The Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, on Thursday in Johannesburg, South Africa urged governments across the African continent to place emphasis on exemplary leadership and good governance as critical elements of sustainable development.
Uduaghan, in a paper, “Exemplary Leadership, Panacea for Social Re-engineering,” at the Security Watch Africa Award Lecture, observed that the problems of poverty, unemployment, infrastructural deficit among other prevalent social issues in the continent were attributable to the absence of those two critical elements.
The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN), explained that failure of governments results in deprivation of the citizens and thereby snowball to create insecurity in Africa.
He said: “Political leadership in post-independence Africa has been challenged with respect to providing vision and direction for the future.
“Although individual leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah and Julius Nyerere demonstrated clarity in the ways they wished their countries should be governed, many countries on the continent were not as fortunate.
“The lack of vision and foresight in some countries produce conflicts amongst leaders at the national and regional levels, as clashes between tribal and ethnic groups for political power became the order of the day just years after independence.
“The resulting conflicts produced immense carnage and the military establishments in some countries found it easy to stage coups that enabled them take over governments in several African states.
“Within the context of our contemporary world, leaders are needed to provide vision and confidence in a way that encourages followers to support the achievement of stated objectives.”
Uduaghan viewed an exemplary leader as “the one who exhibits the realities of purposeful, progressive and visionary governance.
“Exemplary leadership qualities are those attributes in a leader that help lead an organization to heights of success.
“Exemplary leadership is all about attitude, focus and winner’s instinct to lead a team and achieve success.”
An exemplary leader, he emphasised, must provide good governance that would result in sustainable development of his nation or state as the case may be.
Uduaghan said: “As a government, we came into office with a clear vision and mission as ensconced in our three point agenda of peace and security, human capital development and infrastructural development.
“Delta State is an oil producing State, which depends almost entirely on oil for its sustenance; our goal is to have a Delta State beyond oil.
“By this, we mean a state that is not entirely dependent on oil revenues for its sustenance.
“To achieve this, we are focusing on agriculture and agro-based industries, tourism and industrialization.