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Experts advocate leader-follower model to build Nigeria

Experts have emphasised the need to build Nigeria on leader-follower model, saying it is only when leaders assume the role of followers and followers assume the role of leaders that Nigeria can quickly move forward.

The experts spoke at the 5th Nigerian leadership risk summit held virtually on Wednesday with the theme ‘leadership versus followership risk; uniting a divided people.’

The goal of the summit was to explore solutions to national leadership and followership crisis through a cross-generational conversation. The session attracted five speakers and seven interrogators drawn from the public and private sectors. It was kick-started by Ibukun Awosika, chairman, First Bank of Nigeria Plc, whose presentation centred on leader’s selection – what followers should look for in our future leaders.

“The things we choose to look at before choosing our leaders are not rocket science, it is revealed in their attitudes, words, diligence, commitments,” said Awosika.

Awosika concluded that the choice of a good leader does not dwell on his/her popularity but on the substance he gives which in turn justifies whether he has earned the trust of the people, which further helps you interrogate his persona based on his character and attitude.

Kola Adesina, group managing director, Sahara Power Group emphasised that Nigeria has several economic and developmental issues because there exists a distorted value system.

“A true leader does not divide but brings together the vulnerability of his people and look for solutions.”

“We cannot continue blaming colonialism for our issues in Africa is not helping, we need to adequately address the issues of conflicts in our societies,” said Karuti kanyinga, a professor of development studies at University of Nairobi.

To explain the role of a good follower, Winhin Jemide, a multi-portfolio entrepreneur said “you need to know who you are following and be comfortable with your leader.”

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