Vox populi is an old Latin phrase which literally means 'voice of the people', the phrase is usually used to represent the opinion of the general public. It is further made popular by the talented 12th century historian named William of Malmesbury, he said 'voice of the people (is) the voice of God' (Vox Populi, Vox Dei) and has become a popular proverb since the twelfth century. This famous proverb is further exemplified by the just concluded general election in Nigeria. The elections have proven that the voice of the people of Nigeria is the voice of God, and all the candidates who contested must have learned how important it is to listen to the voice of the people because it counts most when they are needed.
The victory recorded by President Jonathan even in the parts of the country where odds are well against him is enough to show that people are no longer voting for just the party, but for candidate that is well prepared to listen to their voice, help their cause and meet their yearnings. The latest victory recorded by Owelle Rochas Okorocha in the Imo State Governorship Election, which he won over the incumbent Governor Ikedi Ohakim is another pointer to the need for our leaders to listen to and respect the voice of the people , Governor Ohakim ignored the voice of his people and did not serve them enough for them to serve him when he needed them. He ruled Imo State like an absolutist and had many corruption allegations levelled against him. He had learned his lessons now that the voice of the people of Imo State is louder than his voice and they have spoken right.
Governor Babatunde Fashola's impressive win in the last Governorship election in Lagos is as a result of his exemplary leadership, he understands the need to serve the people through openness, truthfulness and execution of laudable projects. He listened to the voice of his people, because he knew their voice always counted and his people equally believed in him because they are not neglected. He showed the desire to serve his people from day one of starting his role as the executive Governor and never underrated anyone, he responded to the yearnings of the people of Lagos and tried to meet as many of the requests as he has the resources to do. Fashola gave 24 hours of his day to the people of Lagos State; This worked for him, attested to by the margin of the vote he got compared to his political opponents.
Governor Fashola's exemplary leadership and ability to listen to the voice of the people was felt in all facets of the state, such was the case when Eniola Olajuwon, a primary school pupil of Saint Saviour's School, Ebute Metta invited Governor Fashola for a Lecture on Leadership, Eniola made a promise to fellow pupils to invite Governor Fashola to a Leadership Lecture if made the School's Head Prefect. Shortly after being made the head prefect, Eniola invited the Governor to deliver a lecture on Leadership by sending email to the Governor, Governor Fashola honoured the invitation despite his very busy schedules, without any third party involvement and lobbying as was normally the case in Nigeria, Fashola attended the lecture and gave his lecture on Leadership, this single act fulfilled a little boy's dream, Eniola said this is the happiest day of his life because Governor Fashola has made it so.
The outgoing Governor of Oyo State, Governor Alao Akala must have learnt by now that voice of the people is always louder, Governor Alao Akala ruled Oyo State like an authoritarian, his god father late Adedibu gave him so much confidence that made him see the citizen of Oyo State as his footrest rather than the people he is called to serve. All he did was to attend parties, fight one camp or the other and speak to the people of the state like they are insignificant, he disorganised and disrespected the traditional rulers, concentrated on looking good than making his people good, he is very pompous and openly ignored the voice of the people. The Oyo state election has proven that the voice of the people counts a lot, he lost to ACN's Senator Ajimobi to his utter surprise.
There are several lessons to learn from the last election, Nigerians have realized the need to exercise their rights to vote and elect their leaders based on their conscience. The impressive turn out to vote for leaders who listen to them and to vote out the greedy and overzealous says it all, it bemoans on our leaders to know that true leadership is a natural process. True leaders will emerge through their truthfulness, openness and understanding of their leadership roles, their ability to serve will pick them out among the rest. These we have witness in the last election and was a good lesson for us all and for the future of the country. This is a call for our Leaders to exercise their civic duties of serving their people and relent from lying, manipulating the people they serve and ignoring the voice of the people calling for deserved change.
Our new leaders need to learn from the past mistakes of some the leaders, they need to listen more and understand the voice of the people they lead, They need to understand the need to serve and develop their constituency, it will go a long way for their future political ambitions. Voice of the people should be louder in the mind of our leaders because the voice of the people is the voice of God.