“Addressing the Leadership Question in Nigeria is no cakewalk….” Graduating Students
After weeks of intense training on leadership, its challenges, decision-making and national development, graduating students of Covenant University are expected to engage in case study situations as a group and proffer practical solutions to cases that border on leadership and development.
The case study phase will see the students in their various groups visit different units, departments, colleges and establishments in the University to study their leadership structures and their challenges and prescribe solutions to those challenges.
While participants of the class were unanimous that tackling the leadership question and developmental issues the nation is currently battling with is going to be a herculean task, there was nevertheless a new determination showing that these issues were surmountable.
According to them, despite the rot in the system, dereliction of duty, criminal malfeasance, political brinkmanship and corruption in the land, the nation can still come out of the doldrums to become a beacon of hope to the black race, if only the citizenry could start taking small but bold steps in the right direction.
At a roundtable discussion during the rounding off session of the inaugural edition of the programme, the students commended the Chancellor and University Management for creating such a unique forum for them to get acquainted, first hand, with the knotty issues of leadership, with Africa in focus.
According to some of the students, for the first time they have been availed the opportunity to understand in a deeper context the issues facing the black race, especially Nigeria, and propose solutions to questions hampering her development. They are of the view that, most times, what many ponder on are the plethora of problems and challenges facing the nation, with no solutions proffered.
They noted that the Leadership Certificate Programme has built in them capacities that are relevant not only for those going into government and business, but also for different facets of life. The Student Council Chairman, Mr. Uyi Osadolor, said that the programme coming now is a pointer that he is on the part to destiny.
According to him, “I have promised that I will not just go about life like any other individual. It is my desire to get involved in governance in my country and I look forward to impacting my country and my world as soon as I get out there.”
Emem Samson Patrick, a final year student in the Department of Architecture said the experience of the eight weeks intensive teaching has been a worthwhile investment for him. He testified that the matter-of-fact approach that the resource persons employed in tracing the challenges facing leaders was inspiring and has successfully challenged him to initiate moves that would put Nigeria in the limelight.
According to him, a dais has been established for every one participant of the Leadership Certificate Programme to see beyond the tribalistic agenda to pushing for a national integration and it would be a thing of joy to play a part in giving Nigeria a positive identity in the comity of nations.
The graduating students said the experience garnered from the session has instilled in them the tendency to question the status quo or become conformists to policy drive that has crippled the nation, all in the quest to make Nigeria attain her rightful place on the global stage.
According to them the leadership programme really helped them, in practical terms, to come to reality about the good intent of the leaders of old who stood up against colonialism and were guided by pure altruism in their aspiration to political office. The Leadership Certificate Programme was able to show them that being honour-bound and duty-driven is foundational for aspiring to leadership, though not enough as it still requires a strong will to abide its practical challenges.
Other areas that were recurring points in the discussion and interaction during the Leadership Programme were provoking the students to come out of their stereotypes and begin to think and reason constructively towards national growth and development.
Furthermore, the session helped the students recognize the negative and positive side of tribalism in nation building, the rights and aspirations of minority groups and their importance in nation building and conflict management.
The students solicited that subsequently the programme should be aligned alongside the Towards a Total Graduate (TTG) programme, so that students could maximize the accruable benefits from the scheme. In addition, they appreciated the privilege to interact with some individuals they have never been able to relate with before and learning something new about leadership.
The current set of graduating students is the first to take part of the Covenant University Leadership Certificate Programme, which was flagged off on January 15, 2014 by the Chancellor, Dr. David Oyedepo, in a bid to help them come to terms with some of the mind-boggling issues affecting the nation. The programme is being steered by the Covenant University Africa Leadership Development Centre (ALDC).