Gov. Dickson: The Making Of A Transformational Leader

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Transformational leadership is a leadership style in which the leader works with subordinates to identify needed change to create a vision to guide the change through inspiration to execute premeditated change in line with members of a group.

Transformational leadership enhances the motivation, morale, and job-performance of followers through a variety of mechanisms such as a sense of identity, challenging projects and the creation of conducive work environment. Transformational leadership can be explained based on the impact that it has on followers. Transformational leaders are trusted, respected and admired by the followers.

At the height of its imperial power Japan there was the Meiji Restoration which established the big corporations “Zaibatsu’s” to place the land of the rising sun on the map of voraciously developing countries. The Meiji Restoration led to the modernization of Japan. The cultural revolution of 1949 embarked upon by Chairman Mao in China also fall in this category.

Emperor Menelik of Ethiopia was reputed to be a wise king of Ethiopia for two reasons. He protected the overall interest of Ethiopians irrespective of tribes and moved the country on the path of modernization. Thus in spite of the ferocity of the Halana leader, Ethiopia remained un-colonized. Till date the scars of Adowa are very conspicuous on Italy. Today, Ethiopia epitomizes the independence, unity and solidarity of Africa.

Muhammed Ali of Egypt recalibrated the development paradigm of Egypt. He pursued industrialization using the instrumentality of agriculture and aggressive infrastructural development as priorities. The level of development was so sophisticated that European architects visited Egypt and copied his architectural masterpiece.

Among the class of transformational leaders in Africa include Julius Nwalimu Nyerere of Tanzania, Sekou Toure of Guinea, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Jomo Kenyanta of Kenya among others. This list is by no means exhaustive. One must not lose sight of the superlative transformational leadership provided by Lee Kuan Yew – the modern founder of Singapore who moved his nation from “Third” world to “First” world in less than 25 years.

An x-ray of their transformational leadership styles revealed certain features prominent among them are a sense of mission and vision, transparency in the transaction of governmental businesses; accountability and respect for public funds, including prudence in public expenditure.

These transformational leaders wore the shoes of the ordinary people shared their goals with them, as well as their challenges with emphasis on team building to address common problems. They administered with the fear of God, with incredible passion, saintly truth and honesty and pursued what they believed was of the best interest of the people. As responsible leaders they fulfilled every iota of promise they made to the people. They held onto the Constitution and the rule of law as the “holy grail” of leadership.

In Bayelsa State, there is no doubt that Governor Seriake Dickson and his Deputy Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah Rtd. might have learnt a lot from these transformational leaders. Since they took the mantle of leadership, they have tried to fulfilled promises and aspirations in terms of quality and quality and quantity of projects executed. Under the Restoration Administration, so may gray areas have been tackled? Most of the liabilities the administration inherited have been transformed into assets.

Work ethics has resurrected, abolishing the business-as-usual scenario attitude to leadership. In place of profligacy, fiscal responsibility has been entrenched, consensus-building has replaced adhocracy, the rule of law has replaced impunity and executive recklessness. Political vendetta has been replaced by consensus- building, all-inclusivity, peace and security. This is why the Restoration Administration has redefined the meaning of governance in spite of the harrowing economic recession the Country is witnessing now.

In terms of project execution, Gov. Seriake Dickson has achieved in two years what all predecessors put together did not achieve. In this piece, let us just look at some of the projects initiated, designed and (completed) some on-going by Governor Seriake Dickson. Pleasantly, all the under-listed projects were initiated in the first two years of his first tenure in office.

The projects listed here are in no particular order of importance. They include:

1. Construction of Hon. Justice Tabai Road, Edepie Yenagoa

2. Dualization of AIT- Sani Abacha road by Bayelsa Palm Yenagoa

3. Expansion of Lambert Eradiri road Yenagoa
4. Construction of Col. Inokoba Road off Azikoro Yenagoa

5. Construction of Internal Roads in Toru-Orua, Sagbama

6. Construction of 32 kilometers Tombia-Etegwe Road with 8 Bridges

7. Construction of 350meters Access road to Nembe police station

8. Construction of 2kilometers Yenagoa -Oporoama Road

9. Construction of Bridge to link Tourist Island Yenagoa

10. Dualization of Igbogene Junction to Glory Drive Igbogene Round about Yenagoa

11. Construction of Ikolo Creek Bridge and Access road Yenagoa

12. Construction of Opolo Elebele Road Yenagoa
13. Construction of Isaac Boro road Yenagoa
14. Construction of Road Safety-Diete Spiff- Hospital Road Ovom Yenagoa. 15. Construction of 3.6 kilometres access road Boro Town Kaiama,

16. Construction of NYSC Orientation Camp access road Kaiama

17. Construction of Azikoro Road Yenagoa
18. Construction of Jonathan road, Kpansia-Yenagoa
19. Construction of Road 24, High Profile Layout, Yenagoa

20. Construction of road 31 (high profile layout) Yenagoa.

21. Construction of road 28 (high profile layout) Yenagoa.

22. Construction of road 27c Spur (high profile layout) Yenagoa.

23. Construction of 1.98 kilometers Road 30 Spur (high profile layout) Yenagoa. 24. Construction of 1.98 kilometers Road 38/27 new kpansia market road(high profile layout) Yenagoa. 25. Construction of market road phase 1. Nembe.

26. Rehabilitation of the failed sections of Tombia-Amassoma Road, with 2 double culverts 27. Construction of road, parking area, cell blocks and sand filling of Okaka Prisons.

28. Construction of Govt. House car park
29. Construction of Access road to plot 079 Azikoro GRA Phase1 Yenagoa

30. Construction of additional 3 kilometers roadwork Toru- Orua Agalabiri 31.

31. Construction of Okah-Oba Road
32. Dualization of Capt Amangala Road
33. Dualization of Marine Police Road
34. Dualization of Igbogene-AITsection Outer Ring Road, Yenagoa

35. Construction of flyover at NNPC Roundabout, Yenagoa

36. Construction of km25 from Toru-Orua to Ekeremor Road

37. Const. of Bayelsa State Airport Road
38. Completion of the Ogobiri-Toru-Ebeni Bridge Project

39. Construction of Phase 1 Bayelsa West Senatorial Road

40. Construction of Phase 1 Bayelsa East Senatorial Road

41. Construction of Phase 1 Bayelsa Central Senatorial Road

a. Construction of a College of Education at Sagbama

b. Construction of International Institute of Tourism & Hospitality- first of its kind in the federation.

c. Construction of Driving Academy
d. Construction of Sports Academy
e. Construction of School of Music
f. Construction of School of Languages
g. Construction of Teachers Training Institute
h. Construction of Public Service Training Institute

i. Construction of Museum and monuments
j. Arrangements are in top gear to build a modern Maritime Academy

k. Construction of 25 Mega Schools across the 3 senatorial Districts of the State

l. Construction of 25 Model Schools
m. Construction and renovation of 400 primary and secondary schools

n. Construction of 400 2-bedrooms Headmasters’ Quarters with extra 4 rooms for single teachers.

7. One of the few states that have so far paid up all civil servants & Pensions despite dwindling allocation from the federation account before the federal government’s bail out to states.

8. Construction of the first flyover in the State
9. Dualization of Tombia-Amassoma Road
10. Dualization of Opolo-Elebele Road
11. Dualization of Road Safety Road
12. Dualization of Hospital Road
13. Dualization of King Diete-Spiff Road
14. Dualization of Onopa Road
15. Boosting the Ogbia-Nembe Road
16. Accelerated progress in the Oporoma Road
17. Completion of the Toru-Ebeni Bridge
18. Airport Project…in Progress
19. Construction of Traditional Rulers Council Secretariat

20. Construction of the Officers Mess
21. Construction of the Diagnostic Centre
22. Construction of the Pharmaceutical Storage and Distribution Complex

23. Construction of the Malaria, Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS Research Centre

24. Upgrading of Government House Clinic to a state-of-the –art Health Facility

25. Dualization of the Igbogene Road and Construction of the bridge

¬26. The Igbogene-Elebele by-pass….reached advanced stage.

27. Construction of Five Secretariat Annexes for Civil Servants,

This list is by no means exhaustive and it does not include some road initiated and on-going in the rural areas.

The performance of the Restoration Administration is by far the best Bayelsans have seen since the State was created in 1996. As we get set to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the creation of Bayelsa State, we must consider and beam a more penetrating searchlight on the transformational strides taken by Governor Seriake Dickson.

When we consider what has been achieved so far, against the background of the liabilities we inherited especially the stupendous debt profile, other financial exposures, and the economically excruciating circumstances we have found ourselves, we will very readily appreciate the making of a TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADER in Bayelsa State.

Idumange John
Is a Public Intellectual

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Articles by Idumange John