By Obafemi Babajide
The reason for qualitative leadership most times is to create an effective workforce environment, an enabling environment where optimum performances and smooth operations are enhanced. There are, however, the situation where touted leadership candidates flop either because they are overwhelmed or appears to have the quality needed but in the real sense of it, they are empty, factly speaking, they are completely empty and won’t be able to shoulder huge responsibilities, including taking spontaneous decisions.
This first paragraph cannot be far from the reason why political leaderships are made. That political followers and the subjects that the political leaders represent needs actionable leadership is a fact that cannot be denied. That there is a deficit in leadership across the nation is also true; but that followers goad leaders to the point of misbehaviour, is also a solid fact. In it all, a strong leadership character should know when to beat a retreat when the hype is overtly done.
In the same vein, leadership does not come by age. Either acquired by good and long experiences, innately inbuilt or learn through mentorship, it still doesn’t come by age because experience has shown us that though old age can be an additional spice in the boot of leadership, some so-called old and experienced hands have failed woefully in giving back a befitting leadership and mentorship to the society that produced them.
Let’s narrow it down to leadership by legislating, a grassroots kind of servant leadership module. A person aspiring to occupy a legislative position to represent his/her people, either at the local government, state or federal level must have been close to the people he seeks to make law for or about in other to make useful and productive laws that will suit them in the short, medium and long term.
It is important to write this preamble as a model for 2023. Government at all levels must synergise with one another without usurping or going beyond the borderline of each’s constitutional boundaries. For the risk of crying wolf, candidates that seek power to any strata of government also must be vetted, questioned and known locally. Each community, constituency putting forward a candidate must have signed an MOU for top-notch performance with such leadership position seeker.
From the harem natural to the palm wine drinker, the garrulous vain commander and the stealthy, slippery, puff adder; Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal constituency, have had a fair share of quality representation, from the various senators and house of reps that the constituency has produced over time. As much as there are, one cannot totally point out a woeful performance, the people can only ask for more by the way of innovations, inclusiveness, effective communication and feedback mechanism and even spread of constituency and lobbied projects. These and maybe more, the people should be looking for in the new and incoming leadership or representative as the case may be.
With the present economic woes and the niggling challenge of non-qualitative leadership cum the hydra-headed monster of sycophantic followership, the next set of leaders who will emerge from Kogi state, Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu constituency must have to be people who can think out of the box and do things differently; after all, lack of foresight and seriousness is to continue to do things in the same way and expect a different and huge result.
There has to be a radical departure from the present hands that are leading us, government and leadership should be handed over to those who are serious and mean business not the present lazy, embezzling can kickers and semi-illiterates that currently dictate the show.
In it all, on the table of representation, constituencies should now wake up to sending brave people out there to become their representatives at all levels. Lilly-livered, money-seeking candidates who get into power by sheer sentiments will only self-seek, they are those who will never raise a serious motion, they are also those who will concur with every motion raised, either they know what it stands for or not. They end up as puppets used in counting the numbers, they also end up as aye sayers to the executive arm of government that they are voted to checkmate.
Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal constituency really needs to do a character check and CV vetting of those who may be jostling to represent them at the green chamber come 2023, the days are gone when people and party leaders will seat blindly on rotation without also sheaving candidates who will be supported to power. Keying into the new normal will mean tediously and thoroughly pruning aspirants, it will also mean asking them to submit a blueprint of why they seek to represent the people and what they intend to do or achieve while in power.
By letting aspirants know that boxes of performances will be ticked for them via their submitted blueprints and that this will form the result of their performance and how they are viewed henceforth in our society will make the majority of power-seekers seat up. They have to know, and rightly so, that an opportunity miss used WILL NEVER present itself again. So, help yourself, up your game and not only earn the right to another opportunity but earn the right to be referred to as a true son of the soil who has written his/her name positively on the shores of time.
For every Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu son and daughter, each passing day becomes a notebook where the history of what we did or did not do to uplift our constituency is been written. We have heard or read of those who have represented us in the past, so shall those coming behind us read about our bravery or shortcomings. The foundation we lay today will determine where and how our wards will live tomorrow. Wouldn’t it be better we toil today and lay the stones for a better tomorrow.
Lest we bench our best and able hands who are ready to work their socks off to see a better Kabba/Bunu/Ijumu Federal constituency where equality and sincerity of purpose will reign. And enthrone those backward thinking, title-seeking, personal aggrandized non-ambitious individuals, then we need to put on our thinking cap and hand over power to a needle that has a thread.
And if we are ever confused, confounded on who to send on this onerous but important task of staunch but productive representation at the green chamber come 2023, won’t we rather think Olaiya Michael Olobatoke? Sincerely and critically speaking, if we are to blend vigour, intelligence, sincerity and purpose, no other aspirant matches his tenacious determination to be selfless in representing his people.