By Emeka Udo Olaka
“Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness, thrust upon them” William Shakespheare
The question of whether great leaders were born naturally, or acquired or attained greatness by application of factors, has always posed a throbbing and interesting academic discourse at several fora.
This of course, should elicit frenzied interest and insight, because leadership is a very crucial aspect of humanity. In fact, it is the pivot on which every aspect of human activity revolve.
The success or failure of any organized setting is dependent on the quality of its leadership. Many nations are in crises today, as a result of the failure of the managers of their affairs to exhibit adequate leadership acuity and impeccabilities. Others have led their countries from turbulent states of topsy – turvydom to Eldorado.
Many firms, corporation, religious and traditional institution have fared very well owing to the ingenuity and prowess of their leaders.
The tall question is: are these great leaders born or made? Arguments are torrent in support of both sides of the notion.
Hon. (Engr.) John Eke-Njoku, an astute political egghead is the current Executive Chairman of Ohafia Local Government Area, Abia State. A leader whose leadership prowess stemmed from acquisition of unique skills. An ardent believer in the integrity of hard work, diligence, commitment, sincerity of purpose and merit in public service.
He has led a revolutionary and exemplary leadership before and since he began to hold sway as the local government boss.
A highly urbane, witty leader. He does not segregate or discriminate on the basis of partisan politics, or religious doctrinal credos or other clannish or primordial considerations
An uncommon bridge builder across diverse socio-political persuasions, he has a knack and penchant for listening which makes it easy for him to accommodate all shades of opinions and leanings. He believes that in the course of discussions, dialogues, exchange of ideas, even arguments the best in people and issues can sprout.
What actually informed his forgiving heart? Answer: “he who desires and pursues public good should easily and genuinely forgive”.
The honourable Chairman has amply exhibited this uncommon trait of forgiveness on many occasions, even when he witnessed betrayals from confidants and subordinates.
On many occasions he was besieged with intractable oppositions from his subordinates through the intricacies of political outmaneuvering and skullduggery amidst tempestuous and tumultuous threats by some over ambitious politicians and political gadflies, he remained reticent, calm, unperturbed and focused.
It is interesting to note that no love has ever been lost between this self- effacing leader and his detractors and traducers during and after the political brouhaha and its resultant bugaboo.
Meanwhile, prior to his ascension as the local council boss in 2017, he had promised to run an all-inclusive government, noting that in a normal political setting, there must be diverse opinions, reactions, reflections, etc, arising from people of different political ideologies, backgrounds, and all these variables must be accommodated and carried along.
He is an avid and fervent crusader of leadership integrity. In his work, “integrity: the challenge of leadership”, he contends that the only way African continent could wriggle out of its numerous underdevelopment imbroiglo is to ensure that only men and woman of integrity are allowed to be their torch bearers. He argues that the high spate of endemic corruption in the polity is emblematic of lack of leadership integrity, at all tiers of government.
It equally applies to other sectors of the polity where leaders compromise the set standards to pursue evanescent benefits.
Eke – Njoku’s public life has been driven by a quest for a society where the wealthy and strong must use their expertise and strength to ensure a system where the weak can find space and encouragement to excel.
Olaka writes via firstname.lastname@example.org