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Oshiomhole is Nigerian’s Obama – Ben-Bruce, Fashola, Dagote, Utomi and Momoh

By Erasmus Ikhide
 Published February 8th, 2009

History was made January 30, 2009 at the hallowed hall of Eko Hotels and Suites Lagos, where Silverbird Group awarded Edo State Governor, Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole as its fifth Man of the Year, 2008. The Chairman of Silverbird Group, Ben Murray-Bruce says Nigerian nation will be better for it with the entrance of Comrade Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole into our national political space after his purposeful leadership at the NLC. According to him, ‘‘the truck of vision, doggedness, probity, honesty and maturity that accomplished Oshiomhole’s into politics was all that was needed to grow the nation’s economic to an enviable height, and that with him around Nigeria will attain that height’’.


His Excellency, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (S.A.N) extols the virtue of Oshiomhole as a man endowed with uncommon intellect and uncanny faith in the development of Edo State and her people. He says he is convinced that Oshomhole as the touch bearer in Edo state politics will lead Nigeria to her destination as Barrack Obama is doing in the United States of America; at a time the world is groping in the throe of economic darkness and political leadership. Fashola enjoined his Edo State counterparts to give priority attention to education, infrastructure development, creation of jobs and enabling environment History for foreign investors. Aliko Dangote, Professor Pat. Utomi, Prince Tony Momoh were in their usual element. Dangote says he is firmer in his believe on the workability of Nigeria with the people like Adams Oshiomhole calling the shots at the helm of affairs. As a business man, he says, nothing excites him than seeing Nigerians working to earn a living so as to give back a large chunk of his profit to the society that gave him so much.



Prince Tony Momoh, former minister of information is quite optimistic that Edo State will work again. He is of the view that since Adams Oshiomhole is allergic to injustice he can’t afford to enrich himself with the people resources, an act that was the daily preoccupation of successive governments in Edo State . He also went spiritual with his permutation that Oshiomhole will perform since he draws from on High as against our past leaders who have drawn from the deep. For Professor Pat. Utomi, Oshiomhole has rekindled in Nigerians, like Barrack Obama to his American people, the hope and aspiration that has gone on recess since Nigerian Independence which is needed to be snatch from the jaws of perdition. There is no use doubting the fact that Oshiomhole with a humble background, fierce intellect, charismatic gifts and superb organizational skills he acquired at the NLC will redefine the mechanisms of governance in Edo State .


The Chairman of Silverbird Group, Ben Murray-Bruce in his opening remarks recounted his encounter with Adams Oshiomhole in 2004, then a labour leader while he was the Director General of Nigerian Television Authority. As he was being driven off to his office one fateful morning, he was confronted with a mammoth crowd, numbering over 25,000, large enough to overthrow an obstinate government – a breeding ground for revolution. In the midst of the crowd was a Fidel Castro-fiber wearing midget. Alas! It was Adams . He inquired of him what the matter was. Oshiomhole retorted oh, you don’t know what the matter is, and NTA go about showing old video clips of market women selling vegetable in the market to suggest that the industrial action decleared by NLC against the Federal Government for obnoxious increases of petroleum products has failed; and you are here asking me what it was? He continued, at any rate we are on a courtesy call to your office. The rest is history. 


Oshiomhole himself did not mix the point at the occasion when he stated that the task ahead of him in Edo State is daunting as much as it is challenging; and that being a man of challenges, awards of this nature will certainly spur me and others towing the part of advancing the cause of humanity to greater challenges and reward in the long run. Oshiomhole says in spite of his bitter encounter with the Chairman of Silverbird Group while he was a steward at the NLC; Ben-Bruce did not only forgive him, but rewarded him with a prestigious honour as Silverbird Man of the Year, 2008. ‘‘I feel like silver tonight’’, says Oshiomhole.  


Comrade Adams Oshiomhole emerged the winner out of the six nominees of the 2008 edition for doggedness in the pursuance of his electoral mandate. He got highest number of votes of all nominees which included a distinguished galaxy of Nigerians like: Chinua Achebe of the Things fall apart fame, Rotimi Amechi the militant nemesis in the crises ridden Niger-Delta, Gani Fawehimi the famous inimitable human rights crusader, Newton Jibunoh, the environmentalist whose relentless efforts at sensitizing the people about desert encroachment has risen in us the danger of eco terrorism and, Alex Okosi, the ace promoter of African music and the initiator of the MTV Africa Music Awards.


That these array of accomplished Nigerians in their chosen fields are not forgotten, though did not score the highest votes as to be awarded ‘Man of the Year’ this time round did not impair their contributions to growing the nation, its people and humanity, but a clear testament that Nigerians are achievers in all sphere of human endeavor. So, the six nominees could not have been honoured at the same time. Oshiomhole in his humble way, if you ask him, he is just the first among a group with equal contribution towards the resuscitation and nurturing the soul of a vanquished nation.  


Like they say, harvest is the reward of labour. It was a very heavy harvest of good will, compliments and celebration for the man of honour; away from riotous engagement that brought him into the consciousness of the mass of people. Over time Oshiomhole has staked his authentic being at his very expense to fight the cause of the masses that have been trodden and trampled to the dust for no crime of theirs, but victims of successive conspiratorial governance that criminalized competitions, debates and hard work; but favoured mediocrity, ineptitude, brigandage and looting. As an incurable optimist, he insisted that the nation must been returned from living death, a circuit of political and economic stagnation which oil portfolio and its wealth has very well compounded. To him, the liberation of the people is given and, anything short of that circumvents ILO convention which states that ‘poverty anywhere constitutes a danger to prosperity everywhere’.  


Achievement is an inspirational tool to advance individual, community, national and global hopes, and unity, pride in such that the culture of sincerity, dignity, hard work will become our guiding principle towards the creation of egalitarian society. That is exactly what Silverbird Television outfit seeks to achieve or have achieved graciously, bestowing awards on deserving Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various field of human endeavor. It’s an initiative that is determined to continue to celebrate deserving role-models who the public perceive as deserving of honour.  


Oshiomhole’s achievements are not solely of the past. The success will not die with his labour activism and the tenacity he employed to actualizing his mandate with the peoples’ supports. He has contributed to enlightening and deepening not only the Nigerian democracy but the African. It is loudly pronounced with his style of governance in Edo State that the wind of change has permeated the entire fabrics of his statecraft.


Erasmus Ikhide, 

Media Assistant to Comrade

Governor, Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole

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