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Governance training should be prerequisite for political leadership – Toye Sobande

As the country marches forward to another electoral deciding point come 2023, seasoned leadership expert and lawyer, Toye Sobande, has clamoured that aspiring political office holders should receive governance training before deciding to contest at elections.

Sobande, who is the founder of Stephens School of Governance, argued that this governance training is necessary to help these politicians “navigate the politics of delivering development in Nigeria’s highly unequal and impoverished contexts” while guarding against the incessant potholes experienced by previous leaders.

He emphasized that governance training is most needed by young individuals, who are the future of Nigeria’s leadership.

“Governance training is crucial to Nigeria, as a country. At Stephens School of Governance, we work towards transforming the political landscape and public sector through education and building the Nigeria, we all want to live in. We will do this by teaching individuals within the ages of 18 and 45 the required skills that will help them navigate their political aspirations with confidence and purpose,” Sobande said.

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“The participants will learn about how Nigeria works in the broad arena of governance, and, how to navigate the politics of delivering development in Nigeria’s highly unequal and impoverished contexts. The primary purpose is to produce knowledge about how Nigerian public and development institutions are governed and managed,” he said.

He also announced that his school would focus on covering areas such as formation and administration of political parties, policy development, political strategies, fund-raising and financing election, public speaking, media management, history of politics in Nigeria, grassroots mobilization, political campaign/electioneering process, developing political ideology, leadership development, building systems and structures, strategic leadership, among others.

According to Sobande, governance training rests beyond the four walls of a classroom.

He said his school also expands the reach by “making political education relevant to all people by hosting regular public dialogues, debates, workshops, and talks”.

“To this end, we form partnerships with different organizations, including those outside the education sector, to ensure that political education translates into politically relevant action,” he said.

The Stephens School of Governance also provides an online learning experience that will provide the opportunity for aspirants to advance their political career with occupationally relevant online offerings that equip them with skills and knowledge that can be applied immediately. These online offerings are flexibly designed to fit into the lifestyle of the participants, so that they can study within their schedule, no matter where they are located.

Sobande, a legal luminary, has shown brilliance in the legal and leadership frontlines. He has an extensive record of outstanding leadership experience, from his days as class governor and school prefect, in primary school, to his numerous stints as an adolescent in the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) where he worked in various executive capacities. During his youth service days, he worked as the founder/president, The Navigators NYSC Project – (coaching and training for Youth Corps Members on Career Development and Workplace Skills), in Owerri, Imo State.

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