.The winner takes it all attitude and the arrogance that comes with victory often beclouds our leadership responsibilities, thereby causing conflicts and reducing our influences. After the contest and the winner has emerged, why do we keep hitting the defeated? Why do attacks and campaign of calumny targeted at the defeated continue after the contest? These all boils down to the strength of the character of the Leader; even in warfare, you don’t attack someone that you have captured and no longer armed.
The Hague Regulations provide that it is especially forbidden “to kill or wound an enemy who, having laid down his arms, or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion”. Additional Protocol prohibits attacks against persons recognized as hors de combat and provides that such attacks constitute grave breaches of the Protocol. Under the Statute of the International Criminal Court, “killing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion” is a war crime in international armed conflicts. Even in boxing and wrestling, you don’t attack someone on the ground or after you’re declared the winner.
Election is the most civilized contest but many Presidents, Governors and leaders still keep attacking and go all out to destroy someone they have legitimately defeated. Friends, that is childish, immature and unethical. Calling of names after elections, victimizing defeated opponents are obviously undermining your leadership. It’s more matured and indicates great leadership to woo and reconcile with the defeated after you have established your superiority. For instance, after the elections, the Governor is head over all the citizens of the state, even the greatest rival and it doesn’t matter whether the rival concedes defeat or not.
Friends, as leaders and leaders-in-training, we must learn to demonstrate the big heart, must learn to know when to stop the fight and increase our influence. Through elections and other contests (like judiciary), you have proved your points, then your leader must continue in gaining more influence. It’s not every time you have to rub the defeat in, that’s a sign of weakness on your part, that’s like immaturity of sport fans; catching fun and flaunting the victory. Calling a defeated\conquered man derogatory names after the contest is not confirming anything about him but suggests how weak and unruly you are.
Public leadership is very demanding and we need all the available supports to succeed. In Nigeria, no ruling government gets supports or encouragement from opposition parties; no constructive criticism and alternative polity advice because the first thing the winners do is to use the victory and new position to oppress the loser, most of the time for childish disputes; how pathetic and retrogressive.
Leadership Quote: “You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war.” – Napoleon Bonaparte.
-Adeniyi Rotimi Johnson