January 31st, 2011
Suddenly the country in a
much tiny way saw what it means to move the acts of
governance forward not just with empty or hollow words but
with words flowing with actions. Those who in the future
seek national or state office could learn from Prince Sam
Obi, the current Speaker of Delta State who served as
interim Delta state Governor sometime in November, 2010 to
the beginning of January, 2011.
Within three months Obi, as an acting Governor was
governance-focused both in his words and actions.
It has been a very long time that the public saw a leader
making a public pledge, and putting ideas out openly,
fearlessly, and unwaveringly in a striking and unflinching
Nigeria is now trying to find its self in the face of
innumerable threats to economic security, institutional
health and political stability. But here is the good news.
The ex-acting Governor has
given us tips and ways that could reduce the sucking of the
nation’s capital and has helped open new routes to
exercising better leadership in government and in society.
In an introductory manner, Obi reminded us that the people
live in “extra-ordinary times’, therefore if the nation is
to address some of these “extra-ordinary circumstances”
future or current leaders should boldly “fulfil a
constitutional duty in accordance with dictates of
democratic ethos and above all, the rule of law”.
As part of the Obi code of governance, he sees the acts of
“cooperation, collaboration and understanding” as part of
In a non-figurative manner, Obi, unlike any recent public
leader advanced that it is paramount to be “committed to
offering selfless service”, “run an open administration”,
and remain open to “constructive criticisms”, and he
believes in the welfare of the people, as he directs that
the “people should (always) go about their normal duties.
As part of the new national narratives, he championed the
need for “ hard work’, “honesty”, “accountability and
As part of a new normal in leadership and governance
strategy, Obi calls for leadership to “pledge loyalty to the
constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and selfless
service to all”.
The Obi code of governance states that leaders should be
able speak power to truth by making sure that “government
will do all within its power to ensure that the machinery of
governance continues to run without let or hindrance”.
As to those among the public who harbours the spirit of
chaos, Obi believes that leaders should be able “to charge
the law enforcement agencies to ensure that…nefarious
persons” are controlled for the good and peace of the
The Obi code of governance calls for bold actions and deeds,
even if it is only about sending a psychological shock to
self-satisfied leaders, and Obi partly demonstrated this
process in “ the dissolution of the Executive Council…with
Obi believes in praising leaders even if it is only to
encourage them to do good by using their abilities and
experiences to “ ensure smooth running of the machinery of
Obi believed that leaders must act as role models in order
to “enjoining them to avoid anything that would portray the
government in negative light”.
Obi believes public service requires “workforce to be
pro-active, efficient and productive” and he asserts that
"civil service should be pro-active and efficient rather
than being a liability”. As part of the Obi code of
governance, he believes that small improvement s in human
service, usually result into bigger dividends, as evidenced
by his demand for workers to “avoid cases of absenteeism”,
therefore ensuring efficiency and productivity.
He sees time management as essential ingredients to
effective public practices, as in the case of “salary
preparation to ensure that workers receive their pay on”
time, and he asserts that promoting “strategies used in
collecting internally generated revenue” are needed in
behalf of the state or nation. The Obi code of governance
demands on officials “to be careful and avoid fraud in the
preparation of salaries and in the collection of internally
Along the same line, Obi asserts that to restore the spirit
of leadership and positive practices “embargo on foreign
Trips for Political Appointees and top Government
Functionaries” becomes paramount.
Every sensible Nigerian will agree that the leadership
situation in the nation currently wallows in chronic
wrongdoing and the misuse of politics, as such
transformation, no matter how small could come not by
throwing the nation backward, as it currently appears but by
adhering to the Obi code of governance.
Thank you, Sir and hopefully a leader in your image or
mindset could be swept into the office of the presidency or
other authority by the people and for the sake of ensuring a
disciplined approach to governance.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D , DABPS, FACFE, is a
Forensic/Clinical Psychologist and an Assistant Professor of
Psychology and Behavioral Science, North Campus, Broward
College, Coconut Creek, Florida.