Games Leadership News Viewpoint

Leadership & the burden of history

Leadership & the burden of history
  1. By Chidi Amuta
    Newswatch & Leadership:

There are far too many causes to felicitate with my brother and good friend Ray Ekpu, a person we fondly  name ‘Brother Ray’ as he turns 70. Maybe the most essential and apparent purpose is that he’s a journalist. The second cause is that he has lived a life of journalism in a spot referred to as Nigeria. Ray’s abiding braveness and vital management lies in the boldness of the selection he made as and when he made that selection.

Chidi Amuta

Ray  had a copious array of decisions. He might have joined the civil service and retired ten years in the past probably in stupendous wealth and opulence. He might even have prevented the whole grueling course of of college schooling and joined the army early sufficient. There once more, he probably might have ended up lifeless or joined the pantheon of retired generals for whom most issues are attainable.   Nonetheless higher,  he might have opted for a profession as a perennial politician as an illustrious son of  Akwa Ibom State.

A lifelong profession

He selected in another way. He opted for a lifelong profession in a career with no foreseeable monetary or fast materials rewards. In our nation, journalists hardly qualify for a pension or gratuity. Most frequently, the organizations the place they spend the higher half of their productive years hardly survive past a decade and the place they do, the nice journalists stroll out and in via a revolving door. Once they depart, they stroll right into a horizon of uncertainty and typically find yourself in close to destitution.

Whereas on the job, the contentment of the really nice journalist is in the intangible and grudging position as half of the 4th Property of the realm the place certainly there’s a realm. In struggle and in peace, in disaster and in normalcy, the journalist stays the intangible bridge between what, the place, when and the way on the one hand and the multitude of humanity ready anxiously to know why. Humanity will wither in darkness with out the a number of exertions of journalists of distinction. We’re the unarmed legion of mild questing to beam the mild on the fact; the gallant avatars that intercede between the jackboots of energy and the loud cries of the oppressed.

Past the basic class of journalist, Ray Ekpu and his kindred spirits supply us a lead into the topic of this lecture, specifically management. Together with Dele Giwa (in memoriam), Dan Agbese, Yakubu Mohammed and Soji Akinrinade, Ray blazed a path of brave management in the history of Nigerian journalism. Their feat consisted in a single novel idea: the right way to crown excellence in journalism with success in media entrepreneurship. They got down to take the leap from being staff of moneybags to using themselves and different journalists, a leap that was being taken in the Western world by journalists like those that based the Unbiased in London.

What distinguishes nice management is imaginative and prescient and the braveness to drive it with a view to ship the general society-wide impacts of the main stride. That’s one important high quality of management that gave Nigeria the unusual present of Newswatch.

The journalists and their admirers who gathered in January 1985 wore no battle fatigues. If anybody referred to them as ‘revolutionaries’, I think that they might, like Hitler’s publicist, Goebbels, have drawn a pistol to silence the misrepresentation. In any case, they have been all principally right-wing or centre-right idealists at greatest.

The truth is, when the collective of Ray and his colleagues gathered to launch Newswatch in 1985,  they in all probability have been unaware of the revolutionary implications of their skilled foray. Nevertheless, they ended up birthing one of the most incisive and authoritative information magazines in Africa at a time when Time and Newsweek maintained unquestioned dominance. These worldwide giants have been solely being complemented by efforts like Chris Okolie’s Newbreed at the nationwide degree and geo-strategic and continental efforts like South, Africa, New African and Africa Now and a number of others.

Newswatch shortly emerged as the nationwide gold commonplace in enlightened journalism. Its columnists have been simply the most authoritative, influenced and civilized in the nation. Its cowl tales have been nicely researched and grounded. The encyclopedic analysis prowess of the Newswatch librarian, Nyakno Osso was all over the place in proof in an age with out at present’s Google contact display entry to international info.

Expression of energy

With the emergence of Newswatch, Patrick Dele Cole’s Day by day Occasions, Abiola’s Harmony titles and the arrival of The Guardian, Nigerian journalism redefined itself as an influence centre, not simply an adjunct to energy.

The lead gamers at Newswatch have been not ‘Press Boys’ to be discovered at Press galleries or the hallways of energy. They have been purveyors of a sure intangible however actual energy. Each expression of energy comes with inherent risks. Ray and his colleagues perceive this truism all too properly as they mirror on the glories, tears and blood of their years in and round actual energy.

On reflection, the actual significance of the management of Ray and Newswatch is just not in the sacrifices they needed to make as leaders. It’s of their legacy in Nigerian media and journalism. The abiding gospel of Newswatch is risk. It’s potential to liberate the voice of the individuals, to offer which means to the freedom of expression as a cardinal aspiration of a free society.

Accordingly, unbiased and personal media initiatives stepped ahead to exchange authorities monopoly. Particular person journalists and teams of them stepped ahead to attempt their arms at publishing or broadcasting. An avalanche of personal newspapers, magazines and broadcast media emerged to lastly bury authorities monopoly and even participation. Really, one million flowers have been blooming.

  1. Leadership and Troubled Occasions:

This gathering isn’t strictly about Newswatch. However Newswatch has enabled it. Additionally it is a veritable anchor for understanding the requisites of management each in journalism and the wider polity. I do know the management all of us search to listen to extra about on this time and place. It’s political management because it considerations Nigeria, the nation all of us love passionately.

Allow us to  proceed from the easiest description of management. It’s the potential to develop a imaginative and prescient of group and the capability to translate that imaginative and prescient into useful actuality in a fashion that carries the followership alongside. To check an alternate greater actuality, the chief have to be enlightened. To translate that imaginative and prescient into actuality, the chief should have government capability or discover these so outfitted. To draw and carry the followership, the chief should possess private electrical energy or charisma in the type of oratory, private carriage, integrity and connectedness to atypical people. The individuals should see features of themselves mirrored in the life and story of  the chief.

Maybe at no different time in our nationwide history has the difficulty of management introduced itself so boldly in the entrance yard of nationwide discourse. In spite of elections that fill numerous ranges of public workplace in the land, our individuals proceed to yearn endlessly for purposeful management. It has subsequently grow to be essential to make a distinction between energy incumbency and management in the nation. There’s, as they are saying, no emptiness in both Aso Rock Villa or the 36 state Authorities Homes throughout the land. Whether or not inspiring management is emanating from any of these places is sort of one other.

Make no mistake about it. The drama of energy incumbency continues to rage throughout the land. The sirens blare even louder; the pomp and ceremony of public workplace is in full gear; the perfunctory rituals of authorities proceed unabated. So is also the impunity of energy, the vanity of immediately’s males and the injured ego and deflated significance of yesterday’s individuals.

  1. The Leadership Very best:

Real management is considerably extra subdued than the cacophony of incumbent energy. True management consists in the capability to encourage and carry an undivided nation alongside the path of self- realization. It’s inspirational; revolutionary; empathic. In phrases and actions and private conduct, the chief touches the very important chord that unites a nation irrespective of creed, ethnicity, class and even circumstance. Extra typically, what the individuals worth of their chief is intangible.

True nationwide management is probably greatest described and understood by what it isn’t. It isn’t water boreholes. It isn’t infinite kilometers of roads and even kilowatts of electrical energy. It isn’t the meting out of informal cruelty in your perceived opponents or the shutting of the window of alternative to all besides your mates, loyalists and kinsmen. Nor can we mistake as management the subversion of the in style mandate into an instrument for dividing nations alongside all conceivable strains. If something, these traits create the starvation for real management in nations reminiscent of ours which might be so stricken.

From the quick post-civil struggle years until right now, the disaster of management has plagued our public discourse. It was Chinua Achebe who in the late 1970s recognized the disaster of management as ‘the trouble with Nigeria’. We stay frozen in that second and mired in that intractable disaster.

The absence of a coherent nationwide imaginative and prescient and sense of mission has bred a polity whose most recurrent fascination is ‘our immense potentials’. The hope of what is feasible and the dream of the place we might nonetheless be is what holds this behemoth ‘potential’ nation collectively. However in the interim, this era of Nigerians stays the orphans of missed alternatives, squandered assets and periodic episodes of senseless management.

The rhetoric of potential greatness is getting worn out. It’s even worse when mouthed by ignorant politicians who need to win an election and additional deepen our management disaster. There’s a potential in each nation which awaits leaders of function to reap. For a way lengthy are we going to stay a ‘potential’ or digital nation?

I’ve heard it stated that Nigeria continues to be a younger nation! Underlying that declare is the false logic that longevity confers on nations a assured greatness. If that have been true, the most superior nations can be the oldest! On the scale of international improvement, the place are Egypt, Greece and Portugal at the moment? Egypt is the residence of the nice pyramids and of decadent dictatorships. It’s also the hotbed of the most harmful fanatics. Greece has a perennial archival curiosity with an financial system that has developed the dangerous behavior of surviving on frequent bailouts. Portugal was a colonial energy however is now a digital third world nation with solely a soccer membership as its most notable export.

At 58, Nigeria is neither previous nor younger. My worry is that it got here into existence with all the infirmities of decadent previous age. Now in mature center age, the nation is bothered by a cocktail of illnesses some of which may solely be cured by killing the affected person therefore the loud cries for restructuring and even outright dissolution.

The results of previous management missteps and failures now hang-out us all. Our highways are harmful; our city streets are darkish alleys hiding sinister prospects as nobody is aware of what lies in wait; the frontiers of freedom have been fenced by a rampaging insurgency whereas squads of killers typically troublesome to call have rendered life in our villages much more capricious, brutish and brief.

A nation that started off united and hopeful is at the moment torn alongside all recognized divides simply as the quantity of optimists has dwindled into depressing insignificance. Our youth stroll the streets in quest of nothing in a land full of work however with no alternatives to seek out work.

But in the midst of this obvious hopelessness, I might hear the voice of hope rise at the locations the place our boys have been at play in the World Cup. Little question,  the broad majority of Nigerians nonetheless love their Naija and need for no different place to name house. That everlasting optimism is for me the loud voice crying for the emergence of true nationwide management.

  1. Fashions in Damaging and Restorative Leadership:

Allow us to not be deceived. Leadership can kill or save a nation. History is as full of nations which were ruined by dangerous management as it’s of others which were saved and resurrected from Hell as a result of of the emergence of true management in the midst of catastrophe.

First, the dangerous information. The instructive factor is that the majority of the leaders who deliver their nations to damage don’t all the time have the luxurious of staying behind to observe Rome go up in flames.

Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire:

On 17th Might, 1987, the forces of Laurent Kabila marched into Kinshasa. The lengthy reign of Mobutu Sese Seko in what was Zaire was over. Mobutu fled and located his solution to Eyadema’s Togo. There was no purple carpet. His good friend Eyadema confined him to the aircraft at the airport whereas working the telephones in search of a spot of exile for him. Eventually the late king of Morocco agreed to have him. He died in exile.

Jean-Bertrand Aristide  of Haiti:

On 29th September 1991, Jean-Bertrand Aristide was besieged in the Presidential palace in Port Au Prince. Peoples’ energy had ousted his rudderless regime. Haiti was at the brink of nasty implosion. There was panic in Washington. It took a mixed effort of US, Venezuelan and French diplomats to barter a helicopter exit for him. However he had nowhere to go. Common Collin Powell despatched him a aircraft with a easy instruction: ‘take off and be air borne first’. Whereas nonetheless in the air, diplomatic telephones have been busy looking for a spot of exile. He was briefly stateless! Then Thabo Mbeki of South Africa gave him exile. However Haiti was in ruins.

This piece was delivered at the 70th birthday colloquium in honour of media icon, Mr. Ray Ekpu

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