The Borno Governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, was guest lecturer at the National Defence College, in Abuja, Tuesday, with the governor being frank in engaging his audience, the participants of course 28, amongst them military officers and civilian policy makers from Nigeria and other foreign countries.
Zulum said, the unwillingness of persons in the 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.
The Governor, honoured an invitation by the college, to deliver a well researched paper with the title, “Strategic leadership: The challenges of Insurgency in Borno State” which was both academic and practical.
Zulum discussed different aspects of strategic leadership, situating them with Nigeria’s in the last 50 years and gave 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”, the Governor 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 Borno.
The Governor 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.
At the end of Zulum’s lecture, commandant of the college, Rear admiral M.M Kadiri, and the College’s Director of Studies, D.G Prayero, who spoke differently, paid tribute the Governor for his frank presentation and for his exemplary style of leadership which they said, have earned him so much respect and admiration within the few months he has so far served the people of Borno State.