Why Africa should groom selfless, transformational leaders – Obasanjo

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Tuesday, said Africa must begin to groom selfless and transformational leaders to move the continent forward.

Obasanjo spoke in Abeokuta at an event organised to mark his 87th birthday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event also witnessed the launching of the Olusegun Obasanjo Leadership Institute (OOLI), an arm of the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) and his new book titled: “The Art of Leading: Unconventional Wisdom from Biblical”.

Obasanjo said it was important to groom new leaders who would be selfless and willing to sacrifice for the greater good of Africa.

“Leadership is preeminent in anything we do and if leadership is preeminent in anything we do, how do we recruit?, how do we train? and how do we nurture leaders in all works of life?

“Leaders that will be transformational instead of transactional, leaders that will be servant leaders, sacrificial.

“In addition to writing books and talking about it, what do we need to inculcate? what do we need to make people absorb leadership tenets.

“Leadership principles and factors that will make us move fast and move far together and that is what Olusegun Obasanjo Leadership Institute is about, ” Obasanjo said.

The former president also called for the adoption of an African-style democracy that would be sufficiently African in content and recognise its culture and history.

He said the adoption of Western liberal democracy gave room for electoral malpractice and encouraged politicians to win elections by “hook or crook”.

“We are rethinking liberal democracy because if it is relevant to their culture and their history, what they have given us is not relevant to our culture and to our history,” he said.

Also, a former President of Ghana, John Mahama, called on African leaders to practice all inclusive democracy that accommodate views of the oppositions.

According to him, effective leadership is important and it is one that continues to make progress even in the face of challenges.

NAN reports that the event was attended by former President Goodluck Jonathan and the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Mathew Kukah.

Others dignitaries include Gov. Dapo Abiodun of Ogun, Gov. Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau and Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa.