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Ogbodo, The Guardian’s ex-editor, advocates people-oriented leadership

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Mr. Abraham Ogbodo

As Nigeria continues to totter through myriad leadership challenges, former editor of The Guardian, Abraham Ogbodo, has canvassed people-oriented leadership for the country.

He described the inter-dependency of the human spirit on value creation as one of the conditions that make life more liveable.

Ogbodo, who was the keynote speaker at the investiture of Julius Abuda as the fourth president of the Rotary Club of Abijo, Ibeju-Lekki, at the weekend, listed honesty, intelligence, courage, fair-mindedness, firmness, selflessness, vision, diligence, and generosity as some qualities expected of a good leader.

He, therefore, advocated the abnegation of all forms of class discriminations and the enthronement of equality among the peoples of the world, while preserving the diversities that make life exciting.

Good leadership, he said, is not about decreeing equality across different segments of society and enthroning “conditions for happiness among peoples of diverse orientations and inclinations.”

According to him, the element that ensures peace and happiness is justice and not draconian laws.

While referring to the excuses by most politicians that Nigeria’s democracy is “nascent”, Ogbodo blamed the challenge of progress in leadership on prevalent tendencies by people to resist the natural call to be good to others and the society.

He said, “When goodness is resisted, leadership becomes an unending learning curve. As a consequence, leadership theories are constantly invented and re-invented to explain issues that do not require explanation.”

The veteran journalist lamented the feeling of hopelessness in the country, blaming it on dishonest leadership.

“Today, there is despondency in the land because people who had held so much promise for a better society have turned out to be mere pretenders to the throne of accountability because of low spirituality.

“Activists, intellectuals and social crusaders of yesteryears were indeed hustlers jostling for a slice of the national cake through participation in government. Now in government and like chameleons, they have assumed the colour of their filthy environment to remain comfortable and safe.

“There are professors of law and Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), for instance, who are all too ready to descend into needless pedantry and intellectual gangsterism to offer curious interpretations of the law to suit very narrow and skewed interests,” he added.

Ogbodo called on those in the position of leadership to invest in, rather than take from, society.

In his remarks, Abuda stressed that every Rotarian’s thought, action, and the word must be hinged on the four-way test, as success is measured on the number of lives impacted.


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