2 Corinthians 5:20 (KJV), it states, “Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.” The primary responsibility of a master apologist is to represent, defend and answer for his patriarch in all essential things over which the latter has jurisdiction. When engaged, it behooves the pundit apologist to pursue this task not just to the best of his ability, but indeed he oversteps the limit and do the extraordinary to his administrators’ credit.

Therefore, efforts to vicariously live the leader’s life by taking his bullets, projecting his purposes and programs, advancing his courses and horizons, ensuring his mandate is met, etc becomes paramount. Actually, the very being and life of the person of the apologist is said to be subsumed to that of the boss the result of which the formers existence is made meaningful. At the point of establishing a contract, their formerly separate life’s purposes becomes interwoven.

In the final analysis, it is this umbilical harmony essentially existing between the leader and his “answerer” that warrants proper and conscientious search for a quality leader of a people at any given era. Again, taking into cognisance that every eventual leader is often the product of the society he hails from, seldom those who make the desired reform and clamoring difference disappoint this societal norm and idiosyncrasy. They wear the rare characteristics and traits requisite for the herculian national task ahead. They don’t cower before the astounding challenges facing the entire people they’re elected to lead. They are cosmopolitan in nature, amiable in conduct, excusing all well intended criticism and accusing none for genuine misdemeanor. They remain objective and focused and geared towards their mandate accomplishment but detest distraction bouyed by sectarianism and parochialism, particularly. They are resolute not to be the cabal’s puppet and lackey or be enthralled by their whims and caprices. Rather they are witty, waggish, eccentric, unpredictable, immensely foresightful, and obviously enlightened. Whenever and wherever this sort of a leader emerges, it calls for galvanisation and gravitation – squarely undertaken by the apologist. 

Apologists are not supposed to be errands boys, hired house keepers, or a necessarily personal assistant fellows. They are basically kitchen cabinet members, a participant of the brain trust group showcasing the ideas and manifestoes of a leader with an outstanding and awesome articulated schedule and memoranda. The sine qua non upon which the attachment of a certain goal oriented apologist to a selected eminent leader rests upon the foregoing stated priority. There is no reasonable aim in establishing this secular marriage if the welfare of the people and the fulfillment of the same is not of chief interest. Woe betides the leader coupled with whoever apologetics who set out to pursue selfish interest under the guise of the national and cohesive concerns. Willing victims of this anomaly situation is not in dearth in Nigeria leadership circles. It is noteworthy here to emphasize that apologists do not whitewash inadequacies of their benefactor. They submit to the fact that human frailty and mortality befalls them all. It is even in agreeing to this that perfection and performance can be attained. 

In the mind of the leader, the apologist explores and expounds. The leader is the horse and the apologist is the herald and the cart. You put the cart before the horse and not the other way around. The image maker tells the amazing story of the awesome coming deliverer. He does it with all gusto and fervour. He does it enthusiastically yet with all humour and vibrance it deserves. He presents his patron in an acceptable demeanor to the scrutiny and screening eyes of the people who hold and wield the power of approval. He is innovative and proactive and not reactionary. To this extent we arrive at the core and the crux of the matter of sterling leadership that’s result delivery oriented and not blame trading disposed.

To this point, we want to sit calm, rethink our ways and solemnly ask ourselves certain thought provoking questions. Reappraisal, restructuring and reformation mandate of Nigeria, the most populous black nation on earth and arguably the African largest economy, with regards to its cohesive coexistence or the dissolution thereof, is of urgent need and attention. The man or woman who will, above all political rhetoric and demagoguery, work out the process to achieving this robust national commission, is a treasure we cannot wait to discover or a gift we so much covet. Towards this end shall all efforts and synergies be targeted.
Orajiaku is a freelance journalist and social activist.


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Steve Obum Orajiaku
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