Macaulay: Stewardship or Statesmanship?
“And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? “ (Luke 12:42).
As the My 29thhandover date approaches, many politicians are busy packing out of their offices, while others are busy jostling for new appointments, even at the expense of decamping to another party. It was refreshing to see a public servant take a different route by going back to his community to tell them that ‘dis job when u na send me, na so I do am.” This past week, the out-going Secretary to the Delta State Government (SSG), Comrade Ovuozourie Samuel Macaulay, returned gave an accounting of his stewardship to the Isoko nation, in Oleh. He also hosted his colleagues in the media the previous night.
The problem we are facing in Nigeria is that most of the people “sent” by their communities do not do a great job and rarely return to give an accounting of their stewardship. The few that do, only attempt it when seeking for re-election. As 1 Corinthians 4:2 states, “moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” Who then is a faithful steward? Is there a difference between a steward and a statesman?
One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions of Steward is “one appointed to supervise the provision and distribution of’ resources.” Stewardship is further defined as “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.” Stewardship is a position of trust and requires an accounting to those who trusted you with the job. Clearly, anyone familiar with Comrade Macaulay’s tenure as Commissioners or one in charge of the engine room of the state will agree that he discharged his fiduciary duties excellently.
Similarly, a statesman is defined as “a usually wise, skilled, and respected government leader” or“one versed in the principles or art of government; especially: one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government or in shaping its policies.” Other synonymous definitions include: “a person who is experienced in the art of government or versed in the administration of government affairs” or “a person who exhibits great wisdom and ability in directing the affairs of a government or in dealing with important public issues.”
Last year, American Congressman Forbes informed the Christian Coalition that “True statesmanship depends on a commitment to lead by principles and values. Perhaps more than that, it depends on the ability to come together to build consensus, not a patchwork of compromises. True statesmanship births a desire for common ground. If we posture ourselves as statesmen, we come to the table with respect for each other, an open mind to ideas, and an understanding of each other’s unwavering principles. Statesmanship requires hard work and respect. It is not the easy way out. But it’s necessary if we want a healthy, thriving, functioning government.”
We should take a glimpse at some of SSG’s qualifications. Comrade Ovuozourie Samuel Macaulay is a man of vision and a great leader with impeccable qualifications. He hails from Owhe-Ologbo, in Isoko North Local Government Area of Delta State. Comrade Macaulay has undoubtedly been instrumental in the delivery of dividends of democracy to Deltans as the Secretary to the State Government (SSG). The SSG is the hub of the administration whose task is to keep the whole machinery (of state) moving and working smoothly. All major decisions and policies of government are issued through him and he has a direct responsibility to monitor the implementation of the policies. His wealth of experience include working as Public Enlightenment Assistant, Senior Current Affairs Officer, Assistant Manager - News and Current Affairs, Chairman - Bendel TV NUJ Chapel, Chairman, Delta State Council of NUJ, Chairman - Delta State Council of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Commissioner for Inter-Ethnic Relations & Conflict Resolution, Chief of Staff in Government House & Commissioner for Power & Energy.
In reeling out his plethora of contribution to the development of both Isoko North and Isoko South Local Government Areas last Friday, Comrade Macaulay also inadvertently enumerated his great contributions to Delta State and Nigeria as a whole because Delta is a microcosm of Nigeria. Everyone present (including myself), if they were honest, will admit how the SSG has positively touched their lives.
Out-going Delta SSG Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay, giving his stewardship account to the Isoko people on Friday, May 22, 2015 at Chief Ekpre Otobo Hall, Oleh
Comrade Macaulay, who was first appointed by former Governor Chef James Onanefe /Ibori as Honourable Commission for Inter-ethnic Relations and Conflict Resolution, succeeded in quelling the Warri Crisis that by 2003 had existed for seven (7) years. Subsequently, as Commissioner for Energy he was instrumental in increasing the refinery output from 20,000 barrels per day to 250,000. We should also not forget his recent role in resolving the Ugborodo Community Crisis. Additionally, he succeeded in touching every Isoko village without light and replacing all wooden electric poles. From political appointments that he brought to the Isoko nation to infrastructural developments, Comrade Macaulay no doubt brought home the bacon in delivering the dividends of democracy to his people specifically and Deltans in general. On page 10 of his own book “MY STEWARDSHIP: FACTS BEHIND THE FIGURES”, Comrade Macaulay correctly states that “one of the basic components of a true democratic society is stewardship” and he has done well in his twelve years of stewardship in government.
Of Course, Macaulay also contributed to the society before his reluctant foray into politics and will continue after he is no longer a political appointee. The SSG who never contested for office has done more than many people who were elected. Nonetheless, he realized that he was given a mandate by the people and was there in a representative capacity. Macaulay who, jokingly stated that maybe he will meet some of the attendees in the farm, is actually a serious farmer and has been engaged in hard work since his childhood.
Whether or not he returns to the public service with another appointment or seeks elected office, Isoko Nation, Delta ad Nigeria are better because the messenger that was sent, did well. As the master said in Matthew 25 and Luke 19, we all echo “well done good and faithful servant.” No one in Isoko Nation will hesitate to send the Comrade SSG on another mission because he has been faithful in a previous assignment and has acted as is expected of “good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:10).
The architect of the political philosophy of Macaulaism, which is politics without bitterness, Comrade Macaulay has positively affected many Deltans. He has been true to his personal philosophy, which is to live a legacy through loyalty & service to humanity. Comrade Ovuozourie Samuel Macaulay has proven to be both a great steward and a statesman. We commend him and his family into the hands of Almighty God, as he moves on to a path ordered by God. (Prov. 3:1-6).
Rev. Atawa-Akpodiete, a public Affairs Analyst, writes from Asaba. Contact him on 08138391661 or [email protected] .