By Emeka Nwokocha
Trail blazing leadership school in Nigeria, the African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD) Leadership School, will award degrees and diplomas in leadership courses when its affiliation with universities in Nigeria is finally sealed in no distant time.
The Executive Director of the school, Mr. Monday Osasah dropped the hint, while delivering a keynote address on the occasion of the 3rd Annual Leadership Lecture and Graduation Ceremony of the leadership school, Effurun-Warri Study Centre, held on Saturday 29, at Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) Conference Hall, Effurun, Delta State.
Osasah said, “the idea of starting the leadership school was borne out of the realization that leadership is a major problem especially in Africa. The challenges faced across the world especially in Africa and Nigeria has confirmed our diagnostics of the primacy of leadership in dealing with challenges facing humanity.”
He added, “the school is therefore designed for people who want to be equipped with leadership skills for transformation of organisations and society. It provides students with tools and ways to have vision for leadership and become better leaders.”
Osasah spoke eloquently about the ground breaking achievements of the school since its establishment in 2010, stating that apart from Abuja, the school also exists in Delta State (Effurun-Warri study centre), Benin City in Edo State and Port Harcourt in Rivers State.
He said, “it is gratifying to note that Centre LSD Leadership Schools have continued to maintain standards by ensuring that quality lecturers teach their courses in good venues.
He continued, “we are exploring the possibility of partnering with Universities to run courses on Leadership Studies that will lead to the award of Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees. We have already developed the course content for Certificate, Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma. We have started discussion with one of the universities and are tidying up the Memorandum of Agreement. When it becomes operational, graduates of the leadership school will have credits allocated to them based on the courses already taken and after examination will spend less time for the award of the Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees in Leadership Studies.”
Speaking earlier, in his welcome address, the Director of Studies at Centre LSD, Effurun-Warri Study Centre, Pastor Edewor Egedegbe, noted that the Leadership School came on stream on the 10th of June 2017 as first of its kind in the South-South (Niger Delta Region), in a bid to training leaders to bridge the gap in leadership especially in tackling global issues relating to governance.
Describing leadership knowledge as the mother of all knowledge, Egedegbe asserted that the success and failure of any system, be it spiritual or physical, depends largely on leadership. He noted that the leadership training was conceptualised to equip prospective leaders with skills and knowledge as part of effort to addressing the leadership challenge in Nigeria.
He said, “the Idea of the Effurun-Warri Leadership school was honed after the realisation that to take Niger-Delta to where it ought to be, there is need for leaders and youths across the region to be trained to enable them understand their God given potentials, discover and develop it. Such potentials no doubts, are seeds for greatness that must be sown at any given opportunity.”
Egedegbe noted that the theme for this year’s lecture: “Leadership & Security Challenges in Nigeria” was carefully selected owing to the rise in insecurity in the country, saying that “there is urgent need to advocate and enlighten citizens on peaceful and harmonious co-existence among Nigerians, in order to avoid loss of lives and properties.”
In the same vein, the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Williams Akpochafo, ably represented by Dr. Oghounu Ajiroghene Eric, noted that values plays central role in leadership, even as he drummed for value reorientation so as to redefining Nigeria of modern time to ensure peaceful coexistence, but not Nigeria limited by language, religion, education, culture, political affiliation and ethnicity.
He said, “the Nigeria we desire should be redefined as a nation towards achieving common good of the citizenry with equal opportunity for all; a nation devoid of injustice, violence, hate, corruption, nepotism and greed.
On the same note, the Deputy Senate President, Sen. Ovie Omo-Agege, commended the graduating students and implored them to put to practice the knowledge they have acquired in the one year intensive leadership training to better Nigeria.
Sen. Omo-Agege, who was ably represented by his SSA on Constitutional Matters, Mr. Chuks Erhire, implored Nigerians to embrace the Community Policing initiative in order for President Muhammadu Buhari to adequately tackle the issues of insecurity in the country.
He said, “the growing incidents of insecurity both intra-country and cross-border call for concern.” He expressed worry that kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery, sea piracy and other vices have become the order of the day.
The lawmaker said, “it is the primary responsibility of government to provide security for its citizens and that’s why President Buhari is making efforts to ensure that people living in the communities across the country are secure.”
According to Sen. Omo-Agege, “We must create the desired synergy between leadership and follower-ship so that every leader will understand that he or she is also the follower and every follower a leader. This is central to security in every community where there are leaders and followers.”
Speaking on the topic of the day, “Leadership & Security Challenges in Nigeria” the guest speaker, Navy Capt., Hermans Efenudu (Rtd), called on the government of the day to be accountable to the citizens, noting that wide scale corruption coupled with insensitivity to the plight of indigent citizens fuels insecurity in the country. He advanced that if the government could provide basic infrastructure and create jobs for its teeming unemployed citizens, crime will reduce drastically and insecurity will be a thing of the past. The former Provost Marshal, Nigeria Navy, however, regretted that recurring government policies over the years had not taken cognizance of the pressing need of the people as little or nothing had been done to address poverty, destitution, poor housing, infrastructure decay and many other social amenities in decrepit condition. The security expert called on political leaders in all strata of government to put their acts together to address the perennial challenges of insecurity by identifying the remote causes and tackling them headlong.
Speaking at a discussion session, Comrade Benjamin Amioku, one of the graduating students critically assessed the debilitating state of the Nigerian society and identified poor leadership acumen as root cause of the multifaceted problems straddling the Nigerian state over the years. He was simply blunt about the heightening insecurity and poverty narratives in the country, a development he described as unfortunate. He was however, optimistic about a rejuvenated future for Nigeria, stressing that such new regime of prosperity would certainly be possible when leaders with the right character, values, patriotism and intellectual know-how are voted into political offices. He urged the Centre LSD graduates to be crusaders of change for a better Nigeria.
The high-points of the occasion were presentation of awards, presentation of certificates to the graduating students, administering of matriculation oath to the incoming students and inauguration of Centre LSD Leadership School, Effurun-Warri Alumni members.
Other dignitaries that spoke at the event include the Chairman of Uvwie local government council, Hon. Ramson Onoyake, represented by Pastor Peter Ibe J. Isaac; Amb. Dr. Onyinyechi Ikemefuna; Delta State Commissioner of Police, CP Mohammed Hafiz Inuwa, represented by CSP Onyeke Udeviotu Ezekiel; and the Commanding Officer 3 Battalion, Nigeria Army, Effurun, represented by Major Suleiman Abdul Gaya. Other dignitaries at the event were CSP Henry Ekeocha, DPO, Ebrumede Divisional Police Headquarters, and Mr. Obot Obot (Jnr); Mrs. Rachael Misan-Ruppee, Executive Director, Development Initiative for Community Impact (DICI); Chief Monday Itoghor; and Mrs. Ayo Nerfetiti Okotie.