Letter to God: Between My Obligation and Nepotism

Johnson Babalola
July 14, 2023

A friend once told me about a situation he was once confronted with how he approached God for counsel.

Dear Baba God:

You know my story. I lost my parents at a very young age: 12. I thought I would end up on the street but my uncle, my father’s only brother, stepped in at a time when everyone else abandoned me. He became a father to me and raised me with his daughter, named B, who was only two years old at the time, and who had lost her mother at childbirth.

Uncle K refused to remarry, devoting his time, money, and energy to raising us. His focus was all on us. He did a pretty good job. I am now heading the recruitment department of a very successful civil engineering company while B, is a first-class graduate of civil engineering in search of employment. My uncle? He is now retired. Given that the payment of his pension from the civil service is often delayed and when paid, amounts to very little, I have been of financial support to him. He would often pray for me thus: “You have been a good son to me. I wish your parents were alive today to see how well you have done. I pray that you continue to do well and live a long, healthy, and fulfilling life. I also pray that one day, B will be able to support you in caring for me. Amen.”

Then an opportunity came at my place of work. I informed B to apply through the normal process. She did. I recused myself from the panel that conducted the interviews. I did not influence their decisions and did not inform them that B was related to me. I also did not provide B with any heads-up about the interview questions.

The results of the interviews are now out. B is tied in first place with another candidate, and I have been asked to pick one person for the job. Baba God, I have come to you to guide me in making the right decision.

B is well known to me. She grew up in my hands. She is an excellent human being in every sense of it. She is brilliant, hardworking, focused, dependable and many more. I know she will make huge positive contributions to the company.  In addition, I feel like I owe my uncle.  He has always been there for me. Without him, I am not sure I would have been in this position today. How do I break the news to him that I failed to approve B for the job?

The other candidate deserves the job too. Yes, I do not know him and cannot vouch for his character, integrity et al. However, he is a human being that deserves an opportunity to thrive, just like I was given an opportunity by the company despite not knowing anyone on the team that interviewed me. How fair will it be if I drop him for my relation?

Baba God, I know your way is not my way and I know you are not into this democracy discussion.  You get your things done by fiat. I can give many examples but will not bore you with that.

Sir, please guide me on the best decision to make.

Johnson Babalola, a Canada and Nigeria based lawyer, leadership consultant, storyteller and corporate emcee, is a public affairs analyst. Follow him for discussions on real life issues that affect us all.

You can obtain a copy of his newly released book, REJECTED on Amazon, FriesenPress, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, Apple Books, Nook Store etc.