By John Mayaki
When a town becomes dusty, rickety and old, then a man must rise to turn affairs around. Every generation, scholars like Chinua Achebe have written, must find the need of their time, discover the assignment fate has allocated to them and against all odds challenge the duty. In Edo State, Francis Alimikhena, among few other men of competence, has answered the call of fate.
No cause for worries in Edo politics, no man is God ― Ojezua
Edo North has, at the whims of Senator Francis, come to illustrious brilliance. To dispel the dark, it is a common knowledge that light must be employed, hence expelling the heavy dominance of underdevelopment. This is what Senator Francis did, providing Solar street lights in some towns in the district, hence breaking ground and paving way for the coming development. This is a man who knows not just his intention, but his capacity to affect it and how best to do so.
Having shone the light, Senator Francis followed up with more work, providing motorized and solar boreholes in most communities in the district. This answers the call of fate upon his generation because without water there is no life and there won’t be revival and progress.
For men who have pledged themselves unto the service of humanity, be it locally, nationally or globally, there always is no rest even in the absence of immediate reward. Same is the case for Senator Francis Alimikhena, who refused to rest on his laurel rather continuing the good work through rehabilitation and reconstruction of schools and health centers.
Through this, Senator Francis ensures a certain type of continuity because by providing platform and an enabling environment for learning, he creates a sustainable cycle that will endeavour the perpetual provision of intellectuals, academics, leaders, and professionals who will take the baton and continue the marathon relay of development and community building. In doing this, Senator Francis proves himself a studious leader who must have listened and imbibed the speech of former President Barrack Obama on the floor of the Canadian Parliament. A nation is built every day, tirelessly, continuously, says Obama, and here in a little corner of Edo State, Senator Francis puts it to practice, building his own corner of the world one day at a time.
Rehabilitating Okpameri Grammar school, Old township road in Ibillo, Jattu Iyiuku Road, Igarra township road beginning from Ugbogbo passing through the adjoining streets, Senator Francis achieves and assure a certain kind of seriousness and commitment to duty. His continued and unrelenting works have defiled the common ‘hit and run’ approach of the average Nigerian politician who only does works at the eve of elections. Rising above this ‘eye-service’ politics, Senator Francis Alimikhena has etched his name in the hearts of the people, becoming the very beloved of the people.
His mill continues to oscillate, fanning the breeze of development across his district. When he is not empowering people in the form of provision of motorcycles, Keke Napep, grinding machines, sewing machines, giant generators, and others, he is vehemently lobbying and arguing in the hallowed chambers of the Senate, to pass a bill to upgrade Auchi Polytechnic to a Federal University of Technology.
Senator Francis Alimikhena’s mission is a ‘from-scratch’ adventure into the very challenging call to revamp a people and a place. That is why he began with bringing life through bringing light and then to roads, through which he created access amongst towns that makes up his district and access into the world. Schools and health centers followed, educating the mind and nursing the body of his people. But the final destination, or a glimpse of the paradise, is technological innovation for the district. That is why besides the hard work to pass the bill to convert a polytechnic to a technological school, another bill by this same man aims to create an export processing zone in Edo North using the abundant resources in agricultural produces.
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Often times an argument is made that the works of a man should speak for him. In Senator Francis Alimikhena, we find such a man, but beyond that we find in him, a man whose vision is coherent and consistent, translated to reality and achievement with a quiet magic of competence and aptitude. Let the light continue to shine.
Mayaki, an Oxford and Cambridge University-trained entrepreneurship, leadership and sustainability expert, writes from Abuja.
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