This was the highlight of the speech delivered by Rt. Hon. Chima Obieze at the program organized by The New Enugu Project ‘TNEP’ initiative tagged “LEADERSHIP, beyond politics” where Rt. Hon. Chima Obieze was one of the Guest Speakers. Hon Obieze declared that part of the reasons Africa is yet to take its place in the world today is because most African Nations are led by politicians instead of Leaders.
Hon. Obieze noted that as the saying goes, “politicians think about the next election while leaders think of the next generation”.
He gave the example of late President Nelson Mandela as a shining example of what leadership is about. “Leadership is not easy yet it is not rocket science. To lead means that you have within you the desire not just to occupy positions and titles, but to defend your people, to fight for your people, to speak when you should, to forgive when you are hurt, to bring people together for a common cause, to influence people’s opinion & behavior, to serve with humility, to reach out to people who are neglected and to become a consensus builder”.
Hon. Obieze recounted how Mandela was jailed for over 2 and a half decades and on coming out became the president of South Africa. He said “most of the people who imprisoned, tortured and suffered him greatly feared he was going to deal with all of them, but on emergence, he formed a ‘National Reconciliation Committee’ to bring the different divides of the people of South Africa together for a common goal, forgiving all those who hurt him and urging his brothers to forgive the white Apartheid regime”.
He regretted that in Nigeria today we are unfortunate to be governed by a President who despite his age and experience would rather incite division and disunity instead of inspiring peace, Reconciliation, Forgiveness and unity. He said “under President Buhari Nigeria is now most divided along ethnic, tribal and religious line than ever before. I am disappointed because I thought that he was prepared to show leadership considering how long he fought to become president. I felt he had a good plan to reconcile, unite and uplift this nation.”
“Just a few weeks ago, we were reminded by our own President, how we were made to suffer during the Nigerian Civil war. He further said we would be dealt with in the language we understand. What language could that be? Certainly, it is not the language of dialogue, reconciliation, Restructuring, and not even Power devolution. Not in the language of Peace, or unity, or a National Conference. Not in the language of Regional engagement or interaction. It is the language of military force and suppression.”
He maintained that he was further surprised that Sen. Bulcachawa would go further to threaten the Igbos with another civil war. Hear him “sen. Bulcachawa was born in 1940 so by now he is above 80, I wonder if he can still lift an AK47. At this age, I expected that would show leadership by taking steps to reconcile and United the next generation of Nigerians towards a strong nation ‘TRULY, JUSTLY and HONESTLY’ “bounded by freedom, peace and unity”, but instead he’d rather invite us to pick up arms.”
“It is increasingly obvious that uniting Nigeria is not one of the agendas of this president let alone giving people of every zone and divided sense of belonging. I cannot understand how we got here as a people”.
He further stated that “the insurgents, bandits and terrorists in the North who sack villages and sometimes, a whole local Government Area and then hoist their flags as a sign that the place is now part of their caliphate or territory are not just terrorists but secessionists fighting to establish a new caliphate. Yet we hear people in government making cases for them to be granted amnesty but when it comes to the East they must be completely crushed and no need to dialogue with them. Yet we too are Nigerians”.
In conclusion, he called on young people all over Nigeria to come together refuse to inherit the hate, the disunity and lack of leadership our fathers are trying to hand over to us and endeavor to begin the bury the ghosts of our ugly past, and collectively work towards building a new nation ” where peace and justice shall reign”.
He urged youths in the Southeast to desist from destroying our hard-earned infrastructures and killing our brothers and sisters in uniform. Saying it is not the way to go. Nigerian Youths must wake up and take up the Challenge of Leadership as the “generation leading us now have failed us”.
“Endeavour to first become a leader before daring to become a politician. Endeavor to give your support only to the politician with a good leadership orientation other than the man who can buy positions with money. To understand this concept, I advise you all to pick up the book titled ‘The Leader who had no title’ by Robin Shema. You will learn a lot about leadership.”