WORRIED by the overwhelming developmental challenges facing the country, some eminent Nigerians yesterday urged relevant stakeholders and youths to begin legitimate activities intended at pressurizing the Federal Government to consider the convening a Sovereign National Conference as soon as possible.
The concerned elder statesmen who spoke at this year’s Distinguished Management Lecture organized by the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Lagos, also okayed a bloodless but aggressive and uncompromising revolution, through peaceful protests and demonstrations, as the best possible approach to resist manipulative tendencies from the government.
In his lecture, titled: ‘Effective Leadership: A Panacea For Strategic Transformation of the Nigerian Nation’, the guest speaker and former Minister of External Affairs, Prof Bolaji Akinyemi, attributed ineffective leadership in the country to the inability of the elite to reach a consensus on how best to govern the various constituents that make up the country.
According to him, this deficiency was “evidently” responsible for the inability of successive governments, since independence from the colonial masters, to transform the country’s wealth into moderate and decent standard of living for the citizenry.
“A divided leadership is no leadership. We must arrive at a grand consensus that will allow us to pull in the same direction. The present system is an imposition by a sectional elite that exploited its temporary occupation of the levers of power to seek an arrangement that would be an advantage to it. It is obvious to all that the centre can no longer hold. The longer we pretend that all is well and that all the system needs is a bit of panel-beating, the more we would creep up on the Failed State index, until we become a thoroughly failed state,” he averred.
In his opening remarks, the President and Chairman-In-Council of NIM, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, spoke of how frustrated some stakeholders are over the inability of Nigerian leaders to transform the country into a “paradise on earth”, judging from its numerous abundant resources.
On his part, Dr. Michael Omolayole, said it was important for Nigerians, especially the youth, to embrace a peaceful means of pressurising the incumbent government on any perceived manipulative policy or coercion.
In his speech, the Managing Director and the Editor-in-Chief of The Guardian Newspapers, Mr Emeka Eluem Izeze, who was the moderator of the lecture, said leadership requires certain enviable virtues that naturally propel positive impact and loyal followers.
Izeze said people such as the guest lecturer, Akinyemi, should be somewhere in their country homes enjoying their retirement years but lamented that the current problems in the in the country have kept well-meaning Nigerians on their toes.
“Leadership must be thought of as a behaviour, it is intrinsic in every individual. People are not born as leaders, they learn it. The bane of this country is that those who claim to be leaders care for nothing.
“True leadership disappoints people temporarily for future benefits. Exercising authority within one’s sphere of influence and calling it leadership is fallacious. Oftentimes, genuine leaders abandon the comfort of leadership zone and at great sacrifice, to deliver and meet the expectations of the people,” he said.