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Effective Leadership and Followership; A Classification of the Strong Synergy between Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello and his Deputy Chief Edward David Onoja


By Phanisy Babatunde GCFR

Effective leadership is about executing a particular vision (or redefining and improving it, in some cases) and setting the tone and the culture for a particular system. Leadership means creating and planning, securing resources, and looking out for and improvement on errors.

Effective followership appears when individuals are proactively engaged with duties or assignments and meaningfully contribute through independent, critical thinking. Good skilled followers are self-reliant, active participants who push forward ideas in support of a vision or in service to a cause.

The above assertions pictures the situational characteristics of the relationship that exists between His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello and his Deputy His Excellency Chief Edward David Onoja.

Since the assumption of office as the executive governor of Kogi state, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello has broken some age long tradition and belief about how hitherto governance is been practiced in the past.

These beliefs ranging from the way political benefits are shared in an ethno- tribal settings like we have in kogi state, the merits of authority attainment in the state civil service, equity and justice in all areas of developement of the state and finally his Autocratic disposition towards a crime free kogi state where all citizens can sleep with both eyes closed. All these has been applauded by all except for some rare cases of negative media noise that does not exceed the Media.

Another core mystery he has dymisified is the delegation of responsibilities to his pro-tempore His Excellency Chief Edward David Onoja. Since the return of democratic rule to Nigeria, Many have the perception that the position of the deputy governor is always that of a spare tyre or just a mere appendage of office of the governor.

His Excellency Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello since being sworn into office for a second term running has continue to delegate serious government businesses and constitutional responsibilities to his deputy which in all fairness in the Nigerian political space is a rare practice. All these cannot be far fetched from the consistent level of loyalty and followership attributes displayed by the state deputy governor.

Kogi happens to be the only state in Nigeria where the deputy governor had perform functions like the Constitutional role of swearing in State chief judges and also the symbolic presentation of Fiscal documents (Budget) at the state house of Assembly even when the state governor is not incapacitated or out of the country.

Another significant responsibility allocation is the reception of high powered state visitors which in most states in Nigeria are usually performed by the state chief executives. This can only happen under an atmosphere of Extreme trust and Bond that is beyond human comprehension.

This pattern of leadership being exhibited by Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello gives hope to other numerous followers that indeed the mentorship and coaching Components of leadership is still practicable in the Modern day Nigeria.

The bane of followership overtime can be attributed to the obvious absence of real genuine mentorship of followers in the real aspect of governance. In kogi state, his Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello has a template for other states to follow.

Looking at how his Excellency the deputy governor has carried out state ceremonial functions with all confidence and prowess shows clearly he is a good and dedicated follower. He has in a little while mastered all that has to do with delegated authority.

Governors hardly sends their deputy to represent them at the symbolic gatherings of Governors in Nigeria. This, Governor Yahaya Bello has delegated to his deputy on several occasions. This is the real purpose of governance.

While the governor has been busy fashioning out ways to better the lives of kogites while harnessing resources towards the ongoing infrastructural drive of the state, the deputy has been fully involved in assisting in key functions. This shows an existence of a strong Synergy and a departure from the old order.

Governance in kogi state had not at any point in time suffered due to the complimentary supportive roles the deputy governor renders to for his boss the executive governor.

Kogi state is blessed to really have these crop of leaders at this point in time.

Generations to come shall continue to remember the duo for their leadership and followership rapport.


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