By Victor Gotevbe

The advancement of any people or any nation undoubtedly depends largely on ethical leadership. Linus Okorie (a.k.a. Mr. Leadership), president of Guardian of the Nation International (GOTNI) is a young Nigerian that is very passionate about effective leadership.  Linus is famous for saying: If you don’t have a reason for waking up, sleeping becomes interesting.

Therefore, through a good mix of hard work and smart work, he has grown his organization into an inspiring and enviable one that is already setting the pace for leaders and leaders in the making. He told his story to Youthful Vibes in Lagos during his media campaign. Excerpts:

My simple background
I was born in Cameroun, in a  town called Kumba, South West province. I had my primary education in the same town, I have always been known from that school age as a boy with the appetite for organization, always appointed head of the class,and to write  the names of noise makers. My family owned a small business and struggled to make those businesses work. I lost my dad when I was in JSS3, and before my father died, one of the last comments he left for my mum was to make sure that I go through school and amount to something.


I had already been sent to Nigeria, where I passed the gifted children examination to be admitted at one of the model schools, Government Secondary School Owerri, and later on became one of the senior prefects of the school that is now over 75years old. With little or no money, my mum worked so hard and was there every point of the way to ensure I passed through school successfully. Along my path, I was fortunate to meet distinguished Nigerians who encouraged me as well in my journey to higher education at the Imo State University, where I became the student union president.Dr Chris Asoluka, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa (OFR), Dr Ndi Onuekwusi, Eng Charles Okoro, Mr Gamaliel Onosode OFR, Prof. Pat Utomi and many more.

What makes me thick.
My early understanding about what leadership is about, laid a strong foundation in my pursuit in life. I had an experience with God early in life and that has kept me focused, consistent, visionary about my idea of being one of those that will help transform our country. My networking capacity has been of great use having had the opportunity of investing directly in the lives of over 40,000 Nigerians.

My passion for Leadership
For 16years of my life I have been committed to the business of growing leadership capital skills of Nigerians. I have always seen myself as someone with a great call to share leadership knowledge with millions of people in my generation and generations to come. My thinking is that leadership affects all segments of the economy. The lack of leadership values in our nation has brought us poverty, shame and disgrace. So I vowed to do everything in my power to ensure that the next generation of leaders, will be prepared enough and with great leadership skills help to make our nation work.

The kind of leadership needed in Nigeria
We need a leadership that is selfless, visionary with a strong commitment for the concept of the common good. Nations that have made progress have been nations that have invested in the leadership capital of their young people. Therefore, we must as a nation get our leadership right: we need good leaders and leaders for good.

About my organization
Guardians of the Nation International (GOTNI) is a leadership development organization committed to the grooming of leaders in all sectors of the economy at the heart of our work is the commitment to see a huge advocacy for a new kind of leadership that will impact the common good. We have 15 brands that are taking care of various segments of the youth population from community based youths to the youths in higher institutions and to the ones serving our nation through the NYSC project and many more.

My present assignment
Currently on the 14thand 15thof June 2013, one thousand of the very best of young Nigerians from all sectors of the economy, from across the nation and in Diaspora, will gather at the Transcorp Hilton Abuja for a two-day leadership conference with Prof. John Adair, the professor of leadership in the world and the chairman of the United Nations Leadership Systems to chart a course for our great nation, Nigeria. All young Nigerians who think they are making a difference can apply, by sending their CVs and letter intent to [email protected]

My advice to young people will be for us to rise up and invest in our leadership capital, dare to make a difference and synergize with other change agents to change the conversations in the public space from doom and gloom, to hope and the possibilities that lie ahead.



James Onyebuchi is a creative and resourceful entrepreneur who solves footwear problems.   A business Administration undegraduate of Lagos State University who has also undergone various ICT, Leadership, and Entrepreneurial programmes.

James is currently serving as the Director of Operations at Ojames footwears enterprise.  Ojames Footwears solves footwear problems and has helped to raise footwear solution providers among Nigerian youths with the belief that the purpose of footwear is to protect, complement and preserve the human feet.

Ojames Footwears has set standards in shoe making education, volunteerism in skill acquisition and vocational training around Nigeria.

James is working towards establishing a footwear Academy in Nigeria. With his quest and desire to affect lives positively through his footwear industry, he came up with a charitable initiative called ‘’Ability In Disability’’ (AID Initiative). An NGO that has a vision to train and empower people with disabilities on skill acquisition and Entrepreneurship with its main focus on footwear.

He has an optimistic approach to life, and he likes to work with people who love to win. He says: “If I cannot find any of them, I look for people who hate to fail.”

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