By Gab Ejuwa
Great wasn’t born great, if you would permit the pun. On the contrary, he was the fourth of sixteen children. Hardly an enviable position to be in, if you ask me. Especially as he left hole clutching a thread worn bag containing four well-washed shirts and three equally well-washed trousers, perhaps with a hole or two to patch up when he espied a should-top street-rounding amateur tailor.
He didn’t have greatness thrust upon him either. Great achieved greatness, amid daunting adds. First he worked as a primary school teacher, to obtain his A level papers, sired as he was by a father, much encumbered by heavy financial load of his family, who was earning a mere pittance as a faceless civil servant.
Then left home and a semblance of certainty and security for the unswerving impersonality of the city of Lagos, the known for the unknown. Cutting his business teeth in an anonymous fishing company, Exchange Fisheries, he enrolled into the Chartered Institute of Marketing, London. Anybody who has acquired education through correspondence would readily attest to the rigours involved.
And at an intrepidly tender age of twenty-five, Great incorporated Fiogret Limited which grew in leaps and bounds, needless to say by dint of hard scrupulous work to transform into a cosmic conglomerate licensed for global fishing.
Perhaps to demonstrate the comprehensiveness of his business vision, he also established many successful subsidiaries of Fioget Limited: Grato GLE Finance, SOFIMAR Fisheries, Abraka Rubber Industries, Ajalomi Shipping Company, West Coast Publicity and Forget Express.
Another aspect of his greatness was a development which precipitated his self-exile to the United Kingdom from 1990 to 2000, where he furthered his education as his own Chartered Institute of Marketing London, Huron University (MBA in Business Administration), University of Kent (MA in International Relations).
Great is an active member of the Nigeria Policy Group (NPG) an eminent pressure group that initiated, financed and generally sustained democratic struggle from the Diaspora to return Nigeria to democracy in the heydays of military tyranny.
Quite apart from all these sterling qualities, remarkable as they are, is his indomitably revolutionary spirit and mindset, an aspect in which he seems to be following the footsteps of political icons like Abraham Lincoln of blessed memory. As Lincoln was running regularly for umpteen elections, which he was losing equally regularly, so is Great Ogboru. As a matter of political and historical facts and figures, this illustrious son of the Niger Delta has been submitting his winsome self for elections as far back as 2003 and has equally been given the wrong end of the stick.
And yet, unlike some politicians one could name, he has bluntly refused to be defeated and depressed. If anything he is waxing frenetic and unstoppable to right the wrongs meted out to him through the years by the envious politicians of the establishment, wo see him as a threat to their own politics of sentiment compromise quota and ideological banality and jejunery.
That is why Delta 2019 is going to be the proverbial “Clash of the Titans”, a clash between the politicians of poverty development and thoroughbred revolutionaries like Great Ogboru that are running not for wealth amassment. And typically their political campaigns, I can bet the air I am breathing in, would not address concrete issues when they begin but primordial sentiments like political tradition and bonding.
Finally, in perfect accord with the title of this piece, this is an advertisement for the philosopher king, addressed by this writer to fellow Deltans. Its purport is to sensitise us to watch out for credibility of personality as regards next year’s general elections.
The philosopher king implies a visionary scholar who has sat down, put on his thinking cap, intelligently cogitated on the besetting problems of contemporary society, proffered pragmatic solutions to them and has finally articulated them in a suitable and accessible form before presenting himself for elections.
The philosopher king is an erudite theorist as well as a pragmatic practicaliser of societal development ideas and concepts. Let us therefore, shun those who dangle stomach infrastructure.