BY UBON EKANEM, CALABAR – Former Governor of Cross River State, Dr Donald Duke has warned that Nigeria will remain in the backwaters of underdevelopment if Nigerian leaders fail to imbibe the virtues of Servant leadership.
For him, only an urgent but sustained change in leadership style and orientation can position the country to take it rightful place among the comity of Nations.
Speaking at the maiden edition of Leader Olumba Olumba Obu of the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star religious sect Lecture series in Calabar, Duke said among the major problems inhibiting Nigeria’s growth and development is that people in leadership positions easily escape the consequences of their actions even when such actions infringe on laws of the land and overall interest of the people.
In a Presentation titled: “Servant Leadership and Meekness in Mightiness”, Duke said; “a situation where we preach rule of law as enshrined in our constitution but turn around to disobey court orders and treat them with disdain does not augur well for the country in its quest to join the big league nations.”
According to him, “we cannot develop as a nation as long as we continue to antagonize each other because such tendencies impact negatively on the growth of our nation.”
Duke, who governed the State between 1999 and 2007, also identify self ego, personal aggrandisement and lack of continuity in existing developmental policies by each succeeding administration as part of the systemic failure.
“Experience has shown that shortly after every election circle, new leaders emerge with completely new policies, irrespective of the genuineness of purpose of existing policies programmes and projects”, he said.
The former Governor, who introduced Urban Development Programmes encompassing clean and green serenity of the state capital during his days in charge at Government House, urged Leaders, at all levels, to exhibit love towards the people they are leading.
He insisted that leaders must always display exemplary conduct “by not distancing themselves from the populace as the concept of servant leadership is best exemplified by our Lord Jesus Christ who practically demonstrated His love by dying on the Cross for the people He came to save from iniquity.”
Also delivering a keynote address at the occasion, Nigerian Ambassador to Uganda, Etubom (Dr) Nya Asuquo, commended Leader Olumba Olumba Obu for demonstrating true qualities of a servant leader, noting that his commitment and passion to the ideals that he preaches are certainly unequalled
Ambassador Nya Asuquo said the qualities that has endeared Leader Obu to his adherents and non-adherents are preaching love and practically demonstrating same in his purest form.
He said this is testified by the fact that no single libel suit has ever been instituted against those whose stock in trade had been to pour sustained venom and tirades against the personality of Leader Obu and the Brotherhood of the Cross and Star organization.
He likened the leadership qualities exhibited by Leader Obu to such great leaders as Dr Nelson Mandela of South Africa; Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana; Dr Martin Luther King; and Abraham Lincoln of USA among others, nothing that these men did not only make history but left behind divine legacies which has stood the test of time.
The Lecture series also witnessed the unveiling of “Everlasting Gospel Doctrines” of Leader Olumba Obu which is a concise interpretation of biblical teachings as enunciated by our Lord Jesus Christ.