By Angela Atabo
The Princeton Leadership Forum on Wednesday called for sustainable mentorship of students and young people with a view to position them to be great future leaders of Nigeria.
Dr Chibuike Echem, president of the forum (PLF), made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of a Leadership class for the Students and Prefects of Britach Secondary school, Lugbe-Abuja.
Echem said the leadership masterclass was the forum’s first edition booth camp targeted at prefects of secondary schools across the country to empower the students with the requisite leadership skills for effective engagement.
He said: “We believe there is need for us to begin to focus effort towards the re-engineering of our leadership architecture in Nigeria, how we breed and produce our leaders.
“We believe that it is time for us to begin to create a mentorship structure to impact young people.
“For example, what you have here are prefects from different schools coming together to be thought on problem solving, emotional intelligence among others.
“So, what Princeton is doing is bridging the leadership gap by bringing these young people together and teaching them these foundational principles of leadership.
“This is because it is said that everything rises and falls on leadership because a healthy nation is a product of the structure of her leadership.”
Mrs Hauwa Shehu, Co-Founder/Business Development Officer, Noor pain De vie Services Ltd, said that the students were taught on how to interpret their emotions as well as those of the people around them.
She said: “This programme being held by Princeton gives them the best opportunity to become the best leaders that they could be in the future.
“Sorting them out young is the best move that anybody can make.
“We keep talking about changing Nigeria, and we need to start while they are still young so that the leaders that turn up tomorrow will be better than what we have today.
“This is probably the best move you can make for any child in life. Start them out young, teach them how to be better persons, teach them how to master their emotions and teach them how to lead better and you would have done your job as parents.”
Mr Chibuzo Okereke, Legislative and Policy Expert Leadership Coach, said the aim of the event was to catch young people early to inculcate leadership skills in them.
“Leadership is critical worldwide to building nations, societies and families.
“So, we designed this programme specially to target young leaders who may not even understand what leadership is about but they found themselves in leadership positions.
“This boot camp is to equip them with relevant skills and principles of leadership, emotional intelligence, problem solving skills, personal and interpersonal relationships, and communication skills among others,” he added.
Some of the participants who spoke with NAN commended the organisers of the programme for the initiative.
Miss Kamsi Okafor, Head Girl, Britach Secondary School, Abuja said she learnt a lot from the boot camp and would apply the knowledge positively.
“I have learnt a lot; I learnt about how the power of your behaviour affects leadership, how not to be a dictator, how to carry people along and its a good experience.
“I believe that if I keep following this trajectory wherever I go in life I will keep on prospering,” she said.
Mr Clement Desmond, Head Boy of the school commended the forum for the initiative and promised to apply the knowledge in his future endeavours. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Deborah Coker/Bashir Rabe Mani