Everyone knows what leadership is, many aspire to leadership position and many more arrogate to themselves leadership positions but few people can articulate what it truly means.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary defines a leader simply as a person or thing that leads. A person followed by others.
If this simple definition of leadership is to believed, one would then hardly blame some discerning Nigerians in Diaspora like myself who were disheartened to read the vituperations poured out by a section of the leadership in the UK in the aftermath of the Virtual Town Hall Meeting where Hon. Abike Dabiri the Chairperson of NIDCOM was invited and hosted by APC UK led by Prince Ade Omole to jaw jaw about issues concerning Nigerians in Diaspora.
The fact that this brilliant initiative by Prince Ade Omole and APC UK drew participants from Malaysia, China, Japan, USA, South Africa, Benin Republic and the Special Guest Hon. Abike Dabiri fielded questions from participants who joined the interactive meeting on issues close to their hearts from Malaysia to Thailand; China; Japan; South Africa; Benin Republic; USA etc. were simply lost on these “leaders” who couldn’t see beyond the prism of myopia and went all out to malign the character of Hon. Abike Dabiri and the leader of APC UK who were simply doing their job of promoting Nigeria and the interests of Nigerians in Diaspora.
It is also instructive to note a salient fact that is sadly lost on these Leaders that the Virtual Town Hall Meeting that brought about this brouhaha was (and still is) an APC UK initiative which was only made open on the advice of Hon. Abike Dabiri with the aim of accommodating and carrying all stakeholders along.
To seek to malign the sensibility and integrity of that same Hon. Abike Dabiri by insinuating that she and NIDCOM are being “dragged by an individual unknowingly” and that “individuals with connections in high places will hijack Diaspora policies for activities not designed in the long interest of the Diaspora and Nigeria” simply because she honoured an invitation from APC UK and its leader for a Town Hall Meeting is to say the least, malicious, pretty and downright insulting to the honourable lady’s intelligence and integrity.
If the simple definition of a leader as rightly expounded by The Concise Oxford Dictionary is anything to go by, there should be no difficulty therefore in recognising who is truly a leader between those who claim to have been working towards the actualisation of Diaspora Voting since 2011 and another who supposedly “came from nowhere” (according to these so-called leaders) to assemble progressive-minded Nigerians and, within 6 months, was able to draft a Diaspora Voting Bill; organised a massively successful Diaspora Voting event at the prestigious Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja with special dignitaries in the person of no less than the Speaker House of Representatives Hon. Gbajabiamila and others both at home and from Diaspora in attendance and, 48 hours later, had the Bill read in the House. The second reading is imminent.
Anyone who assembles and leads a team to achieve the above can hardly be said to come from nowhere but is, in my view, visionary with a sense of clarity of his goals; what needs to be accomplished and how to get things done for the benefit of all – which is a mark of a great leader.
Apart from the nucleus of progressive-minded Nigerians that organised the Diaspora event, in our quest to confer in prudence and wisdom, we reached out to other groups In Nigeria and in Diaspora to join in the event, many that saw the event as an opportunity to be involved in what unites Nigerians in Diaspora obliged and graced the occasion with their presence.
What we see being displayed by these other so-called leaders are self-serving, pettiness, grandstanding and a shamelessly pull-others-down style of leadership that has thus far brought UK and Europe especially to a state of disarray.
For the avoidance of doubt, the reason APC UK keeps waxing stronger every day and soaring high above others is due to its unity of purpose as exemplified by its executives that is populated by gentlemen and women of clear vision, charisma, integrity, emotional intelligence, an inspiring delivery and sterling character.
These distinguished people are the power engine behind Prince Ade Omole and the reason why he is envied by many who aspires to be like him but lack the know-how or intellect. This is why the Yorubas will say: T’aja ba l’eni l’ehin, a p’obo, which literally means if a dog has a strong and powerful backing, it will kill an ape.
Nigeria is going through tough times at the moment and it is a situation that calls for all hands to be on deck to not only right the wrongs of the past but to assist in actualising the Nigerian dream.
A dream of providing egalitarian governance for all and sundry as well as building a virile Nigeria and bequeathing a prosperous future for the coming generation.
This is a time when Nigerians in Diaspora should come together in one accord to rub minds together in helping our country with policy ideas that will propel the country to higher heights.
Lastly, Leadership is not the personal property of any person, dynasty or group. Prince Ade Omole has shown time again that he is eminently qualified to lead APC UK and, by his antecedent, he has equally proved beyond reasonable doubt that he is not only a performer but a force to reckon with in the comity of leaders in Diaspora.
Many of us leaders in the UK are always deluding ourselves pontificating about the need for a non-partisan leadership which, in my view, hasn’t got us anywhere and, truth be told, Nigerians in Diaspora, especially in the UK are rudderless with some leaders (with the exception of very few, obviously) are overtly content with their grandstanding than actually leading consequent upon which we seem to have lost our relevance in the scheme of things.
Nigerians in Diaspora are yearning for a purposeful and visionary leadership that will work with NIDCOM’s Chairperson, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa effortlessly, which in turn means that there is no better time than now, for we, that are called leaders in Diaspora to come together in unity to fight the cause of the people we proclaim to lead, lest we all fail and suffer the grave consequences of being remembered by the coming generation for our collective failure.
The grandstanding must end NOW!!!”
J. K. Adebola