By Angela Atabo
The Federal Government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the insecurity challenges being presently faced by the country is addressed.
The Minister of Defence, Retired Maj.-Gen. Bashir Magashi spoke at the Bi-Annual Leadership Lecture and Graduation of the 14th set of students, Centre Leadership School/Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) on Saturday in Abuja.
Magashi was represented by Dr Smattah Musa, the Director, Army Affairs Department, Ministry of Defence.
According to the minister, the insecurity challenges will soon be a thing of the past and Nigerians will be able to go about their normal businesses without hindrances.
Magashi said that Nigeria was faced with myriads of security challenges virtually from all the geopolitical zones.
He listed some of the challenges to include communal conflicts, herders/farmers clash, and insurgency among others.
“These challenges always manifest in serious humanitarian crisis and a threat to national security to the extent of threatening the cooperate existence of the country.
“Some of the solutions to this security threats are multidimensional in nature that involved both kinetic means which includes but not limited to strategic leadership and sustainable development framework.
“To this end as leaders, I hope you are prepared to contribute your quota by taking up the responsibilities and challenges that is expected of you, particularly at this critical point,’’ he urged the graduants.
The minister also commended the centre for its commitment toward developing the capacity of the country’s future leaders.
“I look forward to not only establishing a closer relationship with you as professionals but also in efforts toward tackling the country’s security challenges.”
Earlier, Dr Otive Igbuzor, the Founding Executive Director of the centre, said that the centre and KAS had been working for 12 years to build the capacity of youths in the country.
Igbuzor said that when the idea of the leadership school was conceived in 2009, there were few training programmes and 12 years later, the diagnosis of leadership failure as one of the reasons for the under development of Africa was confirmed.
“I am happy to note that we have graduated 1, 248 students to date, our vision is to produce a critical mass of leaders that will change the trajectory of leadership in Nigeria and other parts of Africa,’’ he said.
Igbuzor commended the staff as well as the lecturers and faculty members of the school for their selfless service teaching without pay for 13 years.
He also congratulated the students and urged them to put into use what they had learnt to improve themselves and contribute their quota to the development of the country.
The Chairperson of the occasion, Nkem Izuako, former Judge, United Nations Dispute Tribunal, in Nairobi Kenya, commended the centre for its efforts toward building the capacity of the youth in terms of leadership.
According to her, leadership is the bane of many Nigerian and African institutions and urged the graduants to take up the responsibility of changing the narrative.
“As you go out, you have a responsibility to be the salt of the earth and the yeast that leavens the bread, that is a responsibility that you cannot joke with,’’ she said.
The Guest Speaker, Dr Iroro Izu, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Abuja, said that the topic of the lecture, “ Leadership, Security and Nigeria’s Development” was apt.
Izu said that this was because leadership challenge remained the single most decisive element or ingredient in a nation’s quest to develop and secure peace within its borders and beyond.
He said that insecurity in Nigeria had led to some dismal realities which directly or indirectly affected national development.
As a result, he said that Nigeria needed responsive leaders that would rise to the demands of the electorate.
“What Nigeria needs is leadership rejigging far more than citizen re-orientation because in my considered opinion, Nigerian citizens are very loyal, creative and patriotic when put in conditions where their basic physiological needs are regularly met.”
Mr Monday Osasah, the Executive Director of the Centre, said that the centre’s leadership school was designed for people who want to become leaders and be equipped with leadership skills for transformation of organisations and the society.
Osasah said that the school provided students with tools and ways to have vision for leadership and become better leaders.
He added that the school runs for a period of one year free of charge so it could reach people, adding that the school reached out to tertiary institutions for collaborations for diplomats as well as awards of degrees.
According to Osasah, the centre has also established branches in Warri, Benin and Port Harcourt as well as in Plateau, and would soon commence operations.
He noted that the theme for this year’s lecture was carefully chosen to address the current security challenges facing the country. (NAN)