…Edward Onoja, Igalaland and Kogi State

Forget the rhetoric, there is a revolution going on in Kogi state particularly in Igalaland, there is a new vista- a paradigm kind of shift from the old anachronistic posture to a new window of governance where mentoring has taken the front wheel. Unlike the battered past painted in nepotic wheel where families perpetuate themselves in revolving governance, today is witnessing an all-round inclusion where the son of a nobody is adopted and given the baton of leadership. I have seen it in my locale and I can say in modest confidence that the manifestation of young people in governance is yielding results.

From Olamaboro, a lad with no trace of a godfather or padded influence from the top was spotted and made the administrator. Shouts of fury laced with envy raided the air that the dude had no experience and pedigree of a leader. Sustained by conviction and will, the dude is coming out to be one of the best discoveries of Yahaya Bello. He has changed the concept of leadership to a purposeful template of results. He has demonstrated an unrivalled capacity. I am old enough to see the difference between Adejoh Pexy’s strides and those before him. As common as water is, Imane can boast of motorized boreholes – a reality that was far from my people. With no ‘experience ‘ yet he knows what the people need. That is leadership if you ask me, responding to the needs of your people is the needed experience in leadership.

Ankpa is definitely not left out in the new leadership renaissance, one young man detached from the history of the status quo came on board and changed the profile of Ankpa governance. He has done inarguably what others before him dared not ventured. He brought Ankpa to the screen of measured developments. He needed no tutorials to understand that his people need development and he wasted no time in making this real. I challenge anyone to show me the interventions of others that have surpassed Ahmed Mohammed ‘s sparkling interventions. He attracts and drags interventions to his people that leaves onlookers befuddled whether he is even an administrator and not an assembly man! This is what you get when you scout for people with sense to take up leadership responsibility.

In Idah the story is not different, the youthful takeover of leadership is yielding result. Amodu Hilary is harnessing long years of technical experiences to bear on the ancestral city of Igala. There is finesse in Idah as the old tales of backward leadership is no more. You needed to see him engage the Vice President the last time the man visited Idah. That is what exposed leadership can fetch, -a lease of fresh air.

Kogi East is witnessing a revolution and it is evident, young people are scouted and polished into offices and given the mandate to prove their capacities. And at the wheel of this mentoring drive is Edward Onoja – he is opening governance to young Igala folks and we can see it everywhere. I may be wrong, 90% of those in Kogi government of today are folks of the ordinary men in igalaland. The grips of elites where they replicate themselves in governance have been dislocated. From the mentoring foresight of this Ogugu born man are the new seeds of leaders for Kogi East and Kogi state.

Igala land is where it is today because of the absence of mentoring model, the people anywhere hardly replicate themselves. They forget that those who live forever are those who replicate themselves in others. Igalas have one of the highest number of professors in Nigeria, but hardly you hear their exploits because they almost live for themselves. Doesn’t it amaze you that since the return of democracy, an Igalaman has not made it to a senior minister, even when Amodu Ali was the powerful chairman of the PDP under the reign of Obasanjo?

This nauseating reality must be halted, the very reason I align myself with the mentoring strokes of Edward Onoja. We may despise him but he is integrating the Igalas, giving them a deserved place in political equation, hoisting the Igala map and harnessing the many youthful talents in Igalaland- a feat those before now failed to achieve.

Dear Igala elites, be like Edward, pick a child today and begin to mentor him or her, for in mentoring lies the greatness of any society. By the time nature has taken away your potency, it’s from the seeds you nurtured that will be the fruits of your toils.

Mentoringly musing!

Ochedi Shaibu Udale writes from Idah, headquarters of Igala Kingdom.

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