By Nosa Omorodion
In fulfilment of my promise to present to the general public an articulation of those qualities, which make PASTOR OSAGIE IZE-IYAMU the most suitable Candidate for the Edo 2020 Governorship Election, today, I shall begin A SERIES OF ARTICLES to the effect.
Before launching into definite qualities, which should make him endearing, it is pertinent that we have an overview of the the man by way of looking at his biography in brief.
Therefore, we shall be looking at his biography in two parts today and tomorrow. The general title for this series is: Why Osagie Ize-Iyamu will make a Great Governor of Edo State.
Welcome on board as I take you on this revelational voyage with a man of great promise.
THE BEGINNING AND HIS JOURNEY TO THE CHURCH
Pastor Osagie Andrew Ize-Iyamu was born on 21 June 1962 into the family of Late Chief Robert Osayande Ize-Iyamu, the Esogban of Great Benin Kingdom and Mrs. Magdalene N. Ize-Iyamu (nee Obasohan), a very successful business woman.
Remarkably a child of great promise, between 1968 and 1979 Osagie Ize-Iyamu completed his primary and secondary education at Ebenezer Nursery and Primary School and Edo College, Benin City, respectively, with flying colours in the final exams. He had the best result in the common entrance examination of the then Midwestern Region in 1973 the best result amongst the students in the art class that sat for the West Africa Examinations Council Certificate (WAEC) in 1979.
Osagie in his early childhood had developed keen interest in local politics, from observing political activities that were a regular features of their household because his father was deeply involved in the politics of Midwest Region. He gave his house No. 28, Erie Street free of charge to the Committee that fought for the creation of Edo State.
Therefore, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, ostensibly attracted to playing politics applied to study Political Science in the University of Benin in 1980. He was admitted. However, as fate would have it, he graduated with an LLB (Hon.) from the Faculty of Law as one of its pioneer students, having changed his course of study in his second year at the University.
Upon his graduation in 1986 he proceeded to the Nigerian Law School. Having successfully completed his course at the Nigerian Law School, Osagie Ize-Iyamu was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1987. Meanwhile, for his mandatory practical attachment, he worked as a law student in the reputable law firm of Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), in Benin City.
In 1988 Osagie Ize-Iyamu in compliance with the mandatory participation in the National Youth Service Corps was sent to Akure, Ondo State. For his primary assignment in Ondo State, he worked in the law firm of Jide Aladejana.
While he was in the National Youth Service, the electoral contest for the local government councils in Edo State, under the zero party arrangement came about. He made his strategic contribution to the emergence of Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion as the Chairman of Oredo Local Government Council. In recognition of his resourcefulness, he was Special Assistant to Oredo Local Government Chairman between 1988 and 1989.
In 1990, Osagie Ize-Iyamu with some friends established a law of which he was a Principal Partner, with offices in Benin City and Lagos. The Law firm was named: Idahosa, Ahonaruogho &
Ize-Iyamu (Solicitors & Advocates). where he was a principal partner. His partnership in the Law Firm was however very brief (1990 – 1991). His mind was on other bigger ideas.
After leaving the partnership, Osagie Ize-Iyamu set his eyes on building a business with varied interests. This culminated in the establishment in 1996, of the I.O Ventures Limited, of which he has been Chairman/CEO till date.
He has been an astute business man and entrepreneurial innovator of no mean achievement. He has been involved in the estate development business, finance management and assets growth, procurements and general contracts. Of relevant mention in his sagacious entrepreneurial and managerial Odyssey is his setting up of the magnificent I.O Farms Training Institute – a model farm settlement at Ugbor-Amagba communities in Benin City, Edo State. The institute has turned out hundreds of young agriculturists who are presently doing well with the skills and knowledge acquired from the Institute. The Training Institute has the triple objectives of agricultural training, skills acquisition and youth empowerment. These are veritable factors for reducing unemployment, youth restiveness and organized crime.
In 1995, Osagie Ize-Iyamu had a life threatening experience in the form of a ghastly car accident. This experience, however, brought a turning point in his relationship with God and the Lord Jesus. Having survived an accident which left him in coma for nine hours, and with dislocated hips and fractured toes miraculously healed, Osagie came to a full understanding of the mercy, the grace and the awesomeness of God. He realized that God had a special purpose for his existence, which was to serve him in spirit and in truth. He became more appreciative of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. Like Apostle Paul from his encounter on the road to Damascus, the ghastly car accident, miraculous deliverance and healing became for Osagie Ize-Iyamu, his epiphany. He did not need much prompting to make up his mind to become a dedicated servant in the Lord’s vineyard but with the encouragement of his darling wife he promptly joined the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), where he grew in knowledge and wisdom about God and church administration.
To the amazement of his family, friends and even foes, Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s spiritual transformation was beyond the imagination. Within a short time, he had qualified and was made a minister in the Redeemed Christian Church of God. In 1998, he became Pastor of the Upper Room Parish of the Church, located at Adesuwa Road, G.R.A., Benin City.
He committed himself spiritually and physically to the propagation of the Gospel as well as the infrastructural development of the Church. With the encouragement and prayerful support of his wife, as well as the commitment of his fellow ministers, he raised the hitherto small Upper Room Parish (branch) to become the biggest RCCG Church in Edo State. Subsequently, in recognition of his revolutionary contribution to church growth, he was appointed the Area Pastor of the GRA 1 Area Church overseeing three parishes with headquarters at the Upper Room parish. Osagie Ize-Iyamu’s transformation became an inspiration to many of his friends, family, peers and thousands of youths in Edo State.
Today, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu is the District Pastor, Overseeing Zonal, Area and parishes of the RCCG in Edo State. Besides, he is in charge of the provincial regional headquarter parish in Benin City.