Obaseki proffers strategic leadership to quell insurgency, other security challenges at Defence College Lecture

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Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has charged managers of the nation’s security architecture to deploy knowledge-based strategic leadership to quell the numerous security challenges confronting the nation.

Obaseki who said this in his lecture entitled: ‘Strategic Leadership, My Political Experience,’ at the National Defence College, Abuja on Tuesday, explained that the “the military of the 21st century is fighting against myriad of problems and confronted with different crises beyond what they were originally established and trained to do.”

He lauded the management and staff of the National Defence College for creating the platform for leaders to share their experiences and knowledge “aimed  at generating  ideas for the benefit of Nigeria in particular and for the security and good governance of the Lake Chad Basin, the West Africa sub-region and the continent of Africa in general.”

On the relevance of his experience and knowledge of strategic leadership to the armed forces and public service, the governor said: “Nigeria like several other countries is faced with a myriad of security issues.

“You are aware that part of the nation’s national security challenge today despite monthly and yearly huge security votes and defence spending by government include: insurgency in the North-East (Boko Haram insurgency), trans-border violent crimes, secessionist’s threat from the South-East; Biafra secessionists, Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Movement for the Survival of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) and Biafra Independence Movement (BIM).

“Others are militants’ threat in the south-south (Niger Delta militancy), ethnoreligious conflict, kidnapping, Fulani herdsmen/cattle rustlers clashes with host communities in virtually all parts of the country including the phenomenon of armed robbery, piracy, smuggling, etc.”

He posited that “to be able to surmount these problems, pragmatic and visionary strategic thinking and leadership is needed by the military high command and the foot soldiers on the field in conjunction with constructive engagement with aected communities to avoid conspiracy with criminal elements in those areas which could lead to ambush of combatant soldiers with colossal losses on the side of the military.”

Obaseki told the participants that “In tackling these problems, most of you will be engaged and in the cause of carrying out your assigned duties as a military ocer either on national or international assignments (peacekeeping and peace-enforcement) and as bureaucrats, you will definitely find yourself in some forms of leadership position where at one time or the other you will be required to take decisions that will inject new innovation into strategic military thinking with unprecedented results for the Armed Forces and the country.”

He argued that “In such situations, the need for strategic leadership knowledge and application to situational life by the military and administrators in their career cannot be over-emphasised.”

In the six-part lecture, Obaseki highlighted the various   leadership forms as: “ Positive and Negative Leadership; Autocratic or Authoritarian Leadership; Democratic or Participative Leadership; Laissez-faire or free-rein leadership; Paternalistic Leadership; Strategic Leadership; Charismatic Leadership; Situational Leadership” citing scholarly works of Obakhedo, to buttress his classification.

According to him “strategic leaders must assiduously work on the interplay between the management of available resources to achieve set goals.”

Specifically, he explained that strategic leaders must possess strong communication skills, passion, commitment, positivity, innovation and collaboration, must be able to use power judiciously, versatile, and a profound sense of direction to help people excel in their tasks, as he is demonstrating in Edo State.

He urged participants to be goal-focused and goal-directed in the choices they make in their various leadership positions.