By Deji Elumoye
The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, has charged Nigerians to hold their leaders accountable for their actions or inactions.
Speaking on Thursday at a colloquium to mark the 10th anniversary of the African Centre for Leadership Strategy and Development, Omo-Agege noted that doing so is the surest way to ensure that only credible leaders are elected at all levels of government.
Omo-Agege, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant on Speech Writing, Dr Chuba Keshi, identified two central areas where Nigerians can develop leadership models and strategies to include national spirit and effective political participation by the led.
He said: “It is pertinent for the purposes of good leadership that we firm up a common consciousness as a people in what we can call the Nigerian spirit. This is just as we hear of the American spirit, the French or English spirit, or the Indian spirit.
“A common national spirit is the easiest vehicle that accords legitimacy to any leadership. It is the easiest vehicle that commands patriotism and it is what galvanises the people to go the extra mile to selflessly pursue and accomplish tasks that pertain to national duties and development.
“The second condition is that of active political participation by the led. A tepid or apathetic political followership climate is a convenient haven that breeds bad leadership. People must learn to hold their leaders accountable for their actions or inactions.
“When this is the political climate, there is no way bad leaders can emerge. Even when they do by some default, they would either shape up or ship out. These are two areas we need to interrogate more closely.”
While commending the centre for its role in leadership development in the last one decade, the senator stressed that: “The main task of an organisation such as yours is in finding the missing link, so to speak, between getting people to willingly conform rather than have them cajoled or coerced, to so conform.
“It is when people accord such legitimacy to leadership, that strategies put in place for the purposes of economic development, get followed with zeal, patriotism and in a sustainable manner. This way, targets are met. Project design details are conformed to, to the letter. Equally, project time-overs are reduced to the barest, even sometimes completely eliminated.”