Jimi Agbaje and the Power of Leadership

Jimi Agbaje


By Adisa Akindele

Jimi Agbaje has shown phenomenal leadership skills and has proven himself to be a great leader so far. Why would we say this? Jimi Agbaje has organised his party and political campaigns single-handed over the years, building his own political structure.  The first attempt under DPA was wholly on his own. Today, as the PDP flag bearer for Lagos, the party machinery is very much dependent on him to personally lead and in the process gather the contenders for the election battle for the House of Representatives and even Senate. He is endlessly strategizing and working out a winning game plan individually and collectively.

This requires leadership skills to guide, mentor and counsel such men and women, with which he is so pre-occupied. So, when people ask what JK has been up to these past years, they should ask these men and women. The party, which is so desperate to win Lagos, gave JK the mandate. They know that the question about his absence was never valid. Jimi Agbaje answers to no one but the Lagos people he wishes to serve. There is no Godfather in the background directing affairs. The buck clearly stops on his table today and will continue to do so. There is no Godfather, pulling strings in the background. JK is so firmly in charge. The truth is that, whilst, his opponent only needs to worry about the location of his next speaking engagement and take strategic decisions on which colour suit and tie to wear, JK is dealing with the huge challenge of fund raising for his campaign and how to deal with the endless and wanton destruction of his billboards and campaign infrastructure, working hard to convince potential donours to stop being intimidated by the threats of huge reprisals by ‘Bourdillon’ because he knows he, Jimi Agbaje will win this elections.

JK commands so much respect based on his pedigree, family background, accomplished parents, brothers and sisters.  He is so trusted…Jimi we know, Jimi we trust. This is what great leaders are made of – someone who can inspire and be emulated. His focus and fight for Freedom, reminds one of the great Freedom fighters of East and South Africa, who had to fight for Freedom, very much in the way that Jimi is now fighting for Freedom from poor liveability, freedom from a broken economy and freedom from a discouraging future. One can therefor understand why JK is so, admired today for displaying such courage to fight for the economic and social emancipation of the people of Lagos.

Talking about JK’s Pharmacy business pales into insignificance when you compare his past skills to the skills, he has been able to garner politically.  He has envisioned and then engaged men and women to align with his vision, which has always been larger than the current rhetoric of his opposition, who believe that by doing what is expected of them, they will be doing the people of Lagos a great favour. JK has always, in his plans for Lagos, thought big and large in line with what a megacity like Lagos needs.  When he started his journey at his first stab at Governorship his plan was to ignite the entrepreneurial spirit of the state, hence his strategy for the state was to drive entrepreneurial governance.

This, vision grew bigger when he embarked on his second political journey to Lagos State house, where he stepped up and decided that Lagos would need very Bold and audacious Ideas and be ready to take advantage of the fresh opportunities, which these bold ideas will create for the entrepreneurial spirit of Lagos to lock into. Now he is talking about Big Ideas to re-anchor Lagos on an education paradigm – so different and so uniquely relevant to Lagos’ challenges.

His opponent might have long CV’s and propagated track record in the public and private sector, but however, these are the professionals that great visionary leaders employ to execute their vision.  There are many able and competent men and women out there, but the question is, who do they serve? Whose interests are they engaged to protect, whose call do they answer? Great Leaders like JK, have a knack for putting great teams together.

That is why his campaigns over the years, outclassed and frightened the opposition, who, despite their enormous campaign war chest, failed to buy the heart and soul of even the people they engaged for their campaign. The skilled people that committed their skills and expertise to JK’s cause did so with little or no compensation. Only true leaders can inspire such commitment. Leaders like JK create the vision, pull everyone towards that vision and do not have to buy or pay for it.

Lagos needs a great visionary leader that can leapfrog the state into the global megacity category. We have a large pool of great managers, accountants, strategists, bankers, project managers, sincere civil servants, who, like JK’s opposition candidate, are standing by to execute the leader’s vision. JK is that leader.

Lagos needs a strong, honest, focused, sincere, well meaning, fair, democratic, equitable leader.  JK has shown great strength, coming back and back again, fighting the huge state backed machinery of vested interests without relenting. Even when he tired a bit and then focused on fixing his party to create a stronger platform for himself, it was only to come back and say…no, I will not give up, I must not give up. We must rewrite the story of Lagos.

JK is going to free the state of Lagos from the political, economic and social bondage created by vested interests. He will lead the battle for freedom from the negative things that face this state and lead the battle for freedom to gain access and benefit from the positive things the state can offer.

Not to understand this new leader’s cry for Freedom, is to pity so many that have gotten used to not being free and so do not appreciate that they are in captivity.

I vote for a leader and not a manager. I vote for a Leader and a visionary. I vote for Jimi Agbaje – our Freedom fighter.

PIX: Jimi Agbaje.jpg