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Leadership still Nigeria’s problem, says Anambra REC

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The Anambra State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Dr. Nwachukwu Orji, has identified leadership deficit as the nation’s greatest developmental challenge since Independence in 1960.

Orji, who spoke at the weekend in Enugu during the public presentation of the book, “Footprints of Excellence: 80 Leadership Lessons from Global Titans,” said although there are some good leaders in the country, the number was however too small to make any meaningful impact.

The REC, who lauded the courage of the author of the book, Dr. Jasper Uche of the Department of Political Science, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), said he was able to extract 80 leadership lessons and qualities from 16 exemplary leaders in different climes, time and disciplines.

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“For me, nothing justifies this book than the present political and social challenges we are having in Nigeria. There is no doubt that we have leadership challenge and I commend the author for the courage to write this book.

“There is dire need for leadership today. We have people who have demonstrated good leadership, but the critical mass of leadership we need to lead us out of our woes to the Eldorado is in deficit,” he said.

Orji stressed that some of the lessons like patriotism, taking advantage of opportunities, anchoring society on God, seeing challenges as an opportunity and humility, could be gleaned from the life of the 16 characters examined in the book, including Lee Kuan Yew, Ben Carson, Jack Ma and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

He said each of the lessons speaks to specific leadership attributes, such as values, learning, empathy, strategy, mentoring, vision and courage.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor of Ebonyi State, Kelechi Igwe, who unveiled and presented the book, said the intellectual and moral values of the author were brought to bear on the book.

He said the book was apt and timely, noting that for one to think for the society, one must be close to God.

“No other time in the history of Nigeria will this book title be apt than the time we live in today. It is either you think negatively or positively.

“We are in a nation where there is scarcity of value and people aspiring to be excellent are seen as people who lack value, so we are at a time there is loss of faith in leadership,” he said.

The author of the book said he was motivated by the leadership gap in the country and the fact that there is nothing in the country’s school curriculum on leadership.

“As a scholar, I started looking at leadership, I started looking for models to fill the gap we have in Nigeria. I studied people from all fields of human endeavour and gleaned out some leadership qualities,” he said.

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