Speakers at fountain of life seminar harp on quality leadership
The speakers at the event include Pat Utomi, a Professor of Political Economy and founder of the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL); former Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, the convener Pastor Taiwo Odukoya, Rev. Dr. Kunle Adesina of the Jubilee Christian Int’l, Abeokuta, and Bishop Peter Makanto from Yola, among others.
Speaking on Leadership in turbulent times, last Friday at the headquarters church in Ilupeju, Prof Utomi blamed the current situation in the country on collapse of leadership, which according to him, was as a result of mismanagement of oil revenues. He called on Nigerians to demand for good leaders who would correct the mistakes of the past years.
According to him, it was the failure of leaders to do the right thing that brought the country to where it is today. He said: “the times can’t get more turbulent than they have been in Nigeria. There is a lot of uncertainty and anxiety and people are not sure of what to do. It is a time like this that we need leaders. When we went to university it was fairly normal…indeed, back in those days, it was those who couldn’t get into Nigerian universities that tried to go to universities abroad, simply because our country has gone through a phase of a collapse of culture. It’s not that there are no smart people teaching in our universities. We have plenty smart people still teaching in our universities, but because of collapse of culture that Nigerian has gone through, even those smart people are not teaching as they could teach because culture has gone sour. ”
Lamenting that the exchange rate has gone beyond the reach of Nigerians, Utomi, asked rhetorically, how did we get here?
“I am notorious in repeating that our recession are self-inflicted. We need not to have come where we are; we came here because of the failure of leadership. For many years we acted like drugs in our country because oil revenues kept coming, but we also knew that oil revenue had a certain bully activities, they go up and come down and it happens with such frequency.”
To fit into leadership position, Utomi said one must be visionary, knowledgeable and have sense of service, apart from humility and ability to use different approaches in solving crisis, among others.
Dr. Johnson who dwelt on Greater Grace for Higher Calling, described leadership as a risky undertaking. She noted it could be dangerous and many a time a lonely work, stressing that you will be criticised, vilified, abused and if you are really lucky you will be celebrated after and for this reason and others people often reject leadership position because they don’t feel they can do it, because of criticism involved in leadership.
She added: “It is a higher calling with many challenges…and it requires grace and mercy. She cited the late Nelson Mandela of South Africa and Pastor Taiwo Odukoya as few individuals who have transformational leadership qualities. According to her, there is something about them, which people want to associate with.
She numerated some key practices for successful leadership such as consistency, speaking truth to power, making oneself available, being authentic without copying other people. Others are staying power, learning how to manage irrational request, prayer for those in leadership position. Teaching your self to be a leader by diversifying one’s experience, among others.
Pastor Odukoya who earlier called on the body of Christ to pray for those in authority, said the purpose of the conference was to equip pastors and leaders so that they can do the right thing in the house of God.Other speakers at the event include, Rev. Dr. Kunle Adesina and Bishop Peter Makanto, who spoke on gifts.