Muni Okoronkwo had always been focused, believing in her abilities, strengths and gifts as well as importantly, the grace of God to get her where she desired. Over the years, she boasted a number of successes. An A-lister from kindergarten, through to university, she had graduated Summa Cum Laude from one of the Ivy League universities in the United States of America, which she had attended on full scholarship. Muni believed in her country and felt she could impact positively on both its image and performance at an appropriate time.
Her sojourn in the Corporate world had prepared her for challenges and equipped her with the resilience, experience and knowledge she felt was needed to catapult her into public service at the highest levels. These together with her mantra “What is worth doing at all is worth doing well” propelled her to join a political party and vie for the Governorship ticket of her state of origin – Babula.
During her campaign for the primaries, her credentials were touted as follows:
- A totally detribalized and liberal-minded individual who not only married outside her state of origin but also encouraged her children’s choices.
- A champion for female emancipation who believes that the female population has numerous untapped resources that could be of benefit to the nation.
- A consummate Technocrat having served in varying capacities in a thriving Multinational Corporation where until recently, she served as the Group Regional director for Africa and the Middle East Sub Region. Her experience gleaned at the Corporation honed her proficiency in the following areas:-
- – Mediation and International strategic negotiations.
- – Analytical skills resulting in fiscal policies aimed at profitability and sustainability.
- – Astute assignment of human capital and attendant compensation/reward systems geared at achieving desired results.
- – Deployment of technology as a veritable tool for advancement.
- – An understanding of the Separation of powers as a guarantee for a properly run Government.
Today, Muni has just won the primaries of her party, Babula Democratic Congress (BDC) and has been declared the flag bearer for the Gubernatorial race. At the reception cocktail held in her honour, three of her closest persons are having an earnest conversation, cocktails in hand.
Mama Okoronwo, her mother-in-law takes a deep breath and expresses her concerns “Hmmm…I really don’t understand what more Muni wants. She has totally emasculated my son, Gregory. Being the Group Executive of that big multinational Corporation was not enough for her, now she wants to be described as “Her Excellency”, meanwhile, how would her husband be described – husband of her excellency? I wonder how they will relate at home…will she still prepare his meals and do the needful as his wife? Thank God the children are now grown and married.”
Princess (Muni’s childhood friend) interjects with a giggle and says “Not to worry mama, I trust my friend Muni. She has always been humble and good at multitasking. They have coped thus far and honestly, her role as Group Regional Director was very challenging. Greg is very supportive of her and they will cope just fine. I however think she should have limited her ambition to Deputy Governor or at the best, shoot for Vice president. Women are not meant to take the leadership role but act as a support or helper to a man who leads. Just my view though and I believe it is scriptural. After all, Adam was made the Head of the home in Eden.”
Mark – The Public Relations Secretary to the State wing of the party responds “With all due respect madam I disagree. Excellence does not bear a sexist toga. We should desire that the best man or in this case, the best woman lead for the collective good of the state. There is a saying that “If a man sees a snake and a woman kills it, the important thing is that the snake is dead and no longer a threat.” Unfortunately, most women have been conditioned to think they should take second place. I guess we will just have to wait and see. She has scaled the hurdle with the party, but it remains to be seen whether our polity is ripe for women holding the reins of power. Her competency and altruistic values cannot be faulted and frankly, she holds the best credentials among all the Gubernatorial candidates.”
Havilah is of the opinion that until objectivity rules our decisions, we will continue to have less-than-optimum public servants and mediocrity will prevail. Competence and ability do not have gender preferences. Our motto should always be “May the best man win.“ Did I just say that…I mean may the best man or woman win! Let us lower the flag of gender bias even from among us women.