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The Presidential Forwardness in Oshiomhole
By: John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D.  
 Published  July 29th, 2012

The much 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 qualities.

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 Northerners.

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 Nigeria.

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 globally.

 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 officials.

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 Azikiwe.  

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.

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