From Chuks Onuoha, Aba
A former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd) has bemoaned the unending security crisis in the country, saying the challenges have disrupted the country’s socio-economic well being and are threatening its corporate existence. He explained that the dwindling resources, massive unemployment, youth restiveness, activities of bandits, gunmen and kidnappers, have all combined to usher in an unacceptable level of insecurity in the country.
He stated that the problem of Nigeria is basically leadership at various levels, starting with the family. He advised leaders to rise to the occasion by solving the nation’s challenges before they getsout of hand. The former Army boss, who spoke in Umuahia, said Nigerians were in distress. He charged all leaders in the country to show compassion to the people in this period.
He said that people had hoped that with the end of the cold war, there would unprecedented peace. He regretted that there has been a rise in conflicts, particularly internal conflicts in third world countries.
“Whenever things go wrong, one of the questions on people’s lips is usually, ‘where are our leaders?’ In other words it is expected that with the right leaders in place, things would go well.
“The foregoing implies that leadership goes with a lot of responsibilities and to withstand them, a leader should be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually strong. He should be sound in his chosen profession and should be ready to accept blames. Over the years, scholars have articulated some of these into a list of attributes which every leader should possess,” he said. He emphasised that a leader should be visionary, noting that visionary leaders are essential at all echelons of an organisation.
“By this, a leader is expected to possess the ability to see ahead,” he explained.
He asserted that the leader must see pitfalls along the way and start early enough to provide or improve means for scaling the obstacles. In his words, being visionary enables a leader to interpret present events with a view to predicting the future and taking appropriate measures to address issues that may come up.