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Sir Richard Odibo…The Man!

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Over the years, I have read about the meanings of a leader and the importance of strong leadership in business and politics; and the essential qualities a leader must have. These qualities are timeless, and they are especially important when times get tough. In the face of difficult challenges, great leaders do not retrench, just the opposite – they step up. In a great party, you need to institutionalize and perpetuate a great culture and excellent leaders. To do this, you must do several things well, including the training, the retention of talent and the creation of a continually learning process. You must have a culture of character and integrity.

This comes from fostering an open environment, where people speak their minds freely, to treating people with respect at all levels, to setting the highest standards combined with recognizing and admitting mistakes. Integrity is the act of keeping to your personal morals or ethics. The search for the characteristics or traits of a good leader has been ongoing for centuries. Philosophical writings have explored the questions: what qualities distinguish an individual as a leader?

Underlying this search was the early recognition of the importance of leadership and the assumption that leadership is rooted in the characteristics that certain individual posses. Leadership is an honour, a privilege and a deep obligation. When leaders make mistakes, a lot of people can get hurt. Being true to oneself and avoiding self deception are as important to a leader as having people to turn to for thoughtful, unbiased advice.

Good people want to work for good leaders. Bad leaders can drive out almost who is good because they are corrosive to an organization, and since many are manipulative and deceptive, it is often a challenge to find them and root them out. At many of the best candidates like in the United States' Congresses, the constant creation of good leaders is what has enabled a better representation irrespective of the party affiliation which has stood the true test of greatness, the test of time. This, I think Sir Richard Odibo is and why he should be voted for as the Senator to represent the Delta Central Senatorial District.

Suffice to say that the National Assembly is the bicameral legislature of the Federal Government of Nigeria consisting of two houses: the House of Representatives and the Senate and both are chosen through direct election. To be a part of an exclusive club such as the Nigerian Senate, leadership qualities on a personal level can be attributed to a majority of that political success, because a Senator's basic responsibility is to protect his Constituency and its Constituents want a leader they feel will represent them in the best way. And in terms of personality, a Senator need to be friendly, outgoing, charismatic and aggressive without being overbearing; have strong people and time management skills and have excellent communication and public speaking skills. A passion for public service and spotless reputation are two other vital characteristics for becoming a Senator. Leadership is not just or benefit in the Senate, it is necessary; and certain skills and knowledge which are a must are listed below:

(a) Be proficient in political thought, theory and science.

(b) Make an early start in politics at the basic ground-level as a party volunteer.

(c) Work your way up the party's ladder or get elected.

(d) Build a strong network of influential people within and outside party affiliations who will sponsor and, or support your bid for an elective office, when you are ready to make the attempt.

(e) To influence and build up a strong support base among your Constituents, i.e. the general public.

Our representation is on a dangerous course. I believe that we absolutely must reverse this course, and reverse it now by electing a candidate who put the voters first. Therefore, in the above assessments and looking on the row of aspirants on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Democratic People's Party (DPP) and the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Sir Richard Odibo is the apposite and preponderant to be the Senator representing the Delta Central Senatorial District. To get elected to the Senate, leadership means sticking up for your Constituency. As in the words of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th American President that: 'No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well being, to risk his life, to risk his body in a great course', which are attributes to Richard Odibo. In the race for the Senate, Richard Odibo would offer the seasoning, maturity, background and courage that is essential to the task of being an effective Senator from the Constituency. He has promised that when elected, he will build a bridge of friendship across to other ethnic nationalities, bring to the Upper Chamber qualities which are badly needed there, that is a strong conservative principles, the resolve to stand up for them and a firm connection with our people at the grassroots. Also, to often visit his Constituency to keep in touch with his Constituents' views, meet with his Constituents and to keep in touch with his local and state political leaders. That, he shall consider the views of the folks back home because he felt completely ignoring one's Constituency would be foolhardy to neglect one's Constituents and, or the politicians hoped at all to be re-elected.

Having worked for a conscientious conservative governorship candidate, Olorogun Great Ovedje Ogboru for over thirteen years from the South South Rainbow Coalition (SSRC) that fused with the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and later, the Democratic People's Party (DPP), he understands what the people wants and the importance of good representation to the good people of his Constituency; and his experiences in life has taught him that lack of accountability is a step toward tyranny.

It is worthy of note that before Sir Richard Odibo was prevailed upon by members of his party and having accepted to run for the Senate position after the demise of his late brother and friend, Senator Pius Akpor Ewherido on the 30th day of June, 2013, he (Odibo) was one of the foremost, strong supporters and an advocate of Olorogun Great Ogboru's transformation agenda towards a new Delta State. In particular, he was one of those who talked Hon. Austine Ogbaburun, Hon Keston Okoro, the late Senator Pius Ewherido and others but to mention a few, into joining the 'Great Ship of Hope' (DPP). He is strongly opposed to the destruction of our great party by some miscreants for personal and selfish gains. This shows that he respects all organizations regardless of their history or relationships. He is a man who has the courage and enthusiasm to do what is best for his Constituency and still stand tall in the Great Ogboru's quest for a true Delta State despite his unwarranted arrest and unlawful detention at Abuja and attempted assassination on his life.

As we approach the election in which her Constitution instructs INEC to so conduct a by-election within ninety (90) days, this is a clarion call to all eligible voters to come out and cast their votes en-mass for Sir Richard Odibo and, or the pineapple party (DPP). I am aware that many are afraid for majority of those men they voted into office do not keep to their promises. All of us have probably been disappointed in the behaviour of some of the people we honestly believed would be of good representation. I am also aware that some will vote along party lines, regardless of the integrity and capability of the men who are running for the office. There are examples of individuals who have been thrust, wholly unprepared into positions of leadership and actually perform well like President Harry Truman, among others. I would submit, however, that Sir. Richard Odibo is fully prepared for the task ahead.

Some groups and, or persons wants to apply a very strong strategy to ensure they get to the seat of power. To achieve this, they go to any length to bride, harass, induce, kill, intimidate and maim people as they think best suit their particular class and the only thing more egregious is that most of our elders, leaders, traditional rulers and most of the electorates, are yet to wake up from the ideology of politics of settlement, thuggery, e.t.c.

Sir Richard Odibo remains the man for the Senate irrespective of party affiliation and to stick to in the quest and struggle to bring to his Constituency a better and robust representation. The Elders, leaders and stakeholders Forum, Urhobo Progressive Union, Delta Central Political Movement, Urhobo Renaissance Assembly, Delta Force, Urhobo Political Forum, Delta Must Be Good Group, Urhobo Political Congress, Perfect Movement, Delta Rescue Mission, Delta Central Democratic Movement, Delta Central Lawyers for Good Governance and other groups must look beyond family, clan, money, party and face reality. They must consider posterity and support/vote for the candidate of the Democratic People's Party (DPP) on whose platform the late Senator Pius Ewherido was elected. They must know that it is an uphill and Herculean task to win back the Senatorial seat for the Democratic People's Party which programmes and policies are for the people.

Indeed, the good people of Delta Central Senatorial District in particular are totally fed up with bad governance, electoral malpractices, fraud, oppression, dictatorship, misrepresentation, embezzlement of public funds at the expense and to the detriment of the Constituents. If we must change the Constituents to a Constituency that is truly blessed which ought to be flowing with milk and honey, all and sundry should sincerely from their hearts stand and support Richard Odibo and press the right button to capitalize on his fame, ideology, passion, Philanthropy and visions for his Constituents, then we shall see no reason how and why the evil cabals would rig themselves in when we voted rightly and protect our votes. Their ouster from the constituency in the last Senatorial elections conducted in 2011 will become a very simple issue that will materialize again like the late Pius Ewherido, Rochas Okorocha, Adams Oshiomole and Olusegun Mimiko's victories respectively.

As the people's influence, the electorates from the Constituency have their constitutional right to elect their Senator. Let us come together and remain firm to support Sir Richard Odibo financially, morally and spiritually. He remains the ONLY choice because he has been tested and proven, a man who is and has not been moved by any form of inducement (bribe), intimidation, and threats to deny, neglect and, or abandon the People's General, Olorogun Great Ogboru. A man who is tireless despite his financial assistance, one who has been focused and committed to the 'Great Ogboru Sunshine' programmes for Delta State.

Our Constituency has suffered from selfish and weak representation, back stabbing and wickedness and this has consistently deprived the people of the Constituency of enjoying true dividends of Democracy. Before his untimely demise, our own late Senator Pius Ewherido tried his best while serving; but Sir Richard Odibo is poised to raise the bar by producing outstanding performance like Deltans had never seen.

I trust that the Constituents will do it again remembering vividly that the seat was for the Democratic People's Party (DPP) and after the election, when Sir Richard Odibo would have been declared the lawful winner and sworn-in as the Senator, we shall sing songs of victory and testify of his good and outstanding representation; and it will amaze everyone at the end how simple it can be to engender sound, robust and pragmatic representation and legislation.

President - United Conscience for Democracy writes from Warri.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of COMRADE ONODARHO, E.M. ESIRI and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."