People-oriented leadership is exemplified by its characteristics. It is truly committed to doing the right thing, at the right time and for the right purpose. When people come to the full realization that their leader(s) will always do the expected as pronounced, they in turn, will relentlessly work to ensure that such a leadership achieves it’s set objectives.
Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), is a rare species of a human. He has always in all circumstances, proved to the whole world that he is a true leader. His promise to assist Biafrans with the initial release of a whopping sum of fifty million (50,000,000) Naira for the control of coronavirus epidemic across Biafraland, has really esteemed him as exemplary with an extra-ordinary charisma, a valuable leadership quality the so-called Nigerian political elites especially of Biafra extraction, totally/disappointedly lack.
In the present day Nigerian society, a leader is presumed to be one who is well-connected, powerful, charismatic and wealthy. Leaders are erroneously evaluated by what they possess. A true leader should however, be assessed by what he/she has not, such as ego, arrogance and self-interest. A true leader sees his services as entirely selfless towards a higher purpose. As sages rightly say: “Leadership is not power and dominance, it is servitude”. This does not mean that such a leader is weak but such that derives great strength from his/her dedication to a purpose much greater than himself/herself.
It is important in our time especially, to clearly distinguish between genuine leadership and that which tends to garner support through emotional arguments (demagoguery). A demagogue may try to inspire the people with impure motives and unrealistic expectations. It is wise to be a little skeptical when assessing a leader. Is such an individual truly devoted to a mission or he/she is just seeking personal glory? Is such genuinely and convincingly interested in the welfare of the people or just simply grooming a flock for his/her personal aggrandizement?
True leaders are really given to the service of their own people. They act with integrity and in so doing, establish untainted trust. They genuinely place value on their people and in so doing, create/attract loyalty. True leaders are in the business of selflessly assisting their people to realize their full potentials thereby, inspiring excellence. These considerable qualities have made the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Biafrans at large, to unreservedly trust Mazi Nnamdi Kanu at all times. Each generation it must be clearly noted, certainly has it’s own Moses. A leader is one who inspires absolute trust and who is wholly dedicated to fulfilling his/her unique role. Such understands and appreciates other people’s roles in making the world habitably better. This guides him/her accordingly thereby making such an individual, rise above parochialism in taking a global view on issues that fit into the scheme of the contemporary world.
A true leader shakes people off from their fantasies, telling them: “No, you do not need to live in desperation and confusion. Yes, you do have the ability to find meaning in your life and the unique skills of fulfillment. You are an important link in a chain of generations past; you have a legacy worth preserving and a future worth fighting for”. This noble personality, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, has made Biafrans to truly differentiate truth from lies/deceits. He is a true leader that shows to his people, that their world is indeed heading somewhere and that they can effectively control it’s movement. It clearly shows that the people should not be subjected to the mercy of prejudices or the adverse effects of prevailing political winds. It shows that the people are not subservient to the history of nature but are themselves, the history and the nature. It shows that the people can rid the world of needless wars, hatred, ignorance and obliterate the borders separating one race from the order, rich from the poor, high from the low. These are the sterling qualities of the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
Centuries past, kings and queens ruled the world but today, humanity is far distanced and alienated from the very concept of absolute leadership. Indeed, leadership is contradicted with prevailing democratic traditions, teaching the people not to subordinate their lives to another. But cannot afford to be so liberal-minded. If the ideals of democracy were duly followed to the letter, if the people demanded a referendum for even the smallest piece of legislation, the society could not function. Therefore, the present political makeup, is a pragmatic compromise, allowing individuals the role of deciding their leaders while also holding such leaders accountable to the society. This does not lie in resignation but a determined search for a leader with unquestionable character. The ultimate goal therefore, should be to have all the benefits of democracy and as well, that of a visionary leader.
A true leader does not need followers but to have others appropriately impacted with astute leadership qualities. Such a leader does not need control but truth. He does not take pleasure in imposing his leadership on others nor does he usurp the autonomy of others. He inspires by love and not through coercion. When it comes to taking the credit, he makes himself/herself of no significance. He/she is exceptionally timely at the hour of need and does not shy away in fear or discouragement. Such a personality is incomparably passionate about the welfare/well-being of his/her people and when approached for guidance, it is likened to having a first hand one-on-one meeting. This catalogued points form the mission of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu for his fellow Biafrans.
A true leader must be a living example of his teachings/statements. When a leader’s personal lifestyle embodies his/her philosophy, the people will be inspired to learn unreservedly. Conversely, if the leader’s lifestyle practically negates his/her words, he/she automatically loses their trust. IPOB family members globally, have over the years closely watched their leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and have remained resolutely unwavering in their stand with him.
It is completely unproductive for a leader to be visionary in the abstract. He must be a successful communicator whose vision can be vividly translated into specific and applicable principles. It should not just be knowledge merely for the sake of it but that which can realistically help to improve the world. A leader therefore, must be many things epitomized, such as: selfless, devoted, visionary, courageous, knowledgeable, accommodating, resolute and unquestionably humble. These characteristics must be recognized in a leader, not just for weeding out the demagogues but for the people to freely see and embrace a genuine one when he/she emerges. When the people sincerely believe in their leader, they in unison, rise above petty self-concerns. They become eagerly prepared to accept such a leader’s direction and input, and inspired to accomplish far more than they could ordinarily have done on their own.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media