By Adavize Ovavi
The totality of every man/woman is his/her character. Your real character is what you do when nobody’s watching or any reward is expected. That is why the good book admonishes us to guide our hearts with all diligence for out of it are issues of life.
Sun Tzu, in constructing his famous book, The Art of War, considered to be one of the greatest books on military strategy and leadership ever written, seemed to have had Hon Daniel Onę Ejigbo in mind because every inch of the nine leadership qualities analyzed in the book epitomizes the character of Hon Ejigbo.
Sun Tzu’s ideal leader is a person of deliberation and knowledge. With patient study and self discipline, you can become the kind of leader who, as he said, need not fear to embrace emerging challenges. This speaks to the character and dexterity of the Ex-Kogi Commissioner for Rural Development, Hon Daniel Onę Ejigbo. In Art of War, Sun Tzu did not only talk about battle tactics, but also about the qualities that make for a great leader.
Lead by example, not by force: Sun Tzu believed a leader should cultivate wisdom, benevolence, sincerity, and courage, as well as self discipline. These qualities, he believed, would inspire the followers to follow that leader out of respect. Leading by example is far more effective, he felt, than simply using strictness and punishment. Hon Ejigbo does not need coercion to lead as his effortless mien is enough persuasion. All through his work life, he has always distinguished himself and excelled because of these attributes.
It is better to do nothing than to act out of Fear: According to Sun Tzu, it is never wise to be driven by fear or desperation. These emotions cause you to take desperate risks. Like his name implies, Daniel is never afraid to dare the dareable. However, he’s never desperate.
The wise leader will always patiently wait and observe when times are tough, and only make a move when there is a clear advantage. This has been the Hallmark of Hon Ejigbo’s ventures. This explains why he has never been associated with failure in public and private services.
Never make decisions when you’re angry: He also believed it was always a bad idea for a leader to act out of anger. This, too, will only lead to rash decisions and fatal mistakes. He believed the best leaders act out of reason alone, and never let emotions interfere. When you are upset, take a break, and don’t come back until your temper is under control. Those who know or perhaps have worked with Hon Ejigbo before, will tell you that ability to balance emotions is his greatest strength. That’s why he’s not quick to talk, slow to react to issues.
Needless to mention that all these qualities combined to make Him Ejigbo, the compassionate, Capable, Charismatic and man of Character that he is. It’s the same milk of human kindness and compassion that propelled him to touch lives in many positive ways. In bankrolling the WAEC/NECO fees of thousands, he never gave consideration to family and friends. Instead, he focused on everyone, irrespective of religion. The famous Plato’s thought (By caring about the happiness of others, we find our own) is Hon Ejigbo’s guiding philosophy of life.
Good leaders are always several steps ahead: the best leader, according to Sun Tzu, thinks several steps ahead of the current situation. Thinking several steps ahead allows them to be ready for anything the opponent tries, and to use their resources with maximum efficiency.
Hon Daniel Ejigbo is a man of unparalleled generosity of spirit, imbued with grace and milk of human kindness. His style of philanthropy is different from the regular ‘game of show’ people do! Long before he was appointed Commissioner, in his personal capacity, he connected the entire Biraidu Community to the 33 KVA electric line. He single handedly brought a transformer for Abocho Community, years before he was appointed Commissioner.
He influenced and facilitated the building of a block of 3 class rooms and office accommodation for a school in Emewe, Braidu, Dekina local government of Kogi State. Bought JAMB forms, WAEC, NECO and other exams fees for an uncountable number of people. Supplied school books and textbooks for many wards to mention a few.
In retrospect, permit me to remind us that Hon Ejigbo, before venturing into politics, was an accomplished businessman and technocrat. From June 2011 – October 2014, he served as the Personal Assistant to Sen. Emmanuel I. Paulker Chairman Senate Committee on Upstream Petroleum. Established departmental responsibilities and coordinate functions among departments and sites.
From January 2005, House of Representatives Legislative Aid to Honourable Sani M. Sha’aban (Sabon Gari Federal Constituency).
In 2006, when duty called in obedience to fatherland, Hon Ejigbo served his National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) at the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission.
As a businessman, he is the visionary of Automorphosis Global Limited, which specializes in general maintenance and repair.
Adavize Ovavi, Legal Practitioner, writes from Okene, Kogi State.