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How Do We Select Our Leadership?

I have no doubt, whatsoever that Nigeria has been sorely lacking in making an effective and efficient leadership choice across the board- from the Presidency to the Governorship and unto the local government Chairman and Councillors. We have been unable to “Elect” our best Eleven for the job, and it's not just because INEC has progressively conducted shambolic elections, but also because the voters have either been too naïve (lack the requisite knowledge to make informed choices) or they have been compromised by mundane short term benefits (which corrupt politicians have exploited by buying poverty stricken votes with food and materials- bag of salt, Rice and Wrappers.)

In a few days' time, precisely on the 16th of November, 2013 the registered voters of Anambra state will be choosing a replacement for outgoing Governor Peter Obi, if INEC and its dodgy officials allow for a near decent and fair elections.

In an article very well written essay by Mr Segun Dipe, the criteria (Job responsibilities and person specification for the job of public leadership was very well articulated, that you will think Mr Dipe was either a CIMA qualified Accountant or has a post graduate degree ( a PHd maybe) in Strategic Human Resource Management. Segun's essay was master piece, and I commend his essay attached below to both the people of Anambra state and the entire Nigerian electorate when they chose their leaders in future. Yes I thought Mr Dipe was a CIMA Alumni (permit my use of this for a professional Accounting body, instead of an institution of higher learning), or possibly a PHd holder in Strategic Business Planning or in War studies, like Governor Kayode Fayemi has, will write about the stuff Segun has so lucidly put across as the best tactics and methods to chose our leadership.

I have met Dr Kayode Fayemi in London, as far back as 1995, along with Senator Bola Tinubu, Dr Broderick Ineneji, late Pa Anthony Enahoro- with his PA, Luke Aghanenu- and John Filani when we participated in various demonstrations against the vicious Abacha regime, the last in cold November month of 1995 after the "Judicial murder" of Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni-9. Why do Nigerians hate and punish their brightest minds and brains? Kayode Fayemi, for those who do know, has a PHd in War studies from the prestigious King's College ( University of London ), and Slouches don't go there. I was at Kings College ( Small Committee meeting room ) last week with five members of our Board, one of which is a Lecturer there- what a brain, what a citadel of top learning. You don't muck about with any person who got a Masters, let alone a PHd from that glorious university, particularly the Strand, London WC1, Kings College campus.

In 1990, when I first attempted the CIMA stage 4 (Final stage, then) examinations, I studied one of the most comprehensive ( Like a Havard, or Cambridge level PHd in both Strategic Planning and Marketing) studies and the paper was called "Strategic Planning and Marketing"( now tell me what that "double-barrel beast of a subject was doing in the Final stage of a world-class CCAB professional Accounting body-you usually will see stuff like Taxation and Auditing, not Strategic planning- and I tell you why CIMA is the "Gold standard" in professional Accountancy studies world-wide; American AICPA had no choice but award me a CGMA ( Chartered Global Management Accountant ) without writing a single paper in their professional examination route, because they know CIMA-Global is the best in the business of world class Financial Management and Business and Public Sector Accounting- No shaking a CIMA Accountant anywhere they are! Anyway lets focus on Mr Dipe's very well articulated and lucidly put across criteria for selecting the best candidate for the job, and this we must do in every business for it to achieve its objectives, whether private or public jobs, including President, Governors, Local government Chairpersons, or Legislators for Nigeria: Go for the best person for the job, and carefully pick him/her and tell the pretenders to "Sod off!"

The Yoruba states seem to have picked this important Selection criteria-Best guy for the job, and I always give a rile smile to those who accuse and ridicule Asiwaju BA Tinubu, Chief Akande and the rest of the former ACN party leadership that picks ( detractors say impose-nothing wrong with that if pure democracy may produce idiotic moneybags!) all of the party's candidates for elective positions. Now from the horse's mouth:

"When we think about how best to choose leaders, we assess the challenges and opportunities confronting our society, and then look for the person who has the best array of skills to address those challenges and opportunities. But what if we are not that good at figuring out the most critical challenges and opportunities that we may want our future leader to solve? What if the issues of the day are eclipsed by new events? With the pace of change as intense as it is across the world, how can we even believe that we are able to identify the precise bundle of experiences, capabilities and personality needed to take on what tomorrow brings?"***** Segun Dipe (email attachment: Accessed Nov 6th, 2013)

How else could anyone put it better than the way Segun has put it across? Tony Surridge, who taught me Strategic Planning at then famous "Emile Woolfe Accountancy Tutors Plc ( Still famous but now known as Kaplan Financial, Accountancy Tutors ) would be very proud of Segun Dipe for the quote above- BTW, Tony Surridge, was a former British Army colonel before he trained as a CIMA Accountant, and although he did not attend a formal university, and has no degree, he was both an FCCA and FCMA, but his brain is loaded to the brim with Information Technology Management ( then Stage 2 CIMA when I learnt about E-Commerce System design and Security, at a time most of the world and the other Accountancy bodies were yet to know what email was about. Btw email is short for "Electronic mail" and I knew all these stuff in the late 1980s when I did my CIMA stage 2, at a time I was yet to know or use a computer keyboard: Bless you Mr Surridge, you know your stuff, more than any PHd could dare in any area you taught, he was a monster in Strategic planning and does a few war games in the class with videos of War Strategies and tactics to overwhelm any opposition. He explained how to "Out-flank and encircle the competitor/Opposition at their weakest link, most probably when they are sleeping and snoring or doing "Guiter work" with some pretty ladies. Then Bang, B for Bomb, pull your trigger, and the competitor surrenders, without a shot fired!)

That has been the selection criteria the great sage Obafemi Awolowo adopted since the 1950s, and cascaded down the default format for "Recruitment and Selection" of Yoruba. I did argue with some Ibo irredentist, intent on mischief making, and playing the ethnic polarisation game that Awo was never the problem of Nigeria. He was the solution- go read the excellent book "Path to Nigerian Freedom" written by this great brain- Awo's prescription for Nigerian multi-ethnic dilemma and you will know that Nnamdi Azikiwe and Ahmadu Bello are rubbish mischief makers. Zik knew the truth, and knew a coalition between his NCNC and AG in 1959 would have sorted Nigeria- and by now Nigeria would be way ahead of UK, France and Holland's economy in terms of GDP size- but treacherous Zik double-crossed Awo, after agreeing with him, to go form a government with the less endowed (intellectually in Western Education) Tafawa Balewa, and the rest has been history ( Dismal and horrendous history, that is!).

My Ibo brethren, particularly those in Anambra state are at the threshold of making history by removing the yoke of bad leadership which has plagued that very well endowed state since the return to civilian democracy in 1999. Read Segun below again and again, and see how Ekiti got it right with Kayode Fayemi, and choose wisely, the best man for the job. Shine your eyes and say no to evil leadership. Do not let Peter Obi and his "third term" proxy and "Shadow governor" hoodwink you this time. Forget about the paid hate agents who sell trash to you because they have been paid peanuts to sell their conscience, by Peter Obi with the remnants of your commonwealth he has been misapplying for private use in the past 7 years. Vote for Dr Chris Ngige, the best man for the job. Vote for APC, the best pan Nigerian party standing, and be ready to vote and remain to get your votes counted! And watch INEC officials closely so they don't do the type of magic they recently did in Delta Central Senatorial Election of October, 12, 2013, when the electorates were disenfranchised and thumb printing the norm!

Tony Ishiekwene
[email protected]
PS: "Now read Segun Dipe's below; very worth reading for those who have not read this before, and very good for Employers of labour and Human Resources departments of both Commercial and Public sector organisations."

WHY APC WILL PRESENT FAYEMI IN 2014
By Segun Dipe
May we also mention that as of today, Ekiti APC has neither been approached by any other person who may want to slug it out with the incumbent governor at the party level, nor has the party embarked on any search for a replacement.

From Mahatma Gandhi and Winston Churchill to Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello and, recently, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, there seems to be as many ways to lead people as there are leaders. Yet the single fatal flaw in choosing candidates to represent a party in an election is the belief that we can permute into the future rather than looking for a leader who can quickly adapt to whatever the unpredictable future holds. Do the people want the ideal leader or rather the right kind of leader that fits their needs?

When we think about how best to choose leaders, we assess the challenges and opportunities confronting our society, and then look for the person who has the best array of skills to address those challenges and opportunities. But what if we are not that good at figuring out the most critical challenges and opportunities that we may want our future leader to solve? What if the issues of the day are eclipsed by new events? With the pace of change as intense as it is across the world, how can we even believe that we are able to identify the precise bundle of experiences, capabilities and personality needed to take on what tomorrow brings?

If we cannot predict the future, then how can we figure out who has got the right stuff to lead us into that future? First, there is a body of knowledge and experience that is relevant for any top job. It is like an entry ticket to the game; you cannot be considered if you have not at least paid some dues. Second, you need a demonstrated track record of accomplishment. Playing is not enough; you should have some wins under your belt too.

Great leaders must be adaptable. Consider the military's Special Forces, those highly trained personnel assigned to the most dangerous and unconventional missions. These elite units, which date back to Roman times, select and train warriors for strength, maturity, motivation, and intelligence. Candidates who make it through to the end are incredibly capable, yet there is one characteristic that is make-or-break in the final analysis: the ability to adapt and adjust and think fresh, in real-time.

In all of these considerations therefore, we keep some maxims at the back of our mind.

Foremost is that nothing succeeds like success. Another saying which buttresses this is that you cannot change a winning team or winning pattern. We will only measure what will come with what we have seen. As the ruling party in Ekiti State, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has chosen to live by these maxims, the party, which suffered stolen mandate for four harrowing years between 2006 and 2010 before eventually claiming legitimacy to it, is not in a hurry to gamble. We cannot risk any change for the fun of it because we do not want to stray from our path of success and as such cannot start toying with our winning streak. It will, therefore, be too risky for APC, both in Ekiti and at the national level, to attempt permutations when our winning streak is based on promises kept.

To start listing all the achievements of the John Kayode Fayemi-led administration in Ekiti State in the last three years since he assumed office is to start sounding like a bad vinyl. Yet we must challenge all opposition to debate that Fayemi, who we proudly named “o wi bee, se bee,” -that is, someone who keeps his words- indeed came up with an 8-point agenda on assumption of office and has fulfilled all that were encapsulated therein in record time.

In the light of these, Ekiti APC remains unequivocal in the choice of who flies its flag in the 2014 gubernatorial election. The ticket is willingly retained with the incumbent, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi, and he has willingly accepted to continue with his good work. He has not only kept all his promises for the people of the state, but has raised the bar of governance in the state beyond the level of any intending aspirant. Why then must we, the ruling party in the state, now run the risk of presenting an untested candidate?

May we also mention that as of today, Ekiti APC has neither been approached by any other person who may want to slug it out with the incumbent governor at the party level, nor has the party embarked on any search for a replacement.

The case would have been different, however, if the incumbent had fallen out of favour either with the state chapter of APC or with those at the national level. It would have been worse if the people of the state had been shortchanged. And the cul-de-sac would have been that the incumbent was statute-barred or his health could no longer carry the load. But none of these scenarios has presented itself. Not only has Fayemi lived up to the billing, he has even surpassed it. He has given the ruling party a positive identity and a strong voice in the state. He has shown an uncommon discipline and courage in lifting the standard of the state to a world standard despite its relatively paltry income. He has walked his talk.

John Kayode Fayemi is a comet that doesn't appear often. Even among the comets, he is a meteor that is not easy to come by. He was saddled with a daunting task of lifting up the state from a pummeled position made possible by the seven harrowing years under seven PDP regimes, and he carried it out dutifully and successfully.

His character is sublime, his personality is arresting. He is well-trained and well respected both locally and internationally. He is more of an administrator than a politician. He shows a rare passion to serve. He is humble, yet cosmopolitan and calculative with eyes on the goal. He does not lose his cool even in the face of extreme provocation. He is well-focused, project-oriented, peace-loving and not easily distracted. We have our winning candidate in Fayemi come 2014 and it is not diffident for us to speak up on this now.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Tony Ishiekwene and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Tony Ishiekwene