By Fanisi Babatunde
Amongst all attributes of a leader especially in contemporary times is an attribute that is so silent but yet one of the prerequisites of a peaceful and non-conflict society. This attribute takes a center stage in any society you see today globally that has people with diverse religions, tribes, and political orientations,s and yet there is peace.
Diversity Management is recognizing the religious, tribal, and political affiliation of people while not only allowing them to practice their belief but also making sure you ensure they are critical stakeholders in your programs and policies.
For any leader that strives to achieve results in terms of development, it is advisable for such leader be it in an organisation or in government to unite his heart with the various forms of diversity as this remains the atmosphere under which Nation building can be achieved.
Critically looking at the Nigerian Society today, the political climate has been dominated by discuss of Mutual suspicion Amongst brotherhood on issues that borders on one group taking ethnic, religious and political advantage of the other. This internal rants as irrelevant as it might have sounded to some remains one of the major gateway to lasting peace and harmonious existence in our nation today.
Kogi state happens to be an ethno- tribal-religious- Political orientated state. It is a state that has been ruled by the PDP for close to 13 years, a state with several tribal groups like the Igalas, Ebira, okun, bassa, ogori, nupe, oworo, Kakanda and several others, it is a state with almost an equilibrium measure of the two major religion known on earth namely the Muslim and Christians. Despite all these elements that constitutes growing conflict in so many societies, kogi state has remained people till date and there has never been a sign of Mutual suspicion and distrust amongst this various elements. Not even the slightest one.
Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello, the Executive Governor of the State upon coming on board made sure these elements are recognized and fully institutionalized into his pattern of Governance.
Kogi state is one state where the biggest opposition political party has notable figures like the national publicity secretary and the party has been allowed to carry out Thier activities without any kind of hinderances and harassment. There are states in Nigeria where an opposition party cannot even hold the most secret of all meetings. It is not the case of Kogi State as the Governor knowing well the role of an opposition party in a civilized democracy has continued to allow an atmosphere of peace and justice for the party to continue to thrive as an opposition party. That is the recognition and management of political diversity by his Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello.
Another worthy point of view is the balancing of political appointments between the two major religion in the state as even key members of his cabinets like the secretary to the state government is a christian and even the speaker of the state house of assembly, a feat not so popular in majority of the states in the geo-political zone that kogi state falls. Religious diversity at play. Kogi State Government house in the history of the state’s creation now has a Chapel for Christians to worship. All through the religious tolerant people’s Oriented Governor.
A situational analysis of his entire cabinet reflects the diverse culture and tribes of Kogi state carried along in a very non- Nepolistic manner. Personally I feel this has been the reason why we experience peace as a state because where there is no justice and fairness in the Distribution of political benefits, there is a likelihood of the disadvantaged making sure they do everything possible to ensure peace departs from the state.
A man that has built bridges across major ethnic groups in Nigeria in recent times and the current Cynosure of all eyes surely deserves a nationwide audience.
Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello as a leader has displayed a great sense of an effective manager of Diversity in kogi state and posses the capacity to expand the scope on the national space.