Eminent Nigerians lament dearth of influential leaders
Speakers at the event held in Lagos said Nigeria’s promises were yet to be captured because of dearth in influential leaders.
According to them, influential leadership is key to the progress of any country and when it is lacking, all will not go well with the country.
The speakers included Prof. Pat Utomi, Prince Adelusi-Adeluyi, Dr. Dere Awosika, Prof. Chinedum Babalola and Dr. Uzoukwu Uwaga.
Others who spoke at the event were President and Chief Executive Officer, Business School of Netherlands, Dr. Lere Baale and Chairman, Rodot Nigeria Limited, Remi Adeseun. said unless there is a shift from coercive to influential leadership, Nigeria will continue to suffer.
According to Prof. Babalola, there is madness in the system that needed cure and the citizens must compel their leaders to live by a certain code.
She said: “ There is a problem for every one of us. That problem is leadership. If you are somewhere and nothing is happening, then you have to do some thing about it.
“If the private sector cannot hold government to account, then who will”?
She expressed worries that things started going from bad to worse in country when we have our own leaders handling our affairs.
For Uwaga, even the civilians in governance are still being coercive by militarising everything in the system.
According to him, unless we entrench those values, which the country held dear, the leaders will continue to be coercive.
The management guru, who warned that the masses might rise against the system if nothing is done, urged Nigerians to be bold and vocal to effect the needed change, as there is still no much change in the country.
Differentiating a coercive leader from an influential leader, Awosika said an influential leader should have an internal confidence and humble enough to suffer for a course he believed in.
To her, an influential leader is a transformational leader in and out of office.
The celebrant, Adelusi-Adeluyi in his remarks, lamented that Nigerian democracy seemed to be the government of the elite for the elite and by the elite.
According to him, although the function of government is to take care of the people, but there seems to be a disconnect between the leaders and the people.
He, therefore, urged good spirited Nigerians in and out of office to rescue the country from the shackle of bad leadership because if care is not taken, the generality of the people might react violently.
He said: “In those days, we were able to curtail the youths but in this era of social communication, we are not, and if we are not careful, there is going to a revolution if we did not manage ourselves.”
Utomi, who moderated the event, said although there is no one-way answer to the nation’s problem, there are possibilities if certain things are done.
He stressed that the leadership colloquium was one of the ways initiated by CLV to answer the leadership problems in the country.
According to him, it was appropriate to honour Adelusi-Adeluyi, who as a sector leader, has been one of those who through many years of the privilege of being a pioneer has pointed to the challenge of leadership in the country.