ABUJA, Nigeria – Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, says the unwillingness of persons in corridors of power to tell leaders truth about issues and the unwillingness of leaders themselves to hear the truth, are some of the major problems confronting leadership in Nigeria.
Zulum who was guest lecturer at the National Defence College, Abuja on Tuesday, was frank in engaging his audience; participants of Course 28, amongst them military officers and civilian policy makers from Nigeria and other foreign countries.
Speaking on a paper titled, “Strategic Leadership: The Challenges of Insurgency in Borno State” Zulum discussed different aspects of strategic leadership, situating them with Nigeria’s in the last 50 years.
The Borno helmsman gave his account of experience working as commissioner from 2011 to 2015 and as governor in the last eight months.
“A strategic leader must be a strategic listener and reader. A strategic thinker must also be a strategic learner.
“A strategic leader must be willing to hear the truth and to learn. However, telling the truth and accepting the truth has been our major problems in Nigeria.
“Some people will never tell you the truth when you are in power and honestly, many of us in power also do not want to hear the truth, we prefer to be told what we like to hear and that is a serious deficit in strategic leadership,” he said.
Zulum enumerated issues relating to the Boko Haram challenges and listed destructions caused by the insurgents including the emergence of 59,311 orphans whose fathers were killed and 59,213 widows that lost husbands to the insurgency in different parts of the state.
He acquainted the audience with his immediate, short and long term strategic plan, in confronting the challenges from all fronts that include investing heavily on security, enrolling out of school children into existing and new mega schools, placing a ban against political thuggery with jobs being created as alternative.
Commandant of the College, Rear Admiral MM Kadiri, and the College Director of Studies, DG Prayero, who spoke separately, paid tributes to the Governor for his frank presentation and, exemplary style of leadership which they said, has earned him so much respect and admiration within the few months he has so far served the people of Borno State.