By D.A.N Osa-Ogbegie
It is often hard to find people gravitate towards private individuals in Nigeria and even rarer to congregate around them or around the ideas they espouse for long. This is not the case with Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and many have often wondered why he continues to attract the loyalty, commitment and attention of many members of the society, both the elites and the so called masses. I was among these people who couldn’t understand why.
My privileged position of a solid mentor and protégé relationship with Osagie Ize-Iyamu in the last five years has afforded me the opportunity to see him from close quarters.
The secret of Ize-Iyamu is that he embodies certain coveted character traits of the greats that stand him out.
Osagie Ize-Iyamu is a PASTOR. We all know he is an ordained Pastor at the respected Redeemed Christian Church of God but beyond that is that he is a living proof of who a Pastor should be. By the dictionary and the Bible, a Pastor is a Shepherd who feeds the sheep. Who tends to the welfare of the sheep. This, Pastor Ize-Iyamu does naturally with compassion. He has a big dining table in his house and rarely do people go to his house and not eat and/or drink. The welfare of his friends and associates is always a concern to him. He mourns with them when they mourn and celebrate with them when they celebrate. He goes out of his way, even when not convenient, to empathize with people by attending their social ceremonies, contribute money to assist them, doing for them what they find hard to do for themselves and generally helping to make lives and living easy for them.
Osagie Ize-Iyamu is fondly called “LEADER” by his friends, associates and even people on the other side of politics. He has shown to be a leader by every definition of the word. He stands tall and always exude the confidence of a man who knows where he is going. Who has a clear vision of who he is and his role in the evolution of his society, per time.
People always say that every politician has his price and can be bought. Pastor Ize-Iyamu reiterates publicly and privately that he cannot be bought. In his thunderous words: ” I CANNOT BE BOUGHT, I CANNOT BE INTIMIDATED”, He has shown he is a principled and committed General that can be relied on every time. This I have found out is not because of his political ambition, but because it is who he is.
Osagie Ize-Iyamu, even though he is awe inspiring and comes across as arrogant and aloof by his sheer size and supreme confidence, is one of the humblest persons I have encountered. He relates with everyone at their level and does not show he is better or more well placed than the next person. As a man who loves sports, especially the game of draught, one can often see him play the game with persons one would think he would never been seen with. He not only plays with them,but they also freely throw jibes at him as happens in games like that. Pastor ( as I enjoy calling him) is for me a RIDDLE WRAPPED IN A MYSTERY INSIDE AN ENIGMA. When I go with him to see some persons, we can move from visiting a friend of his in a house at the backwaters of upper sokpnba to his friend in a palace like mansion in GRA Benin and he would relate with both exactly the same way, showing no preference based on their material possessions.
Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is a STATESMAN! He shows much concern for the progress of Edo State and would do everything it takes for Edo to be great again. I am privileged to see many of his intervention programmes to help Edo State and even the current government, just for the sake of a greater Edo. People do not even know many of the things he does for the State behind the scenes as he would not take credit for them.
He does not see any difference among the Edo tribes and has constantly shown this in his activities and statements over the years. He is at home in any part of Edo State,having friends in the 192 wards. In his inner circle of friends are Esans, Etsakos, Owans, Igarras, Benins.
I have learnt many things from this man and one of them is his principle of friendship to all and malice to none. Not for one day have I heard him bad mouth anyone,including the politicians who have betrayed him. I would commend this character to you.
Beyond all I have stated, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is a committed family man. There are things I would have loved to state here but for the purpose of respecting his private family life,I am restrained, but permit me to say that his marriage and family is God’s model.
Edo would be lucky to have Osagie Ize-Iyamu as Governor and leader. He has been preparing for this all his life and the time is now. He has a plan for Edo State through a document he calls the SIMPLE Agenda. The SIMPLE Agenda is a product of his many years of interactions with Edo State and Edo people, cutting across the 192 wards of the State.
The SIMPLE Agenda is an acronym for :
- Security & Social Welfare
- Infrastructure development & Urban renewal
- Manpower Development & Training
- Public Private Partnerships
- Leadership by example
- Employment & Empowerment.
Please read Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu below:
“Our SIMPLE agenda is not a collection of promises but our documented commitment to Edo people for which we want to be held accountable…”
This is the idea behind the SIMPLE agenda. It is also for Edo people appropriate the Agenda to themselves. This way, the much sought after intersection between Government and the governed would be achieved. Yes, I have always believed and canvassed for a nexus between Government and the governed. It is this nexus that engenders synergy between government and the governed.
God bless Edo State and all Edo people everywhere.
Daniel Osa-Ogbegie is a Lawyer, teacher and an Apostle of Edo rennainsance.