Professor Obayan Canvasses Extensive Family System, Dr. Oyedepo’s Leadership Ethos for National Growth

Professor Obayan Canvasses Extensive Family System, Dr. Oyedepo’s Leadership Ethos for National Growth

Professor Obayan Canvasses Extensive Family System, Dr. Oyedepo’s Leadership Ethos for National Growth

Professor Aize Obayan, delivering Covenant University’s 15th Inaugural Lecture on the topic “ Lengthening Cords and Strengthening Stakes: Leadership Praxis and transcendence in Counseling Practice”

A Professor of Multicultural Counselling, Professor Aize Obayan, has advocated that Nigeria should return to and take advantage of the African family system and values to rededicate the country to national ideals and values, with the first step being to reject western attempt to atomise the African family system to what they want to understand. (

According to her, genealogically, the African family orientation has nothing like the Extended Family System, as what exists is the Extensive Family System, which connects at different lines and levels. She declared that going back to the extensive family system will help responsive governments, leaders, institutions, teachers, counsellors, and corporate organisations to begin to engage the individual as a member of a network or family, which is extensive in nature and therefore connecting many others at different levels.

“If institutions come together, replicating the extensive family model in their operations, agency will be given to the model and a new dawn will break over Africa,” said Professor Obayan.

She gave this recommendation on Friday, April 6, 2018, at the 15th Inaugural Lecture of Covenant University, where she delivered the lecture titled, ‘Lengthening Cords and Strengthening Stakes: Leadership Praxis and Transcendence in Counselling Practice’.

Prominent amongst members of the audience at the University Chapel venue of the inaugural lecture were the Chancellor and Chairman, Board of Regents, Covenant University, Dr. David O. Oyedepo, the Vice-President (Education), Living Faith Church Worldwide, Pastor (Mrs) Faith Oyedepo, members of the University Management, and the University Senate.

The title of the inaugural lecture, said Professor Obayan, took its bearing from the intersections between leadership practice and transcendence in counselling practice, which is embedded in her life, academic and professional journeys. She said that while the concept of lengthening cords refers to the intertwining cords that make up the bastion of support that the extensive family system provides in its lengthened form, the stakes to strengthen include leadership development, education, and governance, the three concentric within which nationhood is built.

While affirming that leadership practice is evident in the quality of service that a leader renders and not the celebration of the position, the inaugural lecturer, who is currently the Director, African Leadership Development Centre (ALDC) at Covenant University, said that the ALDC leadership observatory had in conjunction with the Leadership Research Cluster of the University investigated its leadership cosmos and came up with phenomenal insights into the practice and art of leadership in existential dimensions, which was tagged the ‘Oyedeporian Model of Leadership’.

Professor Obayan, who was the second substantive Vice-Chancellor of Covenant University, explained that “The epistemological base of the Oyedeporian leadership model is people-centered and solution-focused, with the core of leadership being the practice of leadership, situated in Spirituality”.

She postulated that to save Nigeria, greater attention must be paid to the family and parenting structures, child-rearing practices, mind formation, the role of schools, parents, and significant others to identify the formation of a child, engagement with purpose, and specific callings in actualising their destinies.

In his remarks, the Chancellor, Dr. David O. Oyedepo, described the lecture as an exhaustive and explorative input in the subject of counseling and leadership development. While noting that Nigerians and nay Africans in general are victims of unskilled leadership at all levels, namely family, business, and career levels, the Chancellor said that, “veritable leadership will have to rise to address the challenge of this situation that confronts us”.

He thanked the inaugural lecturer for a job well done and urged her to explore how best to accelerate development at all levels and at all cost, because there is nothing in life without a cost.

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero, had in his welcome remarks said that Covenant University’s 15th Inaugural Lecture highlighted the values embedded in the African family system that should be strengthened and harnessed in Nigeria’s quest for national development. He emphasised that the extensive African family system is a model of developmental networks that connect people at various levels to strengthen national ideals and values in fostering responsible and responsive citizens, leadership, and institutions.

While acknowledging that one of the major impediments to Africa’s development is visionary leadership, Professor Atayero said that the day’s lecture was embedded with the potency to rescue Nigeria and the continent from leadership disappointment being currently experienced.

Also at the inaugural lecture were members of faculty, staff, and students of Covenant University, family of the inaugural lecturer, and distinguished guests.

Click here for more images