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(OPINION) The reflections of Audu Ogbe's integrity

Written By Idoma Television on Sunday, April 17, 2016 | 12:13:00 PM

The All Progressives Congress (APC) as a party, Nigeria and indeed the entire World are today rejoicing the epochal victory of president Muhammadu Buhari at the last general election as the President of the Federal Republic Nigeria, which in my perception depicts the facts that the greatest needs and necessity we have as a people is to exhibit the principles of impeccable integrity, discipline, courage and vision not only as individuals but as families and society in general.
Our societies need leaders who will earn the trust, respect and confidence of the people at the helm of the affairs and in position of resources to support and encourage others to fulfill their dreams and aspiration. We attributed for a leader who displays leadership ethics of honesty, integrity, prudence, justice, benevolence and capacity of dealing straight with every person they encounter no matter the situation, telling the truth especially in an uncomfortable scenario.
The hallmark and effectiveness of this leadership principle lies in the bosom of integrity. Without integrity, leadership at any level becomes a mere management and ceased to be leadership at all.
It connotes a deep commitment to do the right thing for the right reason regardless of the hedonistic appendages. It is an important virtue that is expected to be demonstrated at all times by everyone in a leadership position. Those who surrender integrity in order to pursue power, personal goal regardless of its worth, no longer can claim to be a leader. People who live with integrity are mostly incorruptible and incapable of breaking the trust of those who have confided in them. Their lives and careers are marked with trust praiseworthiness and noble behaviors. Their character is embedded in moral truth that stays with them and manifests itself most clearly when they are faced with temptations. 
Our leaders must change and be selfless in discharging their duties. Though, it’s no longer debatable that some public office holders in the country are largely deceptive and have soiled integrity. They lack vision, character and sense of purposeful leadership. They unfortunately view such privileged positions parochially through the prism of corruption instead of selfless service to fatherland.
What is however consoling is that in the midst of this gloomy scenario, one can still find few persons who stand out as jinx breakers, distancing themselves from the moldy crowd of nation wreckers in the spirit of patriotism. 
It’s on this conception that I bring to fore for appraisal the integrity of chief Innocent Audu Ogbe, minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Chief Audu Ogbe, a man endowed with overflowing good conscience and love for his country; described as an  anthropocentric leader, an astute politician, a consummate team player, the pillar of Nigeria democracy and revered  in his own way politically, a resources manager of  internationally reputes whose administrative and oratory skills have always left his audience with hope, inspiration, good sense of humor but he never failed to make a serious point on ethics, discipline, respect for human rights and privileges whenever and wherever he communicates. His true measure is in his height of ideals, the breath of his sympathy the depth of his convictions and the length of his patience. He is a fearless tactician and a man who is determined to achieve good results at all times. A well cultured and detribalized Idoma man whose fame and flame continue to illuminates.
At a very young age of 32 he had become the deputy speaker of the Benue state house of assembly under the platform of National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and by 1982 he was appointed as Minister of Communication and later became minister for Steel Development. His services and politics were truncated by the 1983 military coup. During his unblemished services as a minister he kept impeccable records and wore the armor of integrity which was what exonerated him from despotic, impulsive tyranny of military den as all other serving ministers were kept for long in the prison except him (Ogbe). Integrity is the quality that kept him alive till-date and at the pinnacle of greatness.
When democracy returned in 1999, he rejuvenated in people’s Democratic Party (PDP) and succeeded another Benue man, Chief Barnabas Germade as the National Chairman of the party. The position he held with unprecedented and sterling performances between 2001-2005. 
His natural modus operandi of “walk the talk” speaks volumes of the truth he represents always, live the truth, mean what you preach, practice what you preach and knowing full well that life won’t bring you any real satisfaction or significance unless you also know you did the right things for the right reasons as you worked towards your goals, he had a rift with the president of the country, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo over exchange of words through letters on Anambra State saga.
He was very uncomfortable with the dastardly act, scornful, heinous crimes and a bridge of human rights against Dr. Chris Ngige, the then governor of Anambra State. His integrity speaks volume and stood phenomena as he remains firm, steadfast and unwavering over the truth he preaches and believes that what is going on was devilish. To avoid further conflict of interest he resigned as the chairman of the party and later joined the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which merged with other parties to form All Progressives Congress (APC) which is the ruling party today.
It’s no longer contestable that truth no matter how is being kept in abeyance or suffocated in an oven will erupt at the due season. Chief Audu Ogbe embroidery with honesty, openness, and transparency was again given a platform to serve as a minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Federal Republic of Nigeria which again reminds us of his unarguable Integrity and Veneration.
One thing am sure of is that when God gives you a responsibility, He will also give you the ability to handle the magnitude of any situation. Now Nigeria is going through economic doldrums and the only panacea to revamp the dwindling economy is to diversify sources of revenue through mining and agriculture. Chief Ogbe is saddled with the responsibility of spinning agricultural sector to the heights of generating revenue that will make the country less dependable on the oil sector.
He is the pilot piloting the affairs of Ministry of Agriculture, a sector in a moribund state, practiced by peasants using crude implements for production, low yielding seeds, high pests and diseases infestation, no price control of the produce, poor storage and lack of post-harvest management, badge of degradation and stigmatization on the profession, low incentives, lack of inorganic manure, demonic crisis between Fulani herdsmen and crop production farmers and several herculean challenges. There is really famine in the land.
Can Chief Ogbe with his quantum wealth of experience, hardworking, integrity result –oriented mentality, revived this sector again and make the country less dependent on oil? Will his antecedent surely speak for him again? The answer is yes, indeed, he has been tested and trusted.
Our prayer is for God to grant him sound health, knowledge, and wisdom to sustain his integrity to enable him leave an extraordinary legacy in this sector that generations yet unborn will be proud of and I solicit for unflinching support that will make him succeed in his core obligations.
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