- Comrade Adams Oshiomhole
Success is not a destination, so many people say, but understood by very little. Success is a journey, the wise saying declares, establishing a new understanding of life, aiding an eased appreciation of our endeavours. But sweet as this new definition may sound, it, however, makes contentment and fulfilment elusive. And that has been the case for some persons who are leaders, some people who no matter how much they achieve, must be left in suspense, condemned to the debilitating ingratitude of expectation. For these people, current achievements will continue to pale as followers anticipate the actions of tomorrow.
Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, is one among the victims of the reformed definition of success. Because success is a journey, one may think that individuals seeking greatness will pluck satisfaction from the little victories and wins of the day, but that is false for people at the helm. Situated in the public eyes, under the weight of the masses’ judgement, leaders implode every day, crushed by the expectation of the public and his own quest to outdo his own records.
For Oshiomhole, piloting the affairs of a ruling party that inherited a collapsing country, the weight is heavier. The pressure to perform and justify the people’s trust and choice in them over the previous incumbent party, People’s Democratic Party, triples the weight, robbing the man of any chance at basking in moment’s victories. The situation worsens with intraparty uprisings and crisis, which although is normal to all human groups, is emphasized to deafening decibels by the opposition.
This way, even a man who achieves so much, is persecuted with enormous criticisms, trivializing his good works. Nevertheless, Oshiomhole has succeeded in rising above these impediments of joy, finding a means to chest his responsibilities with cheerful humility, working to the ends of his job’s demands. Put clearly, he is a man whose achievements sound loud like his nickname, thunder.
By the effective guidance of Oshiomhole’s leadership, a party with principles and renewed interest in details is forged. Against the norm of executives abandoning interactive sessions, depending on transcribed communique for the understanding of resolves of vital meetings, APC under Oshiomhole has ensured that party functionaries and all leaders under the party’s mandate, participate actively on duty. This, even, is led by the president himself who once the cabinet and ministers were all screened and passed, engaged the functionaries in a thorough brainstorming session as new and innovative solutions were sought for current and old challenges.
Taking charge of the party affairs eight months to the 2019 general elections, Oshiomhole through concerted efforts and efficacious measures, still managed to improve the statistical numbers of the party’s victory in the polls against what was obtained in 2015 against the PDP. In politics, nothing comes by chance or luck, if it is not worked for, it doesn’t happen. And by such numerical increase, it is proved that Oshiomhole’s style of bringing the party’s innovations and works to the public knowledge through maintaining media presence, succeeded in selling the party to more people, endearing their hearts.
Such assiduous deployment of energy towards the achievement of the party’s ideals was replicated in the ministerial nomination duration, both in the time taken to release the list and to screen the candidates. With the reduced time frame, compared to 2015, a list of ministers that abides by Nigeria’s principle of federal character, containing people of relevant competencies, was made public. And for the reason of this aptitude, the screening was made swift.
Against what was obtained before the emergence of Oshiomhole, where APC failed to secure a legislature that aligns to its progressive ideologies, hence assisting the application of policies that would have healed the country, Oshiomhole however through intensive lobbying done in accordance with democratic principles, secured an aligning legislature.
What beautifies this particular achievement is the process, hence once again providing evidence for Oshiomhole’s interest in details. The party having made clear that Ahmed Lawan is their choice for Senate leadership, Ali Ndume, from APC, instead declared his interest. Against what would have happened under other draconian parties, Ndume was allowed to contest, not out of favour, but with respect and recognition of his rights.
Completing the grasp of the legislature, against the indices of the first term, under Oshiomhole’s devoted leadership, APC acquired more legislators throughout the country, helping to set the background for effective legislature. Clearly, Oshiomhole has been sleeping less, applying his time unto charting a course for the success of the party he was elected to lead.
One thing would have been his undoing, and it would have come with prophetic quality. A prophet is not respected in his home town, says the Bible, and for Oshiomhole, with the house of Edo under fire, his reputation and achievements were under an impending threat of arson, about to be lit up by his own homeboys. The governor which he had helped emerge was going berserk, turning into tyrant with supersonic speed. What would Oshiomhole do? Spare the rod and spoil the child? And even, soil his own integrity? The world was watching.
In Bauchi, he was condemning similar despotism. What will he do with Edo? And so one morning, after indirect and covert means to pass his message across—the legislative directive that Obaseki redo the process—Oshiomhole came out and buttressed the fact of the law, calling out the evil lurking in Edo State.
The misdemeanours of Godwin Obaseki in Edo State, piling over time, reaching a crescendo with his arrant assault of the state legislature, could have torn to shred, the reputation of the uncompromising advocacy of truth. Undeniably, Oshiomhole being the predecessor and the prophet who anointed Obaseki, there was bound to be affection for this erring son, an emotion that would have lured the merchant of truth to a soft spot that would have seen him overlook justice. But he managed it well, riding the wave in light of wisdom and truth regardless of whose ox was being gored, therefore converting his tentative doom to a proof of his booming integrity.
If Oshiomhole really feels this good about himself, it is a tough guess as he is wise enough to recognize that bigger challenges lie ahead, as the journey continues. This man, burdened by the demands of duty and the expectations of followers, pressured by criticisms of dissenters and opposition, will most likely have no peace, denied the luxury of inhaling deeply and taking in the glories of his achievements. But then he is Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, a man of excellence, so he will go on and on and on, achieving and achieving, and making politics in Nigeria, great again.
- Mayaki is former Chief Press Secretary to Governor Obaseki.