Virtually all reasonable personalities strive to leave indelible marks on the sands of time. This goal calls for rising to challenges of reaching goals, dedication, selflessness and effectiveness. People of both genders who succeed know that the path to recognition and greatness in usually rough and entails much sacrifice. They toiled and laboured while others rested. This is the type of feeling that made Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nigeria’s Governor-General at independence on 1st October, 1960 assert that: ‘’My stiffest earthly assignment is ended and my major life’s work is done. ‘’My country is now free and I have been honoured to be its first indigenous head of state. What more could one desire in life?’’
Good conducts are evident in characters and commitments by human beings. They are the types that could provoke reactions on the Floor of the British Parliament on 15th July, 1960 in debates for Nigeria’s independence. Mr Norman Williams, British MP who represented Kirkdale Liverpool, had this to say about Nigeria’s pre-independent leaders:’’The three Regional Premiers, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, in the North; Chief Obafemi Awolowo in the West, and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in the East, the same doctor (Nnamdi Azikiwe) who, in my days, was the stormy petrel of Nigerian politics and who, today, is the respected President of the Senate; with perhaps even greater prospects before him—to all those I would equally pay tribute. But I should also like to join the right hon. Member for Middlesbrough, East (Mr. Marquand) in expressing my own sense of appreciation of the Prime Minister of the Federation, Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, who is one of the outstanding statesmen of the day, whether in Africa or elsewhere. I feel certain that under his guidance the future of Nigeria can be well assured’’ (The Hansard)
OPPOSITION MORE IRRESPONSIBLE THAN GOVERNMENT: Our political forebears coordinated their personal interests for the common good and remained in constant touch with the people. They served with dedication, honesty, loyalty and above all the fear of God. They demonstrated integrity and loyalty to the people and this ensured their love and acceptability by their constituents. They never alienated themselves from their people. These virtues made the then Colonial Secretary to remark that: Colonial Secretary remark that: ‘’Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who has taken on the job of Leader of Opposition, He, too, has an important job to do. He too, doubtless, will from time to time incur difficulties in leading an Opposition, because an Opposition, being somewhat more irresponsible than the Government, often find it more difficult to make up their mind. We are delighted at the general spirit of good will with which Chief Awolowo has undertaken this task and with which everybody in Nigeria accepts that it is his right and duty to do so’’
MENTORING/ROLE MODELLING: Without any doubt, history has been merciful in judgment to these great Nigerians, who gave their all. Mallam Adamu Fika, the Wazirin Fika said this all in his evergreen lecture delivered in 2011, at the Barewa Old Students Association’s annual lecture titled: GOING BACK TO BASICS: THE PAST AS A PROLOGUE. He spoke to his audience about remembering the past and our past leaders and heroes. Without prejudice to the caliber of resource persons listed, I most respectfully suggest that this brilliant exposition, and another titled: ISSUES & CHALLENGES OF GOVERNANCE IN NIGERIA – WE THE PEOPLE by Emeritus Prof. Akin Mabogunje at the SPLASH 105 FM, Ibadan in July 2011, could be useful resource materials for training top government functionaries, particularly political office holders. Also recommended is a publication by Chief Bisi Akande titled: MOVING OSUN STATE FORWARD – A FRESH START.
THE KURU DECLARATION: As advised by Mallam Fika, let us also NEVER throw into the dustbin, The Kuru declaration ordered by President Olusegun Obasanjo, as the fourth retreat for Ministers and Permanent Secretaries at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos between February 23rd and 25th, 2001. As reported by Eric Teniola, who was a Director to many Secretaries to Government of the Federation, the Presidency, ‘’Those present declared among other things that: “We subscribe to the New National Ideology, which is, to build a truly great African democratic country, politically united, integrated and stable, economically prosperous, socially organised, with equal opportunity for all, and responsibility from all, to become the catalyst of Black Renaissance, and making adequate all-embracing contributions, sub-regionally, regionally, and globally’’ In fact, all these publications could be made available to all top government functionaries in the bureaucracy.
REFORMS: There must be painstaking approach to planning for today and tomorrow, particularly far-reaching projections into the future by producing a neat framework for managing the political, economic and social matters, particularly food security and preventing instability. Former American President, Richard observed that: ‘’Power is the opportunity to build, to create, to nudge history in a different direction. Kotter, (1985) The father of modern corporate management, Peter F. Drucker once asserted that ‘’Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes.’’
A former United Nations Secretary-General, late Kofi Annan, has asserted that ‘’Good governance is perhaps the single most important factor in eradicating poverty and promoting development’’ (UN, 1998). To be able to achieve this lofty objective, there must necessarily be sincerity of purpose on the part of the leadership, consistency in policy formulation and implementation. In political parlance, good governance connotes the running of a responsible and responsive administration, in which the feelings and desires of the populace are the major determinants of the direction of government. Accordingly, greater attention and emphasis must be accorded those reforms, that are capable of promoting good governance.
MANAGING THE HOME FRONT: This leads us to the issue of family values and virtues, that we have promoted for some time. Now, what are the responsibilities of the leadership and followers? How do you manage your home? Do you pay particular attention to grooming your children and subordinates? How do you behave at home and work? Do you lead by example? Does your behaviour encourage your children to regard you as a role model? It is apposite to state that if those engaged in governing the home – wife and husband – are to attain their salient objective of sustaining the mission and vision of the family, the recipe lies in collaboration and reasoning together by man and wife. The foregoing clearly implies that leadership by example by parents and other stakeholders with parental responsibilities is imperative for the society to move forward. Children trust their parents, adults, emulate, and internalize their ideals.
IDEAL COUPLES & STARTERS: Nothing comes easy. Families must plan, pray and be resolute to be able to become an achiever. Not even armed robbery operation is easy, because you need to plan and strategize very well to be able to rob successfully. One notable feature of the power loop is its intoxicative effect. Those who wield power even in homes, readily stand the risk of having their heads in the clouds, becoming victims of cognitive dissonance. The whole world is in a defining period. Engaging in the search for viable strategies should be a primary concern of all of us – stakeholders in bringing up our youths. Fostering peaceful and harmonious coexistence could be achieved among the citizenry has become very important. Special and warranted efforts are therefore necessary to bring up leaders of tomorrow by proactive approach.
RECOGNITIONS: There are very important personalities and others down the societal ladder who could be regarded as ROLE MODELS after which the younger generation could pattern their lives. These are Nigerians who, by conducts and precepts have promoted family values by their conducts. Women have a huge role to play in development. A study conducted by the British Government in 2012, identifies Nigerian women as the nation’s hidden resource, stressing that “Investing in women and girls now will increase productivity in this generation and will promote sustainable growth, peace and better health for the next generation.” Lack of family values and virtues form part of the root causes of vices that have almost become an obsession. Given the increasing and alarming incidents of condemnable vices and unusual negative occurrences, there is a compelling need for intervention through a collaborative approach and ROLE MODELLING. Additionally, it is better for a damage not to occur at all, than to go into crises management. The reactive approach is more costly in terms of damages done, and is more expensive.
THE APPROACH TO RECOGNITIONS: The event has been packaged to acknowledge the spirit of togetherness demonstrated by some couples who could be regarded as ROLE MODELS, who have jointly contributed significantly to societal development. The event slated to hold in Lagos on FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 27, 2019, is for RECOGNITION of ROLE MODELS. Couples, who by dint of hard work, and mutual encouragement have reached the pinnacles of their careers, jointly building their homes and businesses; as well as men who have exceptionally supported their wives and female children to excel in their professions are being recognized. We recognize the female gender too, as pillars around which family units revolve; and as key agents that drive development. The objective is to inflame the feelings of empathy in other Nigerians, particularly young couples who are just growing to enable them live fulfilled lives as spouses, and bring up their children in a proper manner.