July 29th, 2012
deliberated Nigerian election by Nigerians abroad and at
home has come and gone. It now appears that a minority state
like the Edo State could be surrounded by watchful eyes,
nationally and internationally for one reason only—a fresh
birth of national leadership through the body and spirit of
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria
(ACN), Nigeria’s main opposition party to the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP).
By the next
presidential election, Oshiomhole would be in his second
term in political leadership in the capacity of a well
acknowledged, treasured and cherished Governor. Like William
Jefferson Clinton (Bill Clinton) the fortieth and
forty-second Governor of Arkansas who later became the
Forty-second President of the United States; Governor
Oshiomhole of Edo continues to show similar leadership
Oshiomhole’s years are continuously marked by
extensive efforts to reform the educational system, to spur
economic growth, to improve labor market, to improve
institutional ethics; and to propose modest reforms in
commercial regulation, pollution control, road construction,
highway programs, as well as to improve industrial
development and spur business investment.
As a leader who aims for sustained economic
growth, meaningful spending, reduction of budget increase in
budget surpluses, Nigeria could be ready for Oshiomhole in
the next election cycle.
Oshiomhole has being a leader in the periods
of intense partisanship (do or die politics), yet he is
liked and admired as a straight shooter (a man of
scrupulousness) throughout Nigeria among Southerners and
He has demonstrated an ability to bounce back
from defeats and humiliation, and his style continues to
play to the positive sensibilities of the Nigerian citizens.
His State was beset by numerous problems, one
of which resulted in him becoming the first elected Nigerian
Governor with expansive labor background.
He continues to enjoy high popularity among
traditional chiefs, market women, students, and children and
the fact that he has gained more popularity for handily
defeating the powers-that-be makes him an unflinching
executive and a high level risk taker.
Oshiomhole now stands out as the first
leading figure to put a notable dent and tear on the
psychology of godfatherism—a long standing threat to public
transparency and national safety.
In the recent Edo State election he
campaigned to make more major strides in education,
highways, healthcare, security and other vital areas,
including a large investment of public money, with what he
has planted in Edo State, he could equally bring these
resources to the presidential table for a new Nigeria.
Oshiomhole’s new formula for distributing
equitable resources and adopting tough standards for general
governance; including his known devotion to economic
development and good working relationship with the
legislature is certainly a start-up leadership for a new
Nigeria in the 21st century.
Oshiomhole as a visionary could bring in
technology-oriented businesses, and large tax incentives for
foreign industries that will expand production and jobs.
He is on his way to make Edo as one of the
best States in job creation and in public school development
in the coming years, a reminder that he could successfully
transfer powerful leadership skills to the presidency and
raise new standards in the areas of education and jobs.
Psychologically with his recent resounding
victory in the 2012 gubernatorial election over the PDP, a
well-financed opposition party, and the defeat of several
key powerful figures, he appears to have changed the mind of
many Nigerians that a new national ethics, leadership and
atmosphere is possible democratically.
Oshiomhole who is bent on altering the
appalling state of national politics in Nigeria—strengthened
his national stature and gave himself significant accolades
through this most recent election.
Oshiomhole presents as an individual who will
remove the nation from the part of a sluggish economy, from
high unemployment, and from diminished security, and a
leader who will secure health insurance coverage for every
Nigerian, reform the rural areas, begin a meaningful
national service program, reform the system of civil
service, and invest heavily in the nation’s infrastructure.
President Jonathan by his own admission
states that the people have an unusual perception of him in
terms of leadership. The president responded to the people
that he is not a “General”.
Oshiomhole, on the other hand, he comes
across to many as, at least psychologically as agile, sharp,
stubborn, pointed, non-crippled, persuasive, critical,
encouraging, non-harmful and fully alive.
Oshiomhole in the face of the long time
ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) continues to
demonstrate to the nation, and to the world that the
leadership qualities revealed by the great civil rights
lawyer, Dr. Mike Ozekhome (SAN) are quite practicable in
The Ozekhome measures on leadership include
but not limited to credibility, recorded performance,
transformation, continuity, progressiveness, aggressiveness,
collectiveness and risk-taking.
It is essential to rate the next presidential
candidates on these Ozekhome leadership criteria, which are
mostly based on some common sense characteristics and
consistent with the traits of past successful presidents
In a more psychological,practical and
expanded ways these noted metrics and character traits
should show in the next president.
The next president of the Nigerian people
should be the best, should know how to put Nigeria forward
in dealing with other nations, and should be someone who in
principle and in practice will rule Nigeria with some degree
of stubbornness and disagreeableness.
The Individual should be a bit loose in order
to meet the constant multiple flexible circumstances in the
society. The individual should be open minded, assertive,
and attentive to their emotions as well as willing to
question things, try new ways of doing things, show faith
and morals, as well as show imagination, tolerance to
stress and adversity.
The presidential leader should be very noisy
but must exhibit straightforwardness when confronting
corruption, stupidity, and manipulation, among public
Oshiomhole as a man of ambition, competence,
ability, hard work, negotiation, confrontation and amusement
could move heaven and earth to meet the need of Nigerians.
Oshiomhole, is likely to be able to
painstakingly follow the powerful words of Dr. Ozekhome who
continue to cry out for an individual that will take charge
of the affairs of Nigeria seriously.
In other words, an individual that could help
operate a true federal system in the nation, and an
individual that will recognize regional resources for the
benefit of the entire federation.
In the words of Ozekhome, an individual that
will remind today’s children and youths of the good works of
Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Michael Okpara, Dennis
Osadebe, Anthony Enahoro, Tafawa Balewa and Benjamin Nnamdi
As Nigeria remains one of the spiritually,
naturally and intellectually blessed nation Ozekhome states
that we need a leader with the willpower of Winston
Churchill and Abraham Lincoln.
Oshiomhole evidentially will bring to the
national table developments that are markedly visible,
tangible, measurable, modern, and beautifying but only if he
remains in the same positive and admirable course.
Oshiomhole by his personality style has
demonstrated that he has the personal and institutional
traits in regards to not trying to please every one, in
regards to being ready to step on “toes and make them
bleed” as asserted by Ozekhome.
Oshiomhole has the capability to show the
nation that he can put to practice the power of a
commander-in-chief, take charge of the people, decisively
make good decisions no matter who get offended, and take a
stand most of the time.
If Oshiomhole could convince the nation that
he will stay on course, he could join the presidential
contest of 2015, and if he wins, and he could navigate
Nigeria overcome many of its challenges just like other
nations have done under a forward-looking leader.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D., is a
Forensic/Clinical Psychologist and the Founder of the Dr.
John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, an Advocacy and Study
Center for Nigerian Psychological Health. Jos5930458@aol.com