By Daniel Edu
Former Librarian at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Charles Omekwu, has called on Nigerian leaders to exhibit empathy and clear vision when dealing with crisis situations. He made this appeal during an awards ceremony in Abuja, where several Nigerians were recognized for their outstanding achievements in the Library and Information Science (LIS) profession.
The event, themed “Leadership in Challenging Times: LIS in Perspective,” emphasized the importance of leadership during difficult periods. Omekwu highlighted the need for leaders to make prompt decisions and adapt to challenging situations effectively. He cited the example of Nelson Mandela, who displayed empathy and connection with the South African people during his leadership.
Omekwu also stressed the significance of team building for leaders in multicultural settings and urged educational institutions to uphold rules and regulations without double standards.
Retired Maj.-Gen. Ezra Jakko, the Chairman of the occasion, encouraged the awardees to serve as mentors and provide leadership roles and support to younger individuals. Dominic Omakaro, the President of the Nigerian Library Association (NLA), noted that the appointment of NLA Brand Ambassadors was an initiative to promote the ideals of the library profession.
During the event, awards of fellows were conferred on several individuals, including Prof. Ifeoma Echezona, Ja’afaru Wase, Dr. Modupe Aboyade, Dr. Adetoun Oyelude, Prof. Chinwe Anunobi, Dr. Gladys Onyia, and Dr. Nkem Osuigwe, among others. Additionally, NLA Brand Ambassadors were recognized for their contributions to the advancement of the library profession in Nigeria.
The event highlighted the importance of effective leadership and mentorship in challenging times and underscored the role of libraries and information professionals in education and society.