For those conversant with the analysis of foreign policy, the factors that determine it should be common knowledge. Among the determinants is the personality factor; in essence, the personality of the leader or individuals constituting the leadership. This, in the individual or group sense is what Modelski captures in his description of international system as “consisting of a pattern of actions and interactions between collectives, and individuals acting on their behalf”.The said individuals acting on the collectives’ behalf are the enforcing and implementing hands of the collectives’ interest(s).
In her analysis, Margareth Herman propounded the “personality factor” theory in which she presented leaders in two categories – LEADERS WITH INDEPENDENT ORIENTATION AND LEADERS WITH PARTICIPATORY ORIENTATION. The former, she gave five characteristics namely: *strong need (quest) for power; **strong belief in their capacity to control situations; ***low level of trust in others; ****high spirit of nationalism; *****low level of conceptual complexity.
For the latter, she gave same five characteristics but in direct contrast to the former, namely: *less need for power; **less belief in their capacity to control situations; ***high level of trust in others; ****low spirit of nationalism; *****high level of conceptual complexity.
Over the years, this theory has gained a sustained wide acceptance in the study of foreign policy at all scholarly levels. However, chances are that this wide acceptance could be threatened, should there be any review of the said theory with regards to the present time, as leadership across the world has possibly featured personalities whose characters have risen in conflict with Magareth Herman’s categorization.
An evident instance is Onofiok Luke, head of the legislature in Akwa Ibom State. His personality appears in a way that is non partisan to either the independent or participatory sect. For those who know him, at least, well enough to affirm this, where it concerns personal principles and opinion, his character roots for total independence; but where it concerns issues concerning or bothering on the populace, his character uncompromisingly tilts the participatory way without looking back.
This could form a solid ground against Herman’s theory, owing to the way Luke’s personality is selective of the characteristics as earlier mentioned. When it comes to attitude to power, Luke shows unwavering loyalty to the participatory party. Also his trust in others makes him a flag carrier in the participatory sect, though not in the moral sense, but mostly where it concerns decision making on behalf of a collective, apparently, due to his thinking that knowledge is no one’s personal property and that everyone has his/her kernel of wisdom to bring to the table based on their knowledge and experiences. This serves as convert reason while his leadership places premium on the all-inclusive approach.
Today, while the House of Assembly Committee on Appropriation and Finance gets set to host stakeholders and members of the Akwa Ibom public to a public hearing on the 2018 Appropriation Bill, history will be remembering Onofiok Luke in the light of his days in the Samuel Ikon led 5th Assembly as chairman of the aforementioned committee for having initiated this practice of opening the process of budget consideration and approval to the generality of Akwa Ibom people through public hearing.
Whether the initiative will be institutionalised sometime in the years to come or will remain a practice deeply inculcated, as the benefits of sticking consistently to this approach will be recounted as one of the vehicles that drove representative democracy in the state in its advancement towards global standards, the narrator of that history will surely not miss the name- Onofiok Luke in the introductory pages of his script.
Concluding, despite the contrasting disposition of the above character, the Magareth Herman’s theory might still find a surviving link through, considering her conclusion that leaders with the independent orientation are mostly of the military regime. Still using the same instance, Onofiok Luke, of course, is not of the military stock, though his character is also not totally defined by what defines the participatory orientation.