Goodwill message for H. E. Kayode Fayemi on his Presidential Declaration. By Hamzat Lawal, Global Citizen and Activist.

Leadership: My favourite definition of leadership is the ability to build up confidence and zeal among people and to create an urge in them to be led. A true leader must show deep understanding of this concept to successfully lead a people.

At this moment in Nigeria’s young democracy, there’s a need for not just a good politician or a powerful man or woman or a person or group with authority but a visionary leader. One who believes and is willing to invest in the potential of the youth and young people.

If you search throughout history, some of the world’s most effective and great leaders have led from a place of compassion. Men and women who go against the grain and are driven by a higher cause. Whether it’s by taking a stance against injustice or by surrendering for a greater good, history has taught that leadership is not just a position but a state of heart.


I have known H.E Governor Fayemi and I’m privileged to say that he has led and  inspired me and others not by virtue of his occupation of public office but by the manner and texture of the man he is. You sir, are a great leader whether you sit in an office or not and that truth is one I wish for Nigerians and the world to see.

To round off, I’ll like to challenge our thinking around leadership with this short story on leadership:

Over 200 years ago, a man in civilian clothes rode past a small group of tired and battled weary soldiers. They were digging what appeared to be an important defensive position.

The leader of the group wasn’t making any effort to help. He just shouted orders and threatened to punish the group if the work wasn’t completed within the hour.

“Why aren’t you helping?” the stranger asked on horseback.

“I’m in charge! The men do as I tell them,” said the leader. He then told the stranger: “Help them yourself if you feel so strongly about it.”

To the mean leader’s surprise the stranger got off his horse and helped the men until the job was finished.

Before he left the stranger congratulated the men for their work, and approached the confused leader.

“You should notify top command next time your rank prevents you from supporting your men – and I will provide a more permanent solution,” the stranger said.

Up close, the now humbled leader recognized the stranger was General George Washington and was taught a lesson he would never forget!


In a nutshell, a true leader joins his people on the field to achieve desired results. The current state of our nation requires that kind of leader, one who has compassion, who is highly competent and most of all God-fearing and willing to work with the people for the country to progress.

H.E Governor Fayemi has exemplified the character of a great and effective leader and I’m praying that if it’s God’s will, He gives you the platform and position to impact lives and uplift our nation.

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