The Nigerian Student Leaders Program 2016 has successfully come to an end after a week-long Boot Camp during which the 2016 TNSLP Fellows were trained to become effective and ethical young Leaders. The Boot Camp which held from December 11th through to 17th saw the gathering of 20 High Impact Student Leaders who were drawn from across several Nigerian institutions of higher learning after a competitive selection process. The 20 Student Leaders who were comprised of 12 males and 8 females were presented their Nigerian Student Leaders Program Certificates as well as issued their Travels Allowances at the end of the Boot Camp.
The Program which was organized by Rise Networks and supported by Ford Foundation, had two Facilitators- Mr. Olakunle Soriyan and Mr. Cheta Nwanze, two of whom inculcated the best Leadership skills in the 2016 TNSLP Fellows; thereby preparing them for effectiveness in their future Political Careers. Their Lectures focused on topics such as- “The Roles and Powers of the 3 Arms of Governance in a Progressive Democracy”, “Lessons in Ethics, Public Narrative and Adaptive Leadership”, “The Political History of Nigeria and Leaders who changed the world”, “Creative Communication and Citizen Engagement in Public Service” and “Multi-Negotiation Strategies, Policy-making and Mobilizing for Change”.
While lecturing on the topic “The Roles and Powers of the 3 Arms of Governance in a Progressive Democracy”, Mr. Nwanze stressed that although the Nigerian Government is made up of the 3 Arms of Government, Separation of Powers has completely failed in the country. He also pointed out that Nigeria needs an overhauling of her Judicial System as no progressive country in the world operates two separate legal systems as Nigeria does. Still on the topic, Mr. Nwanze told the Fellows that even though the Media may not be an Arm of Government, it still plays an integral role in the political process of any country.
Lecturing on the topic “Lessons in Ethics, Public Narrative and Adaptive Leadership” Mr. Kunle Soriyan said that the assumption that Bad Leadership is Nigeria’s main problem is wrong. This is because it is the Followers themselves who elect the bad leaders. He however noted that one major reason why most Leaders are bad is because they are inhuman, having alienated themselves from their basic humanity.
Mr. Cheta Nwanze told the Fellows that there is a need for Nigerian Leaders to first understand the History of Nigeria as that would help them prevent the mistakes of “our heroes past”. And speaking of heroes, he noted that Nigeria has never truly had heroes in the same sense Americans would talk about American heroes.
Meanwhile, Mr. Olakunle Soriyan made the Fellows understand that in Politics, Communication is indispensable. He noted that Propaganda is an integral aspect of Political Life and that unlike popular opinion, Propagandists do not lie! Instead, they do not just tell the entire truth; the very essence of Creative Communication. It therefore behooves of every Leader to use Creative Communication towards engendering the greatest possible good for all.
At the end of the Boot Camp, the 2016 Fellows of the Nigerian Student Leaders Program were full of appreciation to the Organizers/Sponsors of the Program. About 99.9% of them indicated that the classes transformed their perspectives of Nigeria’s Political Landscape and Leadership and equipped them to become the solution that Nigeria needs in a time like this.
The Nigerian Student Leaders Fellowship Program was envisioned to develop a new breed of visionary, accountable and effective young Leaders who will champion the cause of democracy, good governance and development in Nigeria. In this vein, the Program was meant to arouse the political consciousness of Nigeria’s youths while mobilizing them for positive change in the nation’s polity.
The idea is not just to train these young leaders, but to also provide the needful networking platform that will enable them cooperate and exchange ideas towards re-positioning the country for the greater good.
To this end, Rise Networks sought and secured the sponsorship of Ford Foundation after which a Call for Application was put out in late November 2016. Several Applications were received out of which 20 suitably-qualified Student Leaders were selected from different Nigerian institutions of higher learning.
The selected 2016 TNSLP Fellows were then lodged in Lagos for a one week Boot Camp during which they were taught the necessary skills they need to become effective leaders. This year’s Boot Camp was the Pilot Phase of the Program. Plans are in on to make next year’s sessions even better than it has been.
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