Leadership Casualty And Political Organization In Nigeria By Ade Ilemobade
Recently I was at a leadership training programme sponsored by my organization for team leaders. It was quite an interesting adventure in brainwashing exercise but what baffled me as we got engrossed with the superstructure of the training was the fact that it was not meant to develop our innate talent or skill set rather it was a kind of indoctrination a standardised system and construct in effect a one directional dictatorial mannerism of thinking about how things should be done without the imput of the participants.
One expects a methodology that grasp mentoring like developing the innate talent of participants or coaching which gives room for a democratic mindset rather than spoon feeding us with slavish acceptance of a flawed monologue. The mental picture I took home from that training gave me the idea to write this piece about leadership problem in political organization in Nigeria.
What is leadership and who is a Leader these are difficult questions to answer and any attempt at given a concise but absolute definition that would be acceptable to all is bound to hit a brickwall of controversy so I will not endeavour to get myself into any intellectual blackmail since I am not an expert on leadership training but my experiences in the past in respect of this subject matter have given me the leeway to say leadership is about influence in the positive/negative sense of the word. I must emphasis here that Leaders for me are those who can exert positive influence on their subordinates to achieve desired result.
We are all Leaders in our own little ways either in School, Community, Market, Cultural organizations etc. Therefore, leadership is at every point of responsibility no matter the stage you are in the socio-political and economic stratification of our human society. We are all potential Leaders.
Why then do we have casualty of leadership in Nigeria political organization you might ask. Some of the answers to this fundamental query can be found in our methodology of selection coupled with the ingrained rapaciously dictatorial, one directional mindset that has characterised our milieu.
There is this myth in our clime that acquiring paper qualification is sine qua non to manifesting leadership quality or potential and because of this erroneous fable that has become a national obsession we have created ill informed ”wannabes” with scripture union ties hanging on their necks pretending to leadership at great cost to taxpayers.
We have manufactured mammoth crowd from leadership training institutions that have not contributed anything significant or have done little to advance the growth and sustainable development of Nigeria and political organizations alike because they lack the innate ability to lead and often lack the paradigm for going beyond self centeredness.
Please do not misconstrue my view here in respect of paper qualification, I understand the importance of education and enlightenment but you do not need to have PhD in other to manifest leadership quality.
Let us take our political organization as a reference point and the mental pictures that repetitively confront any Nigerian is the lack of institutional credible framework for selection rather what you/we often experience is the exhibition of non-democratic phalange those who use their Godfatheristic sledgehammer to impose a Leader of their choice on a political organization without taking into consideration whether their candidate has the innate ability to be a Leader because all they are interested in is a ”Yes Man” an individual with a punctured medulla oblongata.
It is this selection methodology which is one of the many reasons that has led to a situation wherein our Leaders lack the requisite problem solving skill set necessary to find solutions to myriad of developmental challenges we have in Nigeria.
To change this narrative we must develop a truly democratic political organization wherein individual manifestation of inherent/intrinsic leadership potential and ability must be the key in combination with all other criteria as prerequisites in selecting who becomes Leader of our political organization.
A Nation with political organization whose leadership is suffering from poverty of problem solving skill set cannot maximise its potentiality. We need to take a cue from Kigali and Addis Ababa.
DON’T TRAIN PEOPLE TO BE LEADERS RATHER DEVELOP LEADERS.
OTUNBA ADE ILEMOBADE is a philosopher