We Must Do Everything Together:
Of all the factors I have listed the most important determinant of success of reform is leadership. Leadership in this context captures vision, competence and morality. Leadership is not about projecting power. It is about communicating commitment and dedication. Leaders make people do what ordinarily they would not do. They mobilize people to do the difficult work required for real and lasting change. In the context of reform leadership must be transformational. Transformational leadership is a leadership that is value-based and purposive. It is a leadership that models change in a compelling and persuasive manner.
We need such leadership to get off the track of reform. Nigerians are fascinated about the success story of Singapore and other Asian countries that have posted strong growth in a short period. But they fail to get the message clear that what makes the difference is not so much the varieties of policies as much as the quality of leadership. Leaders like Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and General Park of South Korea embodied the message of change and communicated transformation through the synchronism of words and deeds. They walked the talk. They were sincere in fighting corruption. They were true patriots who loved the countries dearly and were prepared to sacrifice for the good of their countries. These leaders, after changing the fortunes of their countries did not become millionaires. They did not loot their countries because they had the opportunity.
Let me end on this note. Reform is not a tea-party. It is a hard work that requires great passion, high intellect, incandescent faith and overflowing charisma. Reformers must be tough guys who communicate with a smile. Reformers are pragmatic idealists who see a vision in the day time. Above all, reform will not succeed except there is a strong community intensely and unrelentingly demanding for reform. The biggest challenge for true reformers is to build such a community
About Dr Sam Amadi
Dr Sam Amadi, a policy strategist and law and governance expert, is a senior lecturer and head of public law at Baze University, Abuja. He was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies from 2016-2018. He was Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) between 2010 and 2015, where he led a team of management and staff through the rigorous task of reforming the Nigerian electricity industry.