Former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim has said that one of the things that would see Nigeria out of its present sociopolitical quagmire is the adoption of Nnamdi Azikiwe leadership styles.
He stated this while being conferred with the 2020 Zik’s Prize in Political Leadership at the Eko Hotel, Lagos.
The event held on November 7. According to him, “the revered Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, exemplified principled, committed and focused leadership”. He said Zik was an outstanding and charismatic leader, a passionate patriot; an unapologetic nationalist; a relentless defender of justice and an ardent believer in the unity of Nigeria.
To return the country to her glorious days, Anyim challenged that “Nigeria now, more than ever before, is in urgent need of men and women who will think, act and live like Zik and his fellow nationalists”. This is because, Zik and his fellow nationalists were guided in their actions by what was the best for the citizens of Nigeria.”
According to Anyim, Zik’s ilk provided leadership that inspired their followers, and though they faced daunting challenges Anyim believed they overcame them and still achieved their objectives because of their commitment to building a United nation and because they also understood that nation building is an arduous task that calls for sacrifices, patience, tolerance, accommodation and consensus building. He said the way forward for Nigeria at this point is to imbibe the spirit that guided our leaders in the past. However, Anyim regretted that while Zik and his compatriots founded Nigeria on the principle of unity in diversity, he said “we are now more divided than ever in our history.”
He however believes that Zik leadership model will help Nigeria out of its present challenges, if the nation’s leadership will adopt the approaches beyond the ordinary that will cope with these challenges. He submits, “We need leadership that will change these challenges to a success story”. Outlining further steps that will lead Nigeria out of its present state, Anyim further stated that civic engagement of the citizens would become inescapable for any leaders in the 2nd quarter of the 21st Century just as he believes that our solution lies in the hands of leaders who must connect and engage with the people especially the youths. Such leaders, he said, must place the youths at the center of every nation building effort in order to move them from what he described as their current valley of despair to the height of their potentials. We need leaders, he continued, that can build societal consensus, repair our broken social fabrics and show deep empathy for all Nigerians that are suffering deprivation, poverty and want of any kind. He concludes that they must be visionary and ready to keep pace with contemporary social, economic and technological changes. The ideal Nigerian leaders of 21 century, Anyim maintained must be pragmatic and result-driven in dealing with security, education, health and other myriad of challenges that confront our nation. Accordingly, Anyim described the Zik award as a spur to offer more services to our fatherland as never before by those who received it. Taking the gauntlet, he boldly stated, “I am pleased to lead the charge, so that, together with other good men and women we will lead and reunite Nigeria and We will heal our wounds and prosper our people in the years ahead.”