SENATOR ABBA MORO LECTURE AT NDA: INTER-SECTIONALITY OF STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND SECURITY IN NIGERIA

By Samson Otokpa

The event was the 7th Strategic Lecture Series Organized By The Centre For The Study Of Leadership And Complex Military Operations, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna.

Senator Moro is the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Army.

Details of his presentation below:

INTER-SECTIONALITY OF STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP, GOOD GOVERNANCE AND SECURITY IN NIGERIA

INTRODUCTION

The trajectory of interconnectivity in concepts and operation of leadership, good governance and security is reasonably obvious.

Effective leadership empowers a people to maximize productivity; and good governance both as a process and arrangement ensures orderliness, acceptable standards of allocation of resources within a legal framework while security guarantees environment for human enterprises. Underlining all the sectors is the fact that, as Albert Einstein posited “We can’t solve problems using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them”. In essence, to be able to solve problems credibly and move ahead, we need to interpret the world around us with fresh insight and vision. This is the kernel of what strategic leadership, good governance and secure spheres amount to. This paper is largely an analysis of the issues, especially to highlight the intercession in leadership, governance and security discussions for a better understanding of the Nigerian situation.

What is Inter-sectionality?

Inter-Sectionality was coined in 1989 by Kimberle Crenshaw to describe how race, class, gender and other individual characteristics interact with one another. Three decades back the term was just simply a relatively obscure legal concept but in recent times, given the dynamic nature of the trajectory of human interactions, especially as it related to racially sensitive dispositions; it has become very potent and even held in disdain.
By definition, interest is to cut or divide by passing through or crossing but the Oxford Dictionary defines inter-sectionality as “the interconnected nature of social categorization such as race, class and gender regarded as creating overlapping and inter-dependent options of discrimination or disadvantage”. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines inter-sectionality as “the complex, cumulative way which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism and classism) combine, overlap or intersect, especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups” Inter-sectionality is thus an analytical framework for understanding how aspects of a person’s social and political identity combine to create different modes of discrimination and privilege.
For the purpose of this paper, we are invited to see the inter-connected nature of strategic leadership, good governance and security; their combination or interest in creating different modes which could advance the cause of growth and development in Nigeria. The thinking is that leadership, governance and security are best understood as overlapping and mutually constitutive rather than isolated and distinct.

Leadership

We shall first attempt a broad explanation of various strands of leadership styles/theories to be able to focus critically at strategic leadership. Studies on Leadership over the decades, whether in public or private organizations, show that there are various theories/approaches to analyzing leadership. Here the attention will be on core ones which reflect, in summary, the key postulations on the study of leadership which hinge on the sum total of roles and responsibilities and inter-personal influences. These are:


(a) Trait Theory: It is postulated that some personality traits may lead people naturally into leadership roles. Traits such as confidence, charisma, knowledge, etc may help individuals to become effective but relying on them may not always help them to motivate people to achieve stated goals. It is difficult to also establish traits that should be common to all leaders e.g. Mahatma Gandhi and Jawahnlal Nehru of India were great persons but their personalities had distinctly different characteristics.

(b) Behavioural Theories: These identify specific behaviours of leaders that lead to success such as demonstration of task-oriented or people-oriented behaviours.
Such behaviours influence leaders’ decision using authorization, democratic or liaises-faire styles but all may produce varied results under different circumstances in the behavior of the leaders.

(c) Contingency Theories: Fills up the gap in the behavioural theory which overlooked situational factors and environment. The theory notes that effectiveness of leadership is related to the interplay of the leaders’. Traits, behavior and other situation factors.

A crisis or important event may cause a person to rise to the occasion which brings out extra-ordinary leadership qualities (often referred to as the Great Events Theory).

(d) Charismatic Leadership Theory: That the leader commands authority not necessarily by the virtue of a formal position but by the virtue of charismatic personality. Three core components of charismatic leadership are: Envisioning, Empathy and Empowerment.

(e) Transactional Leadership Theory: Bases leadership on a system of rewards and punishment. Emphasizes contractual agreement and extrinsic motivators, e.g. money, job, security, benefit.


Provides clear relationship between task and reward. This could stymie innovation and autonomy. Usually, such a leader operates within the traditional or existing political institutes and fundamental changes are not in the consideration of such leaders’ actions.

(f) Autocratic Leaders: They are classic micro-managers, taking responsibilities for all decision making quickly and firmly but are largely resented because they monopolize time and draw attention away from important things.

(g) Intimidatory Leader: He/she relies primarily on fear and instruments of coercion to assert his/her authority and specializes in the use and/or threat of the use of force to extract compliance from followers. In the other view, they are called dictators.

(h) Patriarchal Leader: He/she commands neo-filial reverence, near-father figure (e.g. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere).

(d) Democratic Leader: He/she involves the team in decision-making, allowing everyone to have a say.

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