Past Welfare Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Adesina Adegbite has listed the top requirements of good leaders saying that elected officials should perceive themselves as trustees with a sense of serving for a cause and this calls for a renewed focus.
Mr Adegbite said this in a paper delivered at the ongoing Law Week of NBA Ikeja Branch titled: Governance as a call to Service
“For a political office holder or a leader in government to appreciate and see governance as a call to service, such person must first possess or rather, be endowed with leadership credentials. I will approach my presentation by analysing some of the credentials of a leader that would see governance as a Call to Service,” he said.
Adesina outlined these qualities that are vital and significant motivator to the concept of governance as a call to serve thus:
1.Capacity – The first thing any person to be saddled with leadership position must possess is his/her capacity to carry out the functions and responsibilities of the office being sought.
2. Vision– A man without a vision is blind and cannot navigate a leadership position. It takes only a man with vision to lead and govern effectively . Therefore, anyone who desires to lead must be visionary.
3. Preparation – A leader must be adequately prepared before taken up the mantle of leadership. He must be well equipped with necessary tools including human and material resources. He must also be mentally, emotionally and physically prepared to govern. A leader who is not well prepared is not likely to deliver remarkable service to the governed.
4. Good intention/sincerity of purpose/integrity – This is an attribute that every leader must possess. There is no alternative to it.
5. Focus– A leader must ensure he gives governance an undiluted attention. He must be forthright with the implementation of his decisions and policies. He must resist being intimidated by godfathers or opposition party and avoid being misled by the criticisms of detractors.
6. Understanding of the ideals of service – A leader must appreciate the importance of service and what it entails to be in position of authority. He must be able to use his position to affect the policy
7. Participatory policy
Transparency is built on the free flow of information. Governance must not be d ok me in secrecy. For governance to be viewed as a call to service, the process of governance must be transparent.
Decision-makers in government, the private sector and civil society organisations are all involved in governance and must all be accountable to the public. Accountability is one of the attributes a leader who has offered himself to serve the people must possess. Every citizenry must demand accountability from their prospective and elected leaders.
I conclude by making allusion to the 4 Way Test that Rotary International prescribed for it’s members to imbibe and apply in all their endeavours, i. e., what they think, say or do.
The Rotary 4 Way Test:
- Is it the truth?
- Is it fair to all concerned?
- Will it build goodwill and better friendship?
- Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
He stated that public-minded individual must use his or her calling through the medium of public service to help restore the sacredness of public service as a public trust, and can satisfy his or her search for self-fulfillment through this redefined concept.
Adesina concluded that “My belief is that, if every leader lives by the dictates of the Rotary 4 Way Test, they will constantly and consciously see governance as a call to service and our society will be better for it.”