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By Oluwaseyi Babalola
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By Oluwaseyi Babalola
There is nothing as elusive as leadership. All the money in the world can make one rich, and all the power in the world can make one strong, but these things can never make a leader. One can also inherit fortunes but never can genuine leadership be inherited. However, there is no greater need in our world today than effective, competent and visionary leadership in all sectors of our national life.

It is indeed pertinent once again to over-flog and fight headlong the menace found in our leadership structure. The number one need all over the globe today is not money, social programmes, or even new government. It is qualitative, morally-inclined, disciplined and principle- centred leadership so to speak. We need true leaders in government, business, school, communities, religious organizations, homes and in every strata of life. It's quite pathetic that the search for purposeful leadership is becoming more and more difficult to achieve as square pegs are often found in round holes and this phenomenon is ostensibly setting us back to realize our set goals and objectives.

Speaking specifically, several problems have been identified as factors bedeviling and negating the success and progress of our association and all of us stakeholders at Computer and Allied Products Association of Nigeria, (CAPDAN); an organization which has its seat at Ikeja in Lagos, popularly known as Computer village. Having seen this leadership defect occasioned by greed, deception and insincerity etc, I strongly believe that the solution to the leadership problem in CAPDAN wont be another election or the change of the old faces in leadership positions. The leadership problem of the computer village is simply a structural problem which needs a holistic approach. It is a foundational problem; and if the foundation of a house is faulty, the house cannot stand the test of time.

In my own little understanding association means coming together of a group of people with like-minds for the common interest of all. It is the responsibilities of the members of the association to put up a strong and effective frame work to make the association strong, united and effective. If they fail to do so, it will result into ineffectiveness of such association. Bad leadership is a product of the look warmness of the followers. When people become docile and less concerned about leadership and its activities what they get is irresponsible leadership.

Leadership is different from the leader; leadership is superior to the leader. If you have a good structure of leadership the truth is; you are almost 100% sure of having good and accountable leaders, but if the frame work of leadership is faulty, you are sure to have bad leaders. There is a popular saying which says ''Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely''. If there are no frame work for checks and balances people will always have a dictatorial leader or leaders that are not responsible or accountable to them be it at the Federal , State , Local government , Community, or even at association level such as ours. Power must go from the people to the leaders. True leadership is marked by others willful submission of their authority to yours. Leadership is not a pursuit but a result! Title, position, power, fame or family name cannot make a true leader. Leadership is the capacity to influence others through inspiration motivated by a passion that is born out of vision.

My solution to the leadership problem of CAPDAN is Restructure the Association! Most of the buildings in the computer village houses close to ten offices. Every house must be organized physically and structurally like the decent/modern plazas we see today in the Lagos metropolis, where customers' safety, interest and security can be guaranteed and sustained; each house must showcase their executives who would effectively represent their houses or plazas at the street level; which simply means that the association would be zoned by streets. Each of the houses within a street should have at least two people to represent them at the street level. The duties of the representatives would be to formulate policies for the general good of the people within that street. These representatives would also choose executives among them whose duty is to execute the policies formed by the representatives on a daily bases. Each street would be autonomous in operation. Just like in constitutional democracy practiced in the Federal, State and the Local government of our country today.

Consequently, each house is like the local government; the leadership of each house must see to the well being of their members. They must take charge of the general cleanliness of their compound and also its security. In the same vein the street executives should take charge of the common good of their members which involves cleaning the street on a daily bases, provision of street lights, and street security. They would also maintain peace and orderliness within their street.

Moreover, the leadership of the entire street must come together, preferably, the Chairmen, secretaries and treasurers. Within these people the president and other key executives of CAPDAN would now emerge. The duty of these central executives is among other things to promote and project the computer village to the outside world and to foster viable and economic fortunes for its members. I am sure that if we follow this template, we would have solved our structural and leadership problems. That means every building in the computer village will have a leader chosen by them, and every street will have their own leaders and the entire market another set of leaders for a common desirous goals. This method will give us an all inclusive and meritorious leadership. Prices can be easily controlled our business will develop; new ideas will be generated among other things.

Furthermore, other smaller autonomous association must be encouraged e.g. Phone seller association, phone repairer association, Phone accessory sellers association, Laptop sellers association, Laptop engineers association, Laptop accessory seller association etc. The role of these associations is to give their members guidelines on operation and protection of their members businesses. Before long we will have a viral and strong association that have the potential of growing into a mega industry and a centre of excellence which we are built to represent all the time. An extension of our duty would also be to collectively restore and sustain dignity, trust, customer's confidence and disabuse the minds of our actual and potential clients that the famous and pocket friendly computer village of today is not a hideout for criminal elements where stolen phones, laptops, and other electronic gadgets are sold or kept. The latest documentaries about the market on our local media (Channels Television, NTA, Lagos Television) and again on CNN, BBC and other world accepted media organizations is a testimony that truly portrays computer village as a leading business district in Africa and economically viable centre that is building good reputation for Nigeria in the comity of nations in the world of Computer and Allied Products.

However, the leadership of a state, community and an association is not a one man business, or the right of a few privileged ones. It should be an all inclusive and must focus on the development of many other leaders. A good leader must seek to develop other leaders after him. Each of us was created to rule, govern, control, master, manage and lead our environment with the right will. You are in essence a leader in computer village irrespective of who you are. I leave you with this word by Dr. Myles Munroe, “An army of sheep led by a lion will defeat an army of lion led by a sheep”…In addition to my dispassionate and unbiased stance, I humbly advice shop owners, business owners and other key stakeholders, to remain resolute, committed, bold and start the much needed change for purposeful and meaningful achievements! For our people who are directly involved in this struggle I don't just want them to read this piece and conclude that it's a nice idea, but I expect them to do something about it. We can start now by organizing our buildings or streets as the case may be. A good leader seeks the co-operation of others to fulfill a great vision and agenda. Be the initiator, take the lead, and be willing to cooperate with others to see this dream fulfilled. Leadership is a selfless service; it requires a lot of sacrifice and commitment. It is impossible to serve God without serving men! Together we can move to greater height! Computer Village will rise again!

Oluwaseyi Babalola wrote from Ikeja, Computer Village, he is the Convener Computer Village will rise again!