By Job Osazuwa
Former chairman of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) chapter, Mrs. Ann Dozie, has identified lack of quality leadership as a major obstacle to Nigeria’s development.
She said it was unfortunate that Nigeria, after almost 57 years of independence, was still far behind on the lane of progress among nations of the world. However, she expressed optimism that the wrongs could be corrected, if all hands were on deck to preach and practise leadership par excellence.
Demonstrating her belief, Dozie, while marking her 39th birthday at Virgin Rose Resort, Victoria Island, Lagos, recently, converted the ceremony to a leadership talk forum. Resource persons were drawn from different fields to chart a way for Nigeria’s political/socio-economic future.
On why she chose the topic, “Leadership,” Dozie said she saw a huge gap and misconception by many people on what leadership was all about. While she was meditating on the best way to celebrate her birthday, she told the reporter, she received divine inspiration to discuss leadership.
“My birthday this year is done exactly as it was commanded from above. In the past, l always celebrated with the less-privileged, sharing the little I have with them. But this year, God asked me to gather leaders to talk to young and old on the importance of leadership. I wanted to celebrate it like every other birthday but my colleagues kept telling me to do something different; then l knew it was a confirmation of what God had already told me. Immediately I accepted to do it this way, I had peace of mind,” Dozie said.
Declaring the discussion session open, the Lagos State Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Ogunremi Francis, said leadership position comes with internal and external challenges, compelling the leader to proffer solutions, thereby giving the led a sense of belonging.
He said it was unfortunate that many people in leadership positions fail to realise that leadership was all about stewardship to improve lives. He added that a true leader must be able to recognise individual strengths and weaknesses and manage them to achieve best results.
An official of the DPR, Mrs. Pat Maseli, said leadership was nothing other than selfless service to humanity. She noted that a leader must be visionary and influential. She pointed out that, a leader, like Jesus Christ, must sacrifice his time and resources, see a vision and lead others to benefit from it.
Another speaker, Mr. Uzo Ogbonna, criticised those who ascribe leadership solely to those in the corridors of power, insisting that every individual is a leader in his or her own capacity.
“Leadership is the hunger to do something that is right. It is not a position but an expectation. Everyone performs one leadership role or the other,” he said.
Ogbonna described Dozie as a focused, energetic motivator and goal-getter. He said she had the charisma to take up any leadership position and deliver efficiently.
“With Dozie, anything can happen. There is hardly anything she does that surprises me because she has the vision to get what she wants in life. I see her becoming a director-general or minister in the near future, because she has what it takes,” he said.
With the number of people who spoke on the topic, the celebrant sounded optimistic that the discussions would go a long way in positively impacting lives and the society at large.
“When l was growing up, l cried a lot when I saw what leaders ought to have done but failed to do. That passion is still burning in me till date. I am somebody that wants things done the right way and I don’t think that it should be difficult for anybody to do. To God be the glory, when l left as PENGASSAN chairman, l had 18 achievements, even though my colleagues said they were more than 18.
“I don’t believe in the saying that what a man can do, a woman can do better. Simply give the man his place and give the woman her own place. There should be a platform for everyone to thrive,” she said.
In her words, she could not escape organising the event, considering how God had rescued her from many dangerous situations in the last 12 months. One incident she would not forget soon was when her residence caught fire while she and her family were asleep around 2am.
At 39, Dozie said she believed she was going places, and that the tasks ahead were bigger. She was confident that she would succeed through the grace of God.
According to friends, Dozie’s passion for the less privileged is a force that has driven her to donate to the aged, orphanages, widows, widowers, and the church.
Dozie told the reporter that her stewardship in the kingdom business and her penchant for promoting humanity was the reason God has been blessing her beyond measure.