NIMN, issues as search for new leadership begins

I have made up my mind not to re-contest. I said this three years ago when I was vying for the office of the president of the institute, which I presently occupy, and few months to another rounds of election into the same office, I’ve not changed my position on this. The reason is simple. I have seen troubled times in the institute and since the institute is experiencing a new lease of life now, I don’t want to be part of its problems.”

The above, coming from the President and Chairman of council of the  Nigerian Institute of Marketing of Nigeria ((NIMN), Aare Ganiyu Koledoye, last week, on the institute’s forthcoming elections, no doubt, represents the aggregate feelings among members of the nation’s marketing clan, as the process of putting another council commenced last week.

Inaugurating a four-man electoral committee that would midwife the birth of a new leadership for the institute, Koledoye had reiterated his administration’s commitment to peace in the nation’s marketing ecosystem, noting that the constitution of an electoral committee for the institute, an hitherto alien practice, remains of the ways his administration had hoped to achieve such lasting peace in this highly volatile institute.

While Koledoye had been around  in the institute’s corridors of power for sometime and  therefore, deserves a  befitting rest, not a few are,  however, of the belief that the outgoing president may not enjoy such luxury if he fails to put in place a leadership, for the institute, that will be able to continue from where he intends to stop on November 18, when he is expected to hand over the baton of power.

The Oyo State-born marketing guru, had, in the past few years, been a significant part of the institute’s chequered history. Once a leader of one of the feuding factions of the marketing body,  Koledoye’s faction was at daggers drawn with that of another faction, led by Chief Sylva Emoekpere,  in those turbulent periods of the institute’s history.

Perhaps what endeared him to stakeholders was the ease with which he and  Chief Sylva Emokpere, readily conceded the institute most coveted office, to Chief Lugard Aimiuwu, a transformation strategist, brought in by elders within the nation’s marketing space,  at that time, to restore peace and stability  to the otherwise fragmented marketing body and commence a process of genuine reconciliation.

But to many, all that has become history now. With Koledoye helping Ainiuwu to serve out a part of his term and freely given a three-year tenure afterwards, not a few believe that the out-going has contributed his own quota to the growth of the marketing body.

Perhaps one of such achievements is the relative peace and camaraderie presently existing among members of the institute. For instance, besides waving the olive branch to another faction that nearly disrupted the fragile peace existing in the institute then, the outgoing president was able to fully re-integrate members of that faction to the system, thereby giving the feuding members a sense of belonging.

Another of such feats also remains the re-branding of the institute’s identity, as a way of bringing it in tune with trends in the global marketing space, and indicate the willingness of the institute to have a complete break from the image of a feuding entity, which its image connoted in the past.

Koledoye’s  administration’s decision to extend the frontiers of marketing beyond the nation’s borders, by going into a partnership with a South African marketing institute also represents  one of the highlights of that administration.

Though, currently on hold for technical issues, the partnership,  when in full bloom, would go a long way in broadening the knowledge of members, since it will provide that much-needed opportunity for them to compare notes with their South African counterpart.

But soothing as all these may sound to the ears, not a few believe that marketing practice in the country still remains a far cry, when compared with the way it fares in other countries. Koledoye’s decision, therefore, not to seek  another term, again provides the younger ones in the profession,  the opportunity to further reposition the institute and, by extension, the practice.

But, how prepared are members for such task? Since it is now glaringly obvious that Koledoye will not be at the helm of affairs as from November 18, this year, when the institute’s elections are expected to have been concluded, who is stepping in to continue from where he must have stopped in November?

Interestingly, if the response to the call for nomination from the institute’s electoral body is anything to go by, in the past few days, a lot still needed to be done to get the right candidate to step into Koledoye’s  ‘shoes.’

While Brands & Marketing’s investigations revealed that the call for nominations from the Engineer Adeola Oladele-led  electoral committee of the institute, had not really received the attention it deserves from members, a high profile source within the nation’s marketing space, is of the opinion that the ‘music will definitely change’ as the closing date draws nearer.

“People are only trying to study the situation on ground before throwing their hats in the ring. But you can be sure that with time, a lot of people will surely signify their intention for the exalted office,” argued the source.

Interestingly, the electoral committee’s chairman seems not to be losing sleep over this slow response from members to the call either.

In a chat with Brands & Marketing, over the weekend, Engineer Adeola believes  it will be pre-emptive to begin to discuss members’ response, especially when the call for nomination had  just been put on the institute’s website.

“We’ve just put a call for nomination on the institute’s website, and I wouldn’t want to talk of any response now. I don’t want to pre-empt the process, afterall whoever is interested has two weeks to do this,” he stated.

Perhaps such confidence and optimism are necessary in  this herculean process of mid-wiving the birth of a new leadership for the institute. But, for many, one thing is clear: if the institute is really desirous of being reckoned with, the time to begin to look for capable hands to manage its affairs is actually now.