IF THE 2011 PRESIDENCY REQUIRES BOLD MIXING THEN LET IN OSHIOMHOLE
In essence, Nigeria functions primarily as a society of labor. The spirit of labor does not embed itself in any political house as in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) or any other national party.
The Nigerian people both in spirit and in body love to labor and therefore they appear to be divinely, subjectively and objectively drawn to a leader who in spite of his or her political affiliation or membership sees the subjects of human struggle, daily toil, and manual effort as beyond religious, ethnic and political boundaries.
If the Nigerian society has a personality it may be colored with qualities and characteristics in the likes of passion, enterprising, collaboration, appreciation, fashionable, patronage, pride, toughness, favoritism, idiosyncrasy, respectability, tribalism, slow change and trustworthiness.
In the face of the complex nature of the nation, a leadership style that crosses these diverse characters is what the country requires at this time. It is possible that one of those individuals is the Governor of Edo State, Comrade Adam Oshiomhole. He sees the people’s issues and struggles as worth fighting for and defending even if it affects his own person in terms of leaning from personal and leadership shortcomings.
In the face of a constructive criticism from a national, traditional and corporate leader like Chief Peter Ojemen with regard to poor infrastructures in Edo State, he is not the type to take a personal or emotional response to correctional critique.
Instead he builds on open and good critique and strategically reconstructs special suggestions into meaningful works for the benefit of the people.
The current general belief is that Governor Oshiomhole, is a man of all flexible political and strategic sides who appears ready to boldly mix with anything or person as long it is all about the public good. In this regard he is a person that could be a part of the presidency and of importance, strictly on national grounds
He has shown the need for independent political thought as evidenced in his public actions that if ideas are of benefit to a group of people he is willing to listen irrespective of whether the ideas emanate from an oppositional or one’s own party. As such he is not the type to dismiss any leader simply on the basis of ethnic or political membership.
If truth be told he does not appear as one that is inherently tied to the doctrines of a political party, therefore making him fully ripe to run with any one with different party label and work across political lines. He has always being daring and loves to take on risky courses.
The long standing disruptive fight between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) saw some degree of understanding when he boldly involved himself, all for the sake of introducing a win-win atmosphere between all involve—faculty, students, parents and the government.
As we know there is the historical bitterness that marks partisan behaviors as in the case of the political climate that sometimes surround relationship between a President from a particular party and leaders from another party. Such is the case of the U.S. President Barak Obama, a Democrat and some heads in the Republican oppositional party where political divide sometimes become so wide that it affect national work.
As it has been known, Oshiomhole has shown that political divide must never be allowed to slow down State or national functioning. He is remains a model and a symbol of cross- political harmony as evidenced by his flexible relationship to members of various political parties across the nation.
He seems from time to time to show an act of flexibility with his apparent positive interaction with President Goodluck Jonathan, of the PDP, an oppositional party to the Governor’s party-ACN.
It was not long ago that the Governor would show to the Nigerian people that when a leader champions any good course for the betterment of a needy area as with the underprivileged populations, that individual deserves the collective praise and respect irrespective of that person’s political party and aaffiliation. Such was the case of the Edo North Senator, Engineer Yisa Braimoh who single handedly financed a special school for persons with physical limitations. The Governor in spite of differences in political affiliation between both of them, saw the benevolence of Senator Braimoh as what is of importance to the people and reasoned that he is a man that deserves to remain the senate. Why? Because the Senator’s work goes beyond political affiliation, and like the Governor the Senator has also shown by his good deeds that what is important is not what party one belongs to but how one uses their individuality, and leadership and blessings to bring to bear worthy outcomes for the people.
As always the Governor has shown his distinctiveness in his deeds and works. This leads to the question of how often does a Nigerian leader engage in various manual or altruistic service without the limelight of the media?
This he often engages in as it was the case of helpless victims in a ghastly automobile accident that he personally took to a local hospital when he came upon them on the highway.
He has shown that if Nigeria is to move towards open democracy, the psychology of "godfatherism" or subjective command of power and influence by a single or a few persons’ on a whole state or nation must be reconditioned and replaced with equal access and opportunity irrespective of one’s state in life.
His far reaching work in various international and national bodies as they relate to labor wages, the role of privatization, the role of functional insurance system, the fight against AIDS and the need for progressive constitution uniquely make him a wanted man who deserves to be helping on a national level for the good of the people.
He has shown that higher humane standards should be pursued at all time as was revealed in his constant labor battle with the post military government of Olusegun Obasanjo .
He believes in the power of the rule of law as he demonstrated in his gubernatorial war of 19 months until his resumption into office in November of 2008. In spite of the struggles he endured which included arrest, he believes that the matter of unity is far beyond political, religious and tribal lines, and that progressive unity is the ultimate end of a good struggle.
He believes the nation will be well served with leaders who are confrontational and sacrificial, at least when in comes to matters of adequately executing public serves.
He has shown time and time again that those huge Corporations that show insensitivity to the people’s heath and safety must be confronted. And such was the case of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation whom he legally threatened for their contaminated kerosene that resulted in loss of lives and destruction of properties some years ago. He believes the victims or their families should be compensated for the sake of justice.
Recently he openly corrected some personnel in his Executive council and even corrected his Commissioner of Health over the slow execution of a health-related project while at the same time same time ushering praises to the Commissioner in areas of the State projects were good performances are observed.
In other words, Oshiomhole always find it commanding to speak out only when it is about magnifying things that are of significance to the peoples’ overall progress.
If the Nigerian people are about pure development, growth, reform and progress, they should find a national place and mat for Oshiomhole to stand on and work.
He appears as a man who is idealistic, practical, simple, down to earth, and understands the psychological importance of risk taking, of constructive propaganda, of political maneuvering, and of shared politics as long as all these tactics lead to a better living, a better way and a better road to a great nation.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D, DABPS, FABFE, a practicing clinical/Forensic psychologist and the Interim Associate Dean of the Behavioral Science, Broward College, North Campus, Coconut Creek, Florida. [email protected]