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August 19, 2018

Leadership by example: Barack Obama the great…Elsewhere in America (5)

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Husband and Father: One blissful successful marriage with one of the best mothers and wives in the history of marriage encounter. It seemed that right from birth God set them aside and prepared them to join together to become a paradigm of what married life is all about. Unlike most other turbulent marriages in modern times, no divorces and divorce suits and re-marriages, no suspicions with regard to extramarital affairs! Behold too, Michele Obama, the perfect wife and match of her life partner. The Igbo people of Nigeria would address her as “Oyiridiya” (carbon copy of her husband!) Proverbs 1: 10-12: “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” They, Barack and Michele stood together and won and made America and Africa great. Obama, great ‘Family Man’, has a message for parents who have problems  raising their young ones well in a liberal and ‘free for all’ society in the modern times, especially in America where kids know their rights, and scolding or spanking your kid can land you in police net or jail. Obamas know well how to be true exemplary parents. Asked by an interviewer how he Obama was handling the problems of his two daughters, fast growing up in the face of their parents. His response summarizes what the attitude of parents should be: “I know my wife Michele does a great job in this area. But as for me I ask my daughters to watch closely how both of us, me and Michele, how we treat each other, how we live our lives!” Hurrah! Behold the picture of ideal parents worthy of emulation!  If as many parents as possible, adults and public leaders, can set examples for others to emulate there will be less problems in families and society at large! About the First Lady, listen to these two admirers! “There has never been a First Lady who has brought such intelligence, grace, and beauty to the White House!  What a tremendous role model for all young women.  She has been a blessing to this country! Oh yeah, and I am a cranky old white male!” (DENNIS Peterson).  “I love our First Lady. She is intelligent, dignified, articulate, graceful, gentle, beautiful, funny, strong…I just can’t think of enough glowing adjectives to describe Michelle Obama. I don’t expect to see another first lady that can hold a candle to her in my lifetime.”  ( Missy Rogers)



Without being naïve Obama has demonstrated extraordinary simplicity of character which very few ordinary, as well as honorable leaders can privately or publicly manifest. In our world where show of strength and arrogance can win respect and adoration for the public leader, Obama is always ready “to serve than to be served”, open the umbrella to shelter his attendants than to let them wait on him. He is ready to say ‘I am sorry, looks like I forgot a simple protocol of giving a required traditional salute’. He is ready to sit with ordinary citizens and the unelected to dine and wine and even to share sitting positions, join queues in churches, restaurants, shopping malls, anywhere. He lets “little children to come to me” instead of allowing his disciples to chase them away in case one of them spills yogurt cream on the president of United States of America!  Obama has an unbelievable goodwill to absorb insults, and disrespectful behavior, and is ever ready to ignore or forgive those who hypocritically call him names. He rarely tweets in revenge or even calls attention to undeserved public mistreatment of self or his office. He honestly teaches by example. By keeping mute and not letting pressure for revenge consume his passion, he is saying, ‘Father, forgive them. They do not know what they are doing!” “……..When they go low, we go high!” No doubt Obama will be greatly missed by many admirers, young and the elderly, Americans and non-Americans, more so for the above rare qualities as summarized by one admirer: “His rapport with children, his cool dance moves, his friendly hugs, and his respect for others! Good luck Barack Obama, the Great!”



Those who ever for once thought that President Obama failed the black people in the African continent or in the United States should reflect and search their consciences. They should thank Obama for salvaging the image of the black people all over the world through enviable leadership and courage in the face of powerful opposition of the whites who have ruled the world since the colonial days. He knew when and how to discuss black issues with his enemies who are always ready to hang him for ‘taking sides with certain groups of people”, in thought, word and deed. Only few leaders with such intelligence and talent could figure out the best way to deal with explosive issues, such as race and religion. Obama spoke to African political leaders and African Americans making it clear to anyone who cared what his stand on democratic leadership, race, equality, and decency is. He contributed all he could towards helping those in need, whatever form of those needs. Obama condemned the type of political leadership mostly prevalent in Africa countries, leadership marked by dictatorship, thuggery, tribal or ethnic strife and wars, dictatorship, oppression and corruption, and not the least by ‘president-for-life’ syndrome. The son of African descent could not cling to power after serving two terms in office, no matter how well he had performed or what his lovers wished. “President-for-life” –  African leaders should not make mockery of democratic leadership and principles when their supporters in government organize mock elections where the incumbent leader’s victory at the polls is  assured months and years before the elections are organized!



“Anathemas sit!!” “Let the tongue that says so be accursed!” His sworn enemies declare he is responsible for the wars, rise of terrorists groups in the Middle East, in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. It is not only the devil who lies. Obama did all that all people of goodwill in the United States and elsewhere clamored for, withdrawal of American troops from those areas of conflict where the American intervention was no more yielding fruits. To show their anger and hate for American presence in Iraq, an Iraqi news reporter threw his shoes at President W. Bush during a news conference. They were saying “America must go. America has outlived her welcome! Enough is enough!” LIBYA! America adventure in Libya did not start with Obama. President Ronald Reagan conducted the first raid in Libya to eliminate its leader, Muammar Gaddafi.

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