Edward Onoja: Audacity of a good leader

I weep for the liberty of our dear Kogi state that at this early stage of our successful experiment of developmental politics corruption has been imputed to our state, that the right of our people has been battered for promises of office during their respective tenures. Today, every discerning mind in Kogi state knows that its politics has been enhanced by the appointment of Edward Onoja as chief of staff to our dear governor, Yahaya Bello. It is true that democracy is when the indigent rather than the owners of property are the rulers. Edward Onoja is a man who with a humble beginning and this has enabled him to have a true grasp of the needs of our state which makes a good complementary ally of the efforts of our governor to develop our state.

 The lessons Onoja learnt from his parents during his childhood, adolescent and high school days are unusually important. If there is a time that he developed a uniqueness and sense of organisation, it was then. In those days, he developed the skills that have immensely contributed to his success in politics, and this is what is systematically missing in our many politicians today. He believes in the fact that politics is not a joke, especially in Kogi state that Governor Yahaya Bello has made politics a serious business for the sake of our people. He has never retreated from a good cause, never retracted a statement of fact he believes in, and most importantly he is familiar with the pain of our people and that is why he is intensely compassionate to our long suffering folks and people; that is what his being in politics is all about. Onoja has never admitted a mistake because there is no mistake in his politics.

The chief of staff believes one of the reasons that the people hate politics is that truth is rarely an objective in a politician’s life but elections and power. Onoja professes that the ballot is stronger than the bullet. The truth in him marks him out and that is the difference. He is a complete democrat.

Onoja believes that the first lesson of economics is scarcity – there is never enough of anything to satisfy those who want it. In Kogi state today resources are scarce to satisfy the developmental needs of our people and for Onoja the first lesson of his politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics because he believes that when you come together as a people, it becomes a family, which we are in Kogi state, with the different personalities and the politics of being together like a band. All segments of the Kogi society are important. It is different from bringing in something by yourself. Onoja’s politics evolves the one for and all for one philosophy of Aramis of the man in the Golden Mask movie. He believes what happens to one segment of our society affects the rests.

The politics of vote the man who promised the least, because he shall be least disappointing has worked marvelously in Kogi state. The Yahaya Bello administration promised us the least but they have outperformed their predecessors put together and this is due to the contributing efforts of Edward Onoja, who is seen as the best chief of staff the state has ever got.

Onoja believes that the unique thing about our state is our people and cultural, tribal and religious diversity and we do not bring these into politics. He has always advised that we should always seek the political parties’ answers in our politics but the right answers not to always put the blame on the past but accept our own responsibilities for the future. Onoja is the future of our politics, a responsibility he has readily accepted.

Onoja advocates the need to reject any politics that targets people because of tribe and religion as he is a highly detribalised Kogites. This isn’t a matter of political correctness. It is a matter of understanding that which makes us strong. The country respects us not because of our tribe. It respects us because of our diversity and openness and the way we respect every faith. Though a Christian, Onoja respects people from other faith. He is a man that believes in perseverance because it is the hard work you do after you get tired of the hard work you already had. Onoja is a known workaholic, a trait he learnt from his father who always insists hard work does not kill. He believes in forgiveness as the biggest form of vengeance because to err is human and to blame other people is politics. He has always loathed vindictiveness because he believes there is always something good in every human being.

Onoja is one of the very best politicians in Kogi east. In fact, he is regarded as the leader of that zone politically. He gives high regard to morality, law abiding and he has no tendency to corruption even a single Kobo. He derives his greatest strength from serving the people because he knows that a successful and meaningful life is derived from serving the people. He knows that to be a successful leader of the zone, his people must have trust in him and the very best way to earn trust is to display a high sense of character and qualities composed of values, beliefs, traits and skills.

Onoja has shown times again that he is a born leader as all the qualities of leaderships are domiciled in him. He has the integrity and technical skills to handle all challenging assignments that need his attention like fiscal matters, policies, plans and projects, ideas and initiative solutions to problems. His integrity is his consistency of actions, methods, measures, values, principles, expectations and outcomes. He does what is right at all times both legally and morally even when no one seems to be watching. Onoja is highly educated, modest, with experience in social welfare and volunteerism. He is really a leader of men and resources.

The most important leadership trait that everybody sees in Onoja is that he says what the people need with the loudest voice. He is very loyal party man and very transparent albeit to a fault. He works to always bring development to the door-steps of his people.

Muswady writes from Lokoja, Kogi state; 08184846115.

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