By John Mayaki
In a country where people feel terribly entitled even as they are unqualified for opportunities, what has become rampant are civil servants, public servants and other arrays of workers who are dud, demotivating and lackadaisical in their works.
This sad situation has occasioned a scenario where we celebrate when we find people who are competent, sharp, devoted and zealous in their jobs.
Patrick Obahiagbon, between 2013 to 2017, became the first politician to come to stardom for something that is not political. He was, unlike the average Nigerian politicians, seen, heard, respected, loved, and admired. If it is announced that Patrick Obahiagbon is coming to a radio program or television show, Nigerians tune in en-masse, anticipating intellectual blessings.
Learned, outspoken, yet Obahiagbon is not endearing because of his university degrees or academic records – moreover, there are many politicians with matching or greater academic certifications. Patrick Obahiagbon instead is remarked for being himself, a personification of academic excellence, for being the ideal itself, the model to be emulated, the bar to be looked up and aspired.
A casual observer will limit him to his great command of the English language and his rich vocabulary. However, what should capture our attention is the quality(es) that made a man become the embodiment of intellectual excellence. How he arrived at this point, one may ask. And then come the answers, the list of attitudinal endowments that have set him on a progressively evolving trajectory in politics. To sit down and study, going beyond one’s immediate curriculum, to become innovative with a foreign language, demands a certain kind of discipline, faithfulness, and devotion to study.
These qualities having seen him through in his academic endeavors, equally contributed to setting him apart in the political arena. His discipline and faithfulness to a course made him remain loyal to his party, APC ever since he became a member in 2013. Then his intellectual prowess and the zest with which he expended his duty made him the face of the struggle, a go-to for logic and ideas in understanding the party philosophies and ideologies. He was there at the beginning of APC, he was there when the party mounted a fierce contest, challenging the corrupt incumbent party PDP, and he is still here today, contributing in his own ways for the growth of the party, from strength to strength.
Now the representative of the South-South states in the Nigeria Tennis Federation, Patrick has in the past been elected to the House of Representatives in 2007, serving Oredo until his appointment as Chief of Staff to Governor Adams Oshiomhole in 2011. He remained in that capacity until the end of Adams Oshiomhole’s administration.
Patrick Obahiagbon remains a chieftain of APC and a well-respected name in Edo State and in the whole of Nigeria. His public appearances still remain as one of the most highly sought after as his ideas, to a large degree, help shape and influence public opinion. As a lawyer who holds a double-barrelled Master’s degree in Public Administration and International History and Diplomacy, plus his electric intellect, more will still come of him in leadership, private and public service.
Mayaki is an Oxford and Cambridge University-trained entrepreneurship, leadership and sustainability expert. He’s also a Professional Consultant (CMI) on Communication, Management and Strategy