By Joseph Ikpea

HISTORY is replete with deeds of great men and women ensnared with insatiable obsession of patriotic fervour that signposts them as species possessed by unfathomable quest to change the narratives of their generation.

 An individual with a good character chooses to do the right things at the right time because he or she has the moral conviction that such line of action is the right thing to do at that point in time. In so doing, the possibility of others to misrepresent or misunderstand such intentions could be high no matter how noble they may seem to be.

Our history of remorseless, despicable and disdainful disposition towards human capital refurbishment is grossly legendary, dishearteningly unacceptable and grossly undesirable. To conscript a multi-talented and altruistic personality with high integrity and excellent morals to the abyss of irrelevance on the altar of ego and power play would amount to gross misconduct and disservice to our collective resolve for a better society.

We, therefore, need more enlightenment. We need more light and understanding about one another. Enlightenment breeds understanding, understanding creates love and compassion, love creates patience, tolerance, and patience create unity. Once we are acquainted with more knowledge about each other, we will stop condemning one another and a united and formidable front would definitely become achievable.

 We appear to be in in a hurry to forget the good deeds of Adams Oshiomhole, a man who not only once championed his own people’s plight but also tackled a broader spectrum of diverse and interconnected allied issues that were traditionally inhibiting and clogging the wheel of growth of his people in many ways.

This is a man imbued with complementary strategies to achieve desired goals through unrelenting burst of energy and vigour. Those are undeniably his distinct natural configuration as a unique individual, and it arguably  worked for him to a very great extent. Many of his admirers loved him for his swag, dexterity, adroitness.

Shall we, therefore, conscript and sacrifice this great national asset to the rubbles due to power play?  Have we  forgotten his swags at the dance floors, particularly on the podiums at rallies and other official engagements, his right hand clutching the microphone, the left hand gesticulating while churning out facts and figures off by heart, without a written script?

Have we forgotten his dance steps across the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory during the presidential campaigns that galvanised the emergence of the sitting President of Nigeria, President Muhamadu Buhari, so soon.?

Oshiomhole has ingrained his name in the sand of times and it is indelibly on record that no falsehood can obliterate, particularly his exploits on the political turf. It is a fact universally acknowledged that Oshiomhole played prominent roles that culminated in the emergence of Buhari as President in the first and second tenures of his administration. He was deeply in the vanguard of the intense horse trading that gave birth to the merger through which Buhari came to power.

In most of his speeches, he never left anyone in doubt but eloquently, and without any ambiguity declared that Buhari was the right choice to lead the country on the part of progress.

He did everything within his powers, took all the bullets to ensure APC’s victory, but today, he has been sidelined, used and dumped by the same power he nurtured to limelight and power. Remember that all virtues and humans aren’t created equal, just as all fingers are not equal.

Traverse through history to find  out some of the very best the world has ever produced, with admirable God given virtues; courage, valour, temperance, restraint, liberality, magnificence etc, yet, all are known to have their fair share of human flaws. It is inherently embedded in all humans. Oshiomhole isn’t an exception.

It is eight years now when an incident took place in Lagos that made headlines across the globe. Daniel Ohikhena, a vibrant young toddler with vigour and passion to excel saw hopelessness in the society that we live in and, perceiving that there there was no tomorrow in Nigeria, decided to take his destiny in his hand.

To overcome the inhibiting mountain of obstacle to realising his dreams of becoming successful in life, Daniel had a plan which he never disclosed to anyone.

He hid himself in the wheels of a Lagos bound airplane thinking it was an overseas bound flight. Little did he know he was on his way to no man’s land, as Lagos is popularly referred to. On getting to Lagos, he was sighted creeping down from the wheels of the aircraft and was immediately rescued and handed over to the government authorities.

When the news broke out, Oshiomhole in his usual characteristic of magnanimity  promptly took the boy and adopted him as  his own personal son. He awarded him a schoolership to the university of his choice and has since  been taking care of the boy and his mother.

It is heart warming to know that the boy has grown under the care of  Oshiomhole, doing well and currently at the university. Oshiomhole, a national asset, has done well as an individual and as a public figure.

There are so many great qualities embedded in the life of this great man which the nation Nigeria can explore for the overall benefit of all as we mark yet another milestone in the annals of our history as a nation at 61,  in search of an enduring legacy of peace, love, unity in our diversity.

Let us, therefore, emphasise more on the God-given virtues of forgiveness, tolerance, temperance, for by this gesture can true unity in diversity be achieved.

Hon. Ikpea, a social commentator, wrote from Benin City, Edo State.


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