Nigeria and Leadership By Emiola Wale @EMIOLAWALEOLA

by on April 2, 2016

Effective leadership is exercised across a full spectrum of responsibilities and also over time. Across an entire setting involving a wide variety of people engaged in a multitude tasks (both concurrently and in sequence), the leader must spark high performance and ensure the welfare of the people. Well, that is COMPLICATED. Even if the leader manages to get everybody happy with today’s reality, somebody is very likely to get off the bus tomorrow. A leader simply cannot please everyone all the time.

What a time it is in the history of our dear nation Nigeria, It is no more news that things are already changing and citizens are already enjoying the dividends (either positive or negative) of the new government. I would be surprised if those of us who supported the current government during the course of the election maybe thinking otherwise in the few lines you have read above. Sebi it is change?

Quickly let me simply say I am not interested in intimidating anyone, Why? because, as well as being a gentleman, I am also convinced that frightened people do not take initiative or responsibility and their leadership suffer as a result. Excuses will be built on excuses because what they thought was different entirely from what they met. I am of the opinion that “being responsible sometimes means pissing people off”.

We as citizens of this great country Nigeria do have a major role to play in putting our country among the comity of great Nations around the world but we have decided to divide ourselves through different means ranging from ethnicity to religion. The result of our actions in the past few months has crippled the upward direction of our country. But it amazes me today that some of us still stand firm that we decided right.

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If we decided right why is our Fuel price ranging (#86 to #150 per litre) for the past 10 months coupled with increased scarcity?

Why is the power now more epileptic than we ever had?

Why are there killings from different part of the country and largely unreported e.g Agatu, Shites, Boko haram  etc?

Why do we have our Naira falling freely against the US Dollar, as at today $1=#321?

Why do we have industries closing up and resulting into mass sack of workers?

Why do we now need to import grass from Brazil to feed cows,are there no more grasses in our country or is that the change?

I will not dissipate all my energy to point all the abnormalities in this government to you as those of us who followed the activities of the past government and following those of this government will be able to juxtapose the two without any form of bias. Today as we speak almost a year out of 4 years tenure, I can boldly say that the country has no working budget for her spending yet almost every month the leader(s) of the country Jets out of the country for meetings with country who have put things in place to implement whatever favourable decision that emanates from such gathering. Our own government gets their estacode in dollars each time they travel and still makes noise that they met empty treasury which makes it very difficult to even understand what is going on in Aso rock.

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Fighting corruption should not bring hardship to the people, workers salaries had been debated for reduction and no one talked about increment. A lot of my friends who told me fuel price cannot go as high as #90 per litre if Buhari wins have all resulted in hoping for its reduction from as high as #150 per litre. Obviously we will hope it reduces and I pray it reduces but it is our collective responsibility to hold our leaders accountable else they will continue to take you and me for granted conveniently than working for us. Blaming past administration cannot shield the current administration of poor handling of the economy. What if there were economic recessions like it was during the past administration? What would we be talking about as a nation today? Enough is enough let us avoid complacency by defending the interest of this country.

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On one level, the practical advice I have for Buhari and is team is that they should be straightforward: set a clear disruptive agenda, stick to it, invite everyone to participate, give them considerable opportunity to shape and develop it, provide people with the truest information, be open and collaborative, hold people fully accountable for new results and reward accordingly. That’s responsibility, it is not accusing based on assumption and causing disaffection among the people.

On another level, Buhari and his team should not evade or cover up anger, they should lead it. “Hiding under pretence to witch hunt will make you make mistake thinking you are performing.” For me, leaders press for new directions, new behaviours and new performance expectations, this will definitely invade people’s comfort zones and that is precisely what is going to happen, so there is no need to blackmail people to cover up this fact.

Ultimately, Buhari and his team should know that gaining respect is more important than being liked, and performance is more important than popularity. That being said, earning people’s respect and insuring top performance is the surest way to earn loyalty and, yes, even affection.

God bless the Nigeria as I expect a better approach to issues by the leadership of our country. Thank you.


Emiola Wale


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