Mbaise Nation And The Quest For Governorship: The Qualities Of Effective Leadership Needed For The Development Of Imo State (Part 2)

Source: Dr. Nkwocha Onyema
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Imo State needs a visionary Mbaise Governor who has the powers and potential abilities to influence people at ASO Rock and who can use his or her political arts, prowess, and skills to influence others in both Imo State, Mbaise, ASO Rock, and elsewhere in the federation and the world over to achieve desired goals for the people of Imo at large – the summum bonum or the general good of all if you will! – Dr. Nkwocha, Onyema G. USA 01/01/2014.

In part 1, we saw an overview of the historic contributions of Mbaise toward the development of Imo State and Nigeria at large by listing some noted political leaders and personalities both ancient and modern. We learned that all the major “Zones” in the Great Imo State have produced at least one Governor and therefore this time around, 2015, it's almost universally acclaimed that it is by default, Mbaise's turn to produce the next governor of Imo State.

What I want to do in the concluding session of the two-part article is to narrate some of the leadership nightmares that the successful Mbaise Governor of Imo State will face. Nevertheless the two horns cannot be larger than the head that must bear them, the African adage goes and so, without much ado, here is my take on the great tasks ahead of the successful Mbaise Governor of Imo, for the betterment of Imo State.

The leadership “nightmare” ahead of the Mbaise Governor of Imo State for the betterment of Imo is like this:

Any Mbaise man or woman who aspires to be the next governor of our Great Imo State would need to have broad-based appealing skills and leadership art. The candidate would almost immaculately be a charismatic coalition-partnership builder, able to mend broken bridges, fences, and relations in a fiat, given the oft-repeated tales or expressions (real or unfounded) concerning Mbaise citizens.

He or she would have to build newer, water-and-air-tight partnerships and alliances beyond the shores of Mbaise, extending to and beyond Owerri, Okigwe, Nkwerre, Nwangele, Ihitte Uboma, Orlu, Ngor Okpala, Oguta (Ugwunta), Ideato North; Ideato South, Isu, Mbano, Orodo, Mba Itoli (Ike Duru), Orsu and Mbieri, Ohaji Egbema, Obowo, Isiala Mbano, Njaba and so forth. So there is a formidable task in alliance building for the would-be Mbaise candidate for the Governor of Imo State.

The Mbaise candidate that successfully emerges from the various political parties' primaries would have to remake, repackage, and re-market and re-sell Mbaise's image as the new face of deliverance for the State given the current and immediate previous Governors' nonsensical state of affairs and horrible shape and “ransom-state” they have left our Great State. The candidate would immediately have to know that leadership is not equivalent to the crime of usurping and amassing the commonwealth of our Great State all to his or her own pocket, kits and kins. In general, no doubt, this candidate will enhance and sustain by large degrees, the continued quest for improved standard of living, continued academic excellence and the penchant crave for economic and commercial enterprization of Mbaise in particular and Imo in general.

That candidate would have to know that real leadership for and in the Great State of Imo lies in making life easy and worthwhile for all the constituencies of, and in Imo State. Hence the new and generally acclaimed mantra and slogan of: “Mbaise governor for the betterment of Imo State.” Above all, he or she would have to roll up the sleeves and work with the House of Assembly of the Great State of Imo to put in place, appropriate, broad-based and almost immaculate to the point of need, laws that would make way for the complete 360 degree-turnaround of rebuilding the state.

Now here lies the greatest “nightmare” to the successful Mbaise man or woman for the Governor of the Great Imo State. The candidate would almost certainly have the miraculous and magic wand of plan and strategies to give the entire Imo State good and excellent road network systems and means of transportation. Currently the roads in Mbaise and entire Imo State are death traps as in all over Nigeria. Mbaise and Imo State at large need good roads built to last and to preserve the name and fame of the company that builds them. With good and excellent road networks, life will definitely be easier for our great people. Not only will the precious lives the citizens of Imo State be spared from the dangers of daily and yearly driving along treacherous and tortuous bad road networks, the durability of the available motor vehicles also will be enhanced if not ensured with good roads crisscrossing the length and breadth of Imo State.

The successful Mbaise candidate for the Governor of the Great State of Imo would have up his or her ace, the pragmatic plan to rebuild the Agricultural base and build newer and formidable agricultural and food-based industries to feed the over four million plus teeming population of Imo State. To ensure for the future and continuous growth of tomorrow's leaders and economic wealth and growth of the Great State of Imo, that candidate would certainly have in place, the best redesigned and strategic educational systems and programs from elementary to tertiary levels readily and economically answerable to the current and future needs of Imo State. We say our road networks are death traps for the innocent citizens of Imo.

Have you ventured to visit any of the so many elementary and secondary schools dotted around the State and see the rickety and most dangerous conditions, school buildings and classroom and roofs under which our tomorrow's leaders are studying? I would be the most ashamed and idiotic Governor of Imo State occupying the people's Governor's mansion at Owerri and yet see the schools and classrooms of school buildings around the State take the worst turn of state-of-affairs they are in today and also during the immediate past administrations and not do anything substantive about it. And yet that's what both current, immediate, and long past administrations of Imo have become, whose most sacred roles as Governors include but not limited to ensuring and guaranteeing the well-educated, trained, and growth of our tomorrow's leaders. The unseen problem is, any Governor (past, current, or future) who neglects the education and growth of our future leaders for a decade, two, or three and beyond, and that Governor has inadvertently neglected the growth of the State for a century (100 years) and maybe, beyond.

That successful Mbaise candidate for the Governor of Imo had better have that “golden” new education plan because what air is to human lives is what education is to the growth and development of any given State or community of people. Deny air to the human live, and it dies within minutes. Neglect education of the young in a society, and that society stunts, stop growing and developing and literarily dies as the Holy Book said: “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he,” (Proverbs 29:18). The education and training of our children and the young is like having the “vision”, in fact it is the vision of where we are heading and going as a people, as a State. The children, educated, are our vision, the future leaders and our future growth and development. “But he that keepth the law, happy is he…” But the man or woman, family, or community, State or Nation who keeps the natural law of training and educating children to inspire/help them to aspire to attain God's all time promise in Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

So, the Mbaise candidate for the Governor of Imo State would have in deed made God's everlasting promise come to fulfillment by offering Imo people's children real education. By educating and training the youth, by ensuring that the school buildings they study in are free of health risks and hazards and that the school systems and programs are of the finest and best quality and answerable to the people's cultural needs, the governor would have guaranteed the perpetual development of the entire State. The Governor would have made room for happy parents, families, communities, State and nation such as is obtained in most advanced nations of the world such as the United States of America, Britain, France, Germany, Canada, Russia etc. – All because these nations gave priority to the education of their youth -the visionary young who shall eventually grow into manhood and become leaders of tomorrow.

Hoping that the candidate would already been one who honestly has, by no hook and crook means already have contributed and enhanced the socio-economic development of our Great Imo society and environment. Therefore there is the desperate need for a DIVERSIFIED governance approach toward eradicating and arresting the needs of Imo People almost immediately upon being sworn-in as the Mbaise Governor for the Betterment of Imo. On being sworn into office, the successful candidate would immediately launch the most state-of-the art healthcare system designed to answer to and provide the health needs of the teeming population of Imo. There would be immediate launching of food program, of “operation feed the people” magnitude, of operation fix the roads, of operation rebuild the schools and hospitals, of operation produce ELECTRICITY on a constant basis; of operation create jobs, industrialize the State, of operation educate the masses, of using the existing laws of the land to fight and eliminate bribery, graft, and corruption, of fighting indiscipline, of fighting crimes and kidnappings, and of restoring respect for laws, values and constituted authorities and so forth. The successful Mbaise Governor for the Betterment of Imo State in deed has tall orders of governance responsibility.


At the moment, I believe Mbaise in her arsenals, has precisely more than a handful of honest great men and women who at a moment's notice are ready to step into the SERVANT-LEADERSHIP playing ground to render the desired dynamic servant-leadership service to the great people of Imo State. All that the successful Mbaise candidate for the Governorship of our Great Imo State needs now to do is to awaken to the core, and without any shred of a doubt, every and all believing Imonite voters with an almost immaculate like evangelical passion to give Mbaise a chance, whose time has come.

As a final note, the quality of a visionary and dynamic effective leadership is not forced, not coerced and it is not by compulsion. It is freely given by God and undertaken by the leader.

Why must Imo State have an effective leader? In fact, I dare say that the effective servant leadership system we envisage for Imo State in particular and Nigeria in general, is a social quid pro quo – a social contract, the type of arrangement with dual benefits. It benefits him or her that leads by serving and those, that is, the people that receives the leadership essences. A good effective leadership heritage places the name of the effective leader on the annals and chronicles of the great hall of fame of Imo State that will serve as a living testimony to Imo's future posterity, from generation to generation. Please allow me to borrow from Part 1 of this article,

The current state of affairs in Imo State in particular and Nigeria in general where things are in absolute “chaos” demands that a “Quantum” leader (QL) with quantum leadership skills to fit, emerge on the political playing ground of the nation or rather, the State. The ideal Mbaise Governor of Imo State should look at the political and other realities of life in Imo State and build alliances, partnerships, and collaborations with the State Legislators, the people, industrial leaders, students and all to move the State forward. Quantum leadership assumes and calls for members of the State to have roles, influence and be held accountable for the roles they play. The governor and members of the House of Representatives cannot lead Imo State alone. Quantum leadership calls for the distribution of roles, authority and power to and at the most strategic points for facilitative roles.

Quantum leadership is a different breed of leadership and of thinking in that perspective and QL demands a different way of thinking, of doing things of leading, of working and so forth. QL expects to see change. Change is constant and with the current chaos and chaotic nature of things in Imo State, the quantum-leader-Governor should plan on sharing information and “RESOURCES” with the people at strategic places and make it available for them to provide for the needs of the people. It is through the educational systems in Imo State in particular and Nigeria in general that the seeds and principles of Quantum-leadership and “servant-leadership” can be sown among the young now for harvest in the next two decades. Therefore quantum leadership demands that in the face of chaotic state of affairs as prevalent in Imo State today, (and Nigeria in general), the Quantum-Governor-leader effectively shares governing responsibilities, authority, power, and resources and makes the recipients accountable for their actions.

This is the only way to move Imo State forward – required accountability from all!

Finally, lessons on effective leadership indicate that leadership is not forced upon the people. Rather the people make up the following and choose their leader. Leadership is not by compulsion; it is not by force and cannot be bought with money. Leadership is voluntary, it is very gentle like the Balm of Gilead, and it is friendly and therapeutic. Leadership is like the gentle sunrise from the heavens that descends on the people on a cold wintery harmattan season. Leadership mitigates and makes bearable, the force, intensity, and vicissitudes of nature and the laws of the land forced upon the people to bear.

Leadership mitigates, lowers, and lessens the pain, the harshness, hardship, the wrath, the grief, the madness, the decrepit conditions of life all over Nigeria and Imo in particular occasioned on the people by lack of effective leaders, adequate education, and modernization. Effective leadership moderates the harshness; the unfriendly circumstances, the squalor, the sorry state of life and affairs that the people of Nigeria and Imo State in particular have been subjected to since the creation of the state in 1976 and forced to bear when we know that there is always, a better way – the “servant-leadership” option.

Effective servant-quantum-leadership is the best way forward for Imo State in particular and Nigeria in general. Effective leadership if properly used and applied on the affair is of the people, is gentle, its love – the agape type (the strongest positive unconditional love or emotional regard and affection for all people - citizens in the most Christian way of “love thy neighbor as thyeself” as Christ exhibited to us while here on earth). Agape love is the type preached by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:1-8, 13 and it is the type of leadership “love” the “Agape love”- the highest and unconditional love for Mother Imo State and of all her citizens and residents that the Mbaise Governor of the State should and need to bring along with him or her to the Executive office of the Governor in order to be fair to be fair to the millions of Imonites from all walks of life and hence to the saying “for the betterment of all Imo,” thus:

“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love…”

In fact, effective leadership is the summum bonum, (shorted as the SUM BONUM) that is the highest moral and supreme good from where all other moral values are derived and springs from. Effective quantum-servant Leadership is like the light lit on a mountain top that sheds light for all to see. An Mbaise man or woman Governor can shed this light in Imo State for all and the Great State of Imo to see, develop, and prosper. This is why there is need for us to nominate and Elect an Mbaise Governor come 2015! Happy New year to all!

And to the successful Mbaise Governor for the Betterment of Imo State I leave you with President Ronald Reagan's famous policy:

“Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don't interfere as long as the policy you've decided upon is being carried out.” (R. Reagan)


(Dr. O. Nkwocha) – 12/18/2013.

Dr. Onyema Nkwocha
California, USA

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