Of Ize-Iyamu, a recycled video, acid incident, and the courage of a honest leader, By John Mayaki


The recycling of an old video interview erroneously reported as recent wherein Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu clarified the events that led to his two-year struggle with the administration of the University of Benin as a student leader over an acid incident in which he was vindicated and absolved of any wrongdoing, really provides insight into the life of a man who had from the onset been a leader, a conscious fellow, and a charismatic personality concerned with the social plight of the people.

When approached with genuine curiosity, one finds from the true account that Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu was there for a mediation errand, as a school union leader interceding for concerned groups. This is made even more profound by the actions that took place after the horrid incident: Pastor Ize-Iyamu took care of the victim while others were confused and wailing, alerted the security agents, and ensured the swift movement of the victim to the hospital for medical attention.

The normal of course action for the average minded human, or a guilty party, would be to take to their heels and avoid trouble or being wrongly charged and associated with such crime. But Pastor Ize-Iyamu on that said day, the same as today, and as will forever be, proved himself not to be a person of average mettle.

And so he rose to the occasion, sought medical help for the victim and, as can be seen, got wrongly labeled for that wonderful act of selfless rescue although he was eventually cleared after multiple eye-witnesses, one of whom is alive today and ready to attest to the facts, defended his innocence and supplied incontrovertible proofs that he deserved commendation for his profound display of courage and leadership, not blame.

In an era where men are quick to lay claim to strains of glory but fail to take responsibility, Ize-Iyamu, from this episode, showed himself an emerging light of hope for Edo State, a state under the grip of a man who has never stood up for his people, who is skilled in the art of secrecy, who has no known history.

The gentle openness and calm honesty displayed by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu in the recycled old video affirms to everyone, particularly the people of Edo State, that we can be sure we are dealing with a man who is human and true even in the presence of an unsavory misconception.

It is equally interesting to look at the account from the perspective of what Pastor Ize-Iyamu has become. A minister of God, a leader, a builder, and an inspiring man ripening into his God-ordained destiny.

There has been some chattering about the 2016 video but amid all of that, we must not forget its true lesson and significance. It offers a chance, an opportunity, to analyze ourselves and the people presenting themselves for leadership and the consideration of our votes.

Who do we trust and from who can we draw inspiration? A man who in an interview refused to shy away from an issue that has been politicized and distorted but instead gave an honest account with hopes that the youths can learn and the people can have full knowledge of his journey as a young undergraduate to an accomplished man devoted to service to God and humanity. Or his opponent who has no known history, never admits to a fault or misgiving, and is subject of several hush stories on his amoral fetishes and odd dalliances that he never owns up to or deny?

In whom do we see transparency, kindness, and humanness? The answer is obvious, and it is Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu. Honesty is the gateway to trust and inspiration and in Pastor Ize-Iyamu, we find a leader who does not hide or bury, but highlights and tells it all. It is not easy and will sometimes present backlash but leadership is not about doing easy things. Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu can summon the courage. It is no surprise he leads the way as the people’s preferred choice.

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