THE TRAIL BLAZING TAN
Exuding infectious passion spiced with abiding admiration President Goodluck Jonathan's leadership acumen, the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) blaze a trail in grassroots mobilization and “a world of ideas and ingenuity”
By AROME ATTAH
“ Many achievers… will get bruised and scorched on the turfs of their ambitious quests. They will suffer worse privations but in putting up a defence , in scheming to beat the most resourceful but equally ambitious competition and in removing all the seemingly insurmountable hurdles in their way, they end up generating a world of ideas and ingenuity that delectably take society to greater heights of achievements ”, - Onome Osifo – Whiskey in NEWSWATCH magazine of 14 May, 1990.
An interesting photograph was published on page 14 of DAILY TRUST newspaper of Tuesday March 3, 2015. Strategically positioned by the right sid e was a red-and-white umbrella branded 'PDP Volunteers' with the party's logo conspicuously displayed above. By the left was Vice Pr esident Namadi Sambo ; at the cen tre was President Goodluck Jonathan; by the right was the Vice Chairman of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah
The photograph which highlights the flag-off of the PDP Ward Volunteers Scheme at the presidential Villa, Abuja the previous day, speaks volume . Ordinarily, one would have seen someone other than Ifeanyi Uba standing next to His Ex cellency, President Jonathan and his Vice , Namadi Sambo at such a significant even t.
So why was Ubah , a nd not any of the political high and mighty personalities or their ilk, right there by the P resident's side at this August occasion? The reason is not too hard to decipher: even though he does not occupy any particular position at the executive or legislative arms of government, Ubah has, over the years, carved a niche for himself as one of the back-bones of the Goodluck Jonathan administration in terms of propagating the government's Transformation Agenda and underscoring the achievements of the gentleman TAN enthusiastically proclaims as Nigeria's most visionary and selfless leader.
At the heart of this unprecedented campaign is, needless to say, the indomitable outfit known as Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN). Essentially a non-partisan, non-religious and non-ethnic organization, TAN's core mission is to champion causes that are patriotic, noble, and beneficial to the generality of Nigerians on the one hand, and humanity on the other. Accordingly, when TAN subsequently identified the Transformation Agenda and the brain behind it as one of such noble team , it promptly swung into action.
In the beginning, not many took TAN serious . Rather, the majority saw it as a band of noise makers who, like many other such outf its before them, would merely come, make their presence felt for a couple of months, glean some benefits alo ng the line, and fizzle out. Had anyone told such people that given the fact that the brain behind TAN is not someone who ventures into a project only to chicken out when the ovation is loudest, they would probably have doubted him or her. But see what is going on now: not only has TAN weathered all the storms (includin g teething problems, initial public skepticism, barbs and all ) it has gradually and steadily metamorphosed into one of the most formidable pressure groups of its ilk and arguable a trail blazer in grassroots mobilization.
Indeed, from the barely heralded group which TAN was barely a few month ago, this nimbl e – footed outfit has inexorablly carved a niche for itself in the nation's socio-political firmament as second to none in areas such as propagation of the ideals , vision and achievements of the brand or cause they champion, loyalty and faithfulness to a cause, entity or personality, and, of course, massive mobilization of millions upon millions of the electorate.
“What has electrified both TAN's proponents and opponents alike is the group's enviable ability to make indelible impact whenever it joins the fray and/ or champions a cause”, remarks a Lagos – based advertisement executive and researcher, Barrister Vincent Bolawole .” Whether one shares their sentiments or not, one thing even their critics wouldn't hesistate to concede is that TAN as a group “sells” its vision or products in a manner that elicits much excitement and exposure”.
According to him, this is not too surprising given the level of passion and commitment which TAN's Vice Chairman, Dr. Ifeanyi Ubah, has devoted to the project. “Looking at the group and the impact it has made in such a relatively short period of time, it is evident that this proactive gentleman ( Ubah ) is not only devoted to the project but has somehow managed to transmit his passion and commitment to his hand-picked lieutenants”, Barr. Bolawole added”. This is all evident in the pacesetting way he has been going on with its campaign, standing out like an Iroko tree in terms of reach, impact, visibility, and the like. In a nutshell, TAN can be described as a socio – cultural or socio-political lobby group ahead of its time”.
Bearing in mind the sort of personality in charge of TAN, no less would have been expected , for Ifeanyi Ubah is not only a proactive, enterprising and lion-hearted gentleman but a classical possibility thinker. The sort of “ possibility thinker mentioned by that award – winning author, that is possibility thinkers are risk-running, chance-taking, high adventure seeking , sanctified speculators. As a result, they are more interested in service and success than they are in security. As a result they plunge when they see great potentials. Nerve and courage are the trademarks of their character”. So says Robert Schuller in his book, MOVE AHEAD WITH POSSIBILITY THINKING.
The notable author and preacher, may not have heard a name like Ifeanyi Ubah when he crafted that statement some decades ago. But one thing is certain: men like this indominitable and visionary compatriot called Ifeanyi Uba were not far from that celebrated American's mind when he was writing his universally acclaimed book. Reason: In many ways than one , this risk-taking and goal-getting entrepreneur, philanthropist , politician, and social crusader, epitomizes the virtues and qualities underscored by that author.
Take Ubah's story for example. As some one from a relatively humble background, the young Ifeanyi could have easily succumbed to the contagious virus called impossibility thinking or pessimism and self-pity. He could have conveniently argued that be ing as under -privileged as a son of a teacher , there was little or nothing he could do to alter his destiny. Like m any youngsters of his generation, he could have opted to settle for a menial job or even crime. Instead, he determined to triumph against all odds and, by God's gr ace, he succeeded spectacularly.
As inspiring as Ubah's enviabl e rise from the humble background to the pi nnacle of fame and fortune may be, what is particularly heart warming is that he never hesitates to “plunge when (he) sees great potentials”. Hence, with “nerve and courage (as) the trademarks of (his) character” he has plunged into ventures . Notably oil a nd gas – which have created hund reds of jobs for a legion of youths across the nation .
Against this backdrop, it has hardly come as a surprise to t hose who know the essential Ubah that the same “risk-running, chance – taking” mentality has been brought to bear on the operations of the innovative Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN). The result is evident: as mentioned by the Lagos based advertisement executive quoted earlier, TAN has not only been undertaking its lofty mission with admirable passion and commitment but has opened new vistas in their field of human and/or corporate endeavour .
This brings to the fore that statement by the journalist Ono me Osifo – Whiskey which can be paraphrased as: many achievers like Ifeanyi Ubah often get bruised and scorched on the turfs of their ambitious quests. They will suffer worse privations but in putting up a defence , in scheming to beat the most resourceful but equally ambitious competition and in removing all the seemingly insurmountable hurdles in their way, Ubah , TAN and their ilk en d up generating a world of ideas and ingenuity that delectable waltz ' Naija ' to greater heights of achievement.
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