Some prominent Nigerians assert that instituting a proper structure is key to grooming competent and visionary leadership in the country.
According to them, good leadership requires focus, courage, humaneness, resilience, firmness, compassion, knowledge, integrity, communication, ability to listen and learn and these are what the country needs today.
They spoke in Lagos at the 7th Colloquium of the Akinjide Adeosun Foundation (AFF) to mark the 54th birthday of the Founder of the foundation and CEO of St. Rachael’s Pharmaceuticals Nigeria, Mr. Akinjide Adeosun.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the colloquium was: “Are Good Leaders Scarce in Nigeria?”
The foundation was set up to impact lives, particularly those of less privileged children in the areas of education and health and it has been consistently on for the past seven years.
The foundation also gives awards to deserving successful individuals who have contributed meaningfully to the nation’s economy to serve as an encouragement to the younger generations.
A former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and 14th Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, who bemoaned the current situation and happenings in the country said: “Speaking about leadership in Nigeria today is something of a constant talk.
“You look around and you find very little to praise because ultimately the success of leaders should be seen on the ground.
“The level of poverty, the rate of inflation, the level of insecurity, and power production are low.
“Our total revenue is not able to service our debt, so people have a right to ask what’s happening.”
Sanusi advised that selecting leaders should be based on what the leaders could offer to the followers, level of competence, and vision.
“How many times do we get political candidates to go on the proper debate?
“How do they intend to address inflation?
“We need to begin to understand that first and foremost, leadership is about a vision and begin to insist that we want to see that vision.”
He, however, explained that there were people competent and qualified to rule the country but were not able to harness the opportunity because of the current structure and lack of necessary resources.
“And the reality is that there are many Nigerians who, if given the opportunity would do well but they simply cannot contest in that space.”
Sanusi urged Nigerians not to lose hope but play their respective roles to move the country forward.
“Leaders are not scarce. There are good leaders in Nigeria but they cannot stand the demands of the political climate in Nigeria, hence they stay back.
“ Every Nigerian needs the courage to stand up and speak. As a country, we need to build a system that will produce credible and good leaders. This is the only way we can have good leadership,” Sanusi advised.
In his remarks, Adeosun, the founder of AAF and celebrant, said the foundation was instituted to groom future leaders with capabilities in Nigeria and the diaspora.
“Nigeria needs thought leaders, leaders are chosen based on what they can offer especially to the masses.
“Leaders who can identify potentials, support them and contribute significantly to nation building, economic and social development,” said Adeosun, also a pharmacist.
Jimi Agbaje, a Nigerian Pharmacist and Politician, urged everyone to think inwards and sincerely imagine at least three persons they could consider as role models or good leaders and why they considered them so.
Agbaje, who was a former governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, said that thinking so would give a clue to whether good leadership existed in the country and the consistency.
Also, Mrs Alero Onosode, a seasoned Human Resources Executive, said the outcome of a leadership dictated the quality of leadership.
“ It’s the outcome of leadership that dictates the quality of leadership
“Leadership is not a rank or a position, it is a choice to look after the person next to you.
“ Envisioning a good leader is not the one that has only eyes, but the one whose minds are open to see.
“ If you cannot see for yourself how your tomorrow will be, then you are not a leader. “Leaders inspire and mobilise. ”
According to her, the first conversation for every leader is one’s self.
“ If you have not mastered or conquered yourself you cannot conquer anyone else,” she said.
“A leader is only a leader because he’s part of the work. Leaders should not just give instructions but also be part of the work; a good leader builds others.
“Leadership is about passing the batton, ability to inspire others. A good leader creates other leaders,” she said.
Prof. Ayodele Coker, a professor of Psychiatry and of the Department of Behavioural Medicine, Lagos State University College of Medicine, Ikeja, Lagos, urged for the psychological health of a leader to be evaluated before contesting and being elected.
“A leader that is not aware of his own psychological challenges, cannot be aware of the psychological issues of Nigeria
“ By recommendation, it is important that leaders are made to undergo a psychological fitness examination before they are elected,” Coker said.
NAN also reports that the 2022 Integrity in Leadership Award, as well as the 2022 Excellence in Leadership Award, were given to two deserving Nigerians – Otunba Olumide Osunsina, the MD of Megamound Investment Limited, and Mrs. Foluso Onabowale, CEO TowerCross Limited.