Leadership is the ability to influence the decision of others, mainly the led, in order to achieve the set goals, in the short run, and objectives, in the long run. Leadership is such an important thing it should not be left in the hands of them who have yet to learn its art. Leadership is a deliberate act that requires strategies. It is a deliberate commitment to the objective.
To the Machiavellian leader,it really does not matter how objectives are achieved. What matters to such leadership is the realization of the objectives by whatever means. Machiavellian or materialistic leadership does not bother itself about what problems that may be created in the process. This is a kind of eye-on-the-ball leadership style. In management, it is said that no leadership style is better than the other, so long as the organisational goals and objectives are realized. But this kind of leadership seems to eschew wisdom as one of the strategic arts of leadership. Wisdom requires that in the process of seeking solutions, you do not create another problem. Anecdotally comparative to this is the philosophy behind Chinese herbal medicine and Western medicine. The Chinese believe in the ying-yang harmony of the body system and the fact that in treating ying, you do not have to harm yang. Western medicine on its own has no such consideration and that is why their drugs have side effects. In the worldview of my Nsukka people, such philosophy also obtains and that accounts for the proverbial saying that we should not trample Oyima to death while performing Iyianyi’s funerals. ‘Ajig’ kwakor’ Iyianyi zoogboo Oyima’. That is great wisdom that guides the search for solutions to challenges.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has this uncommon wisdom and it finds expression in every leadership question toTo which he answered: in the Maritime Committee he headed during his days in the House of Representatives, in the governance of Enugu State, in heading committees within his party, the People’s Democratic Party.
As the governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has continued to lead the state with prudent circumspection and wisdom. Ugwuanyi is highly cerebral and methodical. He is eagle-eyed and takes care to do even little things in order to ensure that not only are goals and objectives realized, but that things are also done in such a way that no other problem arises therefrom. How he combines this wisdom with courage, forthrightness and peaceful ambience remains a puzzle to many. It does appear there is no hard nut Ugwuanyi cannot crack and gain the kernel in it. He cracks it gingerly in such a way that neither the teeth nor the tongue is in any way hurt. In Nsukka cosmology, the epic name, Otakpo Okpurukpu, represents the thought on such heroism which Ugwuanyi exhibits with ease and perspicuity.
When recently Governor Ugwuanyi was appointed by his party, the People’s Democratic Party, to head the national zoning Committee of its national offices, some political thinkers thought it a booby trap laid on Ugwuanyi’s way. It was not as though the committee had the jurisdiction over the zoning of political offices like the presidency and all that. The committee was restricted to the national offices of the party, yet there is more to the committee than its terms of reference. The zoning of the national chairman of the party to either South or North has implications. Zoning the position to the South would mean that the North would present the presidential candidate of the party and vice versa. Besides party considerations, the North shall have ruled for eight years in 2023 when Muhammed Buhari shall have completed his second tenure and it clearly runs against equity for the North to produce the next president again irrespective of party affiliations and even the advantage of population on which any zone may pride itself.
Some traducers had gone dancing that Ugwuanyi had been boxed into a corner from where he might never come away into the political game. It was like the proverbial masquerade that beat Okoro Eyaka. If he stays put, trouble; should he run away, trouble. It did appear the load of the hope of the South was heaped on Ugwuanyi. How would he sleekly wriggle out of it without hurting the North with whom he had maintained a good relationship and his people of the South whose tenure it is to produce the next president of Nigeria?
Part of the challenge was the labyrinth of interests and aspirations crisscrossing the party’s landscape. For a party that plays opposition at the centre, it is clear the governors elected on its platform hold sway and some of them who claim to have given the party its financial muscle would want to dictate the tune to serve self interests. Saddled with all this, Ugwuanyi needed to come out with the thing with which he crosses seven hills and valleys. And indeed he came out with it and led the majority of the governors to vote in favour of equity thereby zoning the national chairmanship of the party to the North. Ugwuanyi could not have achieved this if he did not apply wisdom to power. He was able to wriggle out of the tight corner without ruffling feathers. Getting the governors and indeed members of the committee to speak with one voice despite their political interests is no mean feat.
Using power with wisdom guarantees the taking of the right decisions and engenders success. Ugwuanyi’s mastery of the art of leadership is highly commendable and it was for this reason that the PDP gave him this task of heading the zoning Committee, for who else could have brought peace to bear on the decision taken by the committee? Who else has the emotional balance and intelligence to waddle through the thorns and come away unscathed? None but Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the son of David.
Bibian Anekwe News added – If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.” .
By Reuben Onyishi