Unsung Heroes Are All Around Us, But Chief John Oyegun Is A Rare Gem By Wale Bakare
It should be said without any misgivings that there are men, and there are extra-ordinary men who on account of their shear brilliance and bravery make substantive yet unrecognised contributions to nation building without expecting any form of reward.
These sets of men are guided by series of uncommon principles that stands them out from their peers. While growing up as kids up until the teenage age, it is highly unlikely that you’d find anyone who didn’t admire one or two people who did things differently from every other person around them. The reasons for such admiration could vary and sometimes weird. This brings to fore our skewed behavioural pattern and its many teachings on varying perception which shapes our world.
Personally, i hold Chief John Oyegun in high esteem on the account of his many accomplishments as a statesman, an astute politician and most noteworthy a nationalist. From a humble career beginning to a national hero of repute; Chief Oyegun no doubt is a born leader, evidently so, is the ways and manner that he handles all previous assignment with utmost caution and professionalism.
After completing one of his shortest assignments as the governor of Edo State in 2003, he was unperturbed by the circumstances that led to his ouster in the military take-over. Despite the military showmanship and threats emanating from all corners, Oyegun was very much around, well rooted in his hometown to do the biddings of his people. As a man of the people, Oyegun fondly called ‘Chief’ by his peers and admirers was prevailed upon by his people to return to the political stage to join the struggle to rescue our fledgling democracy at a time when the country was bleeding due to prolonged military misrule.
Fifteen years after a political sabbatical, Chief Oyegun returned to active politics (even though he was never too distance from happenings around him)as the leader of the now defunct All Nigeria’s people party (ANPP) where he spent his personal funds to ensure a viral opposition to the ruling party. He committed a lot of time and resources on court cases to secure services of lawyers on pro bono basis.
When Oyegun was shortlisted in May 2014, as a possible candidate for the All Progressive Congress (APC) Chairmanship alongside others, it was almost a case of no contest going by his impeccable records which has since been widely acknowledged by his contemporaries. Since taking over the mantle of leadership from his predecessor, we have seen a man wholeheartedly accepted by cynics and optimists alike in the party folds; we have seen a man that within two months of his election closed ranks among party chieftains and members to foster unity and peace for the common good of the party.
It is always significantly easier to admire principle than to hold them dearly, or indeed, stick rigidly to them. Chief Oyegun’s simplicity and respect for youth is an uncommon virtue that i am yet to come to terms with. I was seated a few meters away from the high table in Ilorin, Kwara State during the 50th birthday celebration of an iconic woman – Barr. Toyin Saraki, i walked up to introduce myself to the APC chairman and express my sincere admiration for his person. Lo and behold, Chief Oyegun fitted right into the description of everything i have heard and read about him. He was a good listener, very calm and at the same time pragmatic.
The noise blaring from the sound system hindered communication, But Chief, out of his humane and humble self, stood up just so he could hear me clearly. I was numb and the smile that greeted him revealed a lot. He was more eager than i was to carry on with our conversation but the noisy music was our greatest albatross. He eventually reached for the pen in his pocket to hand me his contact details to continue the conversation afterwards.
I have met influential men and women from all walks of life both within the country and its shores. Chief Oyegun will go down as one of those that have humbled me within a short time.
Oyegun is an inspiration to all who know him; a blessing to APC and indeed Nigeria.
At 75years, Chief Odigie Oyegun’s Children and grand Children can count themselves lucky to have a strong man who is large at heart; a true patriot and Achilles of modernization. He deserves all the accolades.
Writer at BailiffAfrica & Founder – MediaFactory
Do not hesitate to leave your opinion in the comment section below.
To contact Abusidiqu.com for Article Submission and Advertisement or General inquiry, send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org