opinionBy Clement Udegbe
The Anglo — American society think that leaders should be held to the highest behavioural standards so that they can be an example to the nation to avoid gutter behaviour. Leadership is a brand, and needs to be maintained at the highest moral standards.
A recent study at the Tilburg University in America, found that there is a relationship between power and infidelity; the more powerful people were, the more they tended to cheat on their partners, and this relationship was directly attributable to the higher levels of confidence reported by more powerful people. Thus, being less powerful decrease not only a person's confidence but also his willingness to cheat on his partner. Is this true? The answer is NO!
Adultery can happen anywhere to anyone. You don't have to be handsome, articulate, successful, muscular or any woman's dream to be in it.You can be dull, unattractive, overweight, without personality or charisma, yet caught by the fire stone they call 'an affair'. You can be mighty in the Lord, tongue speaking, successful beyond your wildest dreams, a great warrior for Christ, and still be brought down by adultery.
The Bible in 1Corinthians 6:18, commands us to "flee from adultery", don't argue with it, discuss its ramifications, don't underestimate it, just run as fast as your legs can carry you. Get away quick even if the other person will be offended or mis-understand or get angry, the wisest of leaders put miles between them and the temptation.
Proverbs 6:32-35 declares: "But a man who commits adultery lacks judgement,whoever does so destroys himself, blows and disgrace are his lot, and his shame will not be wiped away; for jealousy arouses a husband's fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge, he will not accept any compensation, he will refuse the bribe, however great it is". The adulterous daughter of Eve, as an agent, is usually beautifully created ,with good curves at the right places, vastly alluring, richly endowed, name-dropping ambitious female; marriage means nothing to her, but a title and at best a ladder to climb to access her victims, who when once found, would be led like a cow, to the butchery, unknown to the victim, that many have been killed that way!
In Proverbs 5:3-6, the Bible tells us that the lips of the adulteress drip honey, her speech is smoother than oil, but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as double edged sword, her feet go down to death and her steps lead straight to grave; she gives no thought to the way of life; her paths are crooked, but she knows it not. Only the simple get caught!
Adultery, therefore, is not a sign of strength, it is a sign of weakness; adultery is not an indicator of healthy adulthood, it is an indicator of wounded juvenile behaviour. Adultery is not a sign of self-controlled leaders; it is a sign of out-of-control leaders. Adultery is not the badge of great leadership; it is the badge of failed leadership. Is there a relationship to Nigeria's leadership situation?
Adultery is never a private matter, it leaves the spouses permanently wounded and in pain of humiliation. The children are worst hit as they remain shattered often devastated, trying to grasp the strange destruction of the secure world they were used to, when their parents were together.
Leaders and powerful persons get involved with this evil for a few reasons; they are usually over-confident, and have inappropriate sense of security which leads them into counter-productive and risky behaviours like adultery. Leaders are rarely selected on the basis of their integrity, which is ironic given that integrity is a quality that subordinates want in a leader. Power may corrupt, power itself attracts corrupt people and society pays a cost for the inability to stop mischievous individuals from reaching leadership positions, who sooner or later derail revealing the dark side of their character.
Another reason is that power makes people more attractive to women, because most often, women's relationship choices are driven more by status than looks, whereas the opposite is true for men, thereby exposing men to more temptations when in power. Finally, powerful people tend to perceive bigger gaps between them and others, including their romantic partners. This superiority complex increases the probability of acting disrespectfully towards their spouses and thereby legitimizes their cheating behaviours because that sense of feeling better than others, eclipses their feeling of guilt and regret.
The solution is for the society to deliberately increase the proportion of female leaders, while placing higher moral standard requirements on the male leaders. Society must develop a reward system for fidelity. Indeed, good women are generally less confident, more risk-averse, more dutiful, more caring than men, in particular powerful men. There are usually few cases of famous female infidelity as it is only the whores under marriage cloaks that cheat their husbands. If our leaders will be selected on the basis of their integrity, humility, and empathy, we will have more women in charge and fewer cheats around the corridors of power.