By Felix Osemwengie Isere Esq.
According to Martin Luther King jr. ” The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort, but where he stands in the moments of challenges” Leadership is truly put into test in times of crisis. What you do and say matters so much in the times of crisis. It can inspire those around you or demoralise them. It can kill or heal a dying soul.
Since the first Coronavirus case was recorded in Edo State till today, one man that has shown selfless, proactive, responsible and responsive leadership towards the fight against it is Dr. Pius Odubu. He is a private citizen of Edo State but has made indelible marks in the sand of time during this crisis.
The first amazing thing he did was to direct his supporters and members of his campaign organization to suspend campaigns but to focus on educating and enlightening our People on the way they can contain this pandemic.To him, without the people there cannot be any election, hence the health of the people must first be safeguarded before campaigns. One very common thing among Nigeria politicians is that they only care about themselves and their ambition even though the heaven is falling, but this selfless and patriotic action of Dr. Pius Odubu shows he is a different brand of politician and a statesman who does not only think about the welfare of others than his personal interest but a true political leader who understands the fact that the people are more important than election and power.
Dr. Pius Odubu spent huge amount of money in sponsoring adverts on radio stations, news paper and many other news media to educate our people. He has been releasing myriads of press statements that are not only meant to enlighten our people but to pray, encourage and give them hope . One of the most crucial elements of leadership in times of crisis is the ability to give confidence to your people to allay their fears or worries. . Dr. Pius Odubu gave hope to many who thought this pandemic was the end of the world and has remained a rallying point.
The greatest of it all was the fact that when he realised many Edolites could not afford the hand sanitizers which was one of the portent way to fight the pandemic due to the high prices they were now been sold , Dr. Pius Odubu ordered for huge quantities of hand sanitizers which he distributed to our people to complement the efforts of government in salvaging the challenges.
The sanitizers were equitably distributed to the communities in the three Senatorial district, markets, motor parks, hospitals , humanitarian and non- government organizations and then traditional institutions, etc.
There are three outstanding things he did in this distribution of this hand sanitizers which made him a true leader . First, as a leader he was more concerned about the ordinary man , woman and youth in Edo State who cannot afford the hand sanitizers rather than the bourgeoisies or the rich who can easily acquire it, secondly, he was never discriminatory in the distribution, both members of his political party APC , PDP and other political parties benefitted from it; he didn’t not only distribute it among only his Benin people but to other tribes in the two other Senatorial districts. Thirdly, the sincerity of his kind gesture which was not aimed at scoring cheap political points.
Apart from the above, the immediate past deputy governor of Edo State has given many moral and monetary supports to many persons at this critical time, especially those who are hungry, broke etc but has decided not to publicize it but to be humble about it. This has been one of his humble style of giving without announcing it, this is why many of those who don’t know him assume he is a stingy man, but those who come close to him know better.
According to one of the community leaders in Edo Central who received the hand sanitizers on behalf of his local government ” it has not been easy for us to purchase this hand sanitizers due to the alarming rate it is now been solved, but today we have received hundreds without any payment. We will forever be grateful to Dr. Pius Odubu because he has remembered us at this critical time and when ever he needs us, we will not also forget him”
As we rally round to ensure we defeat this deadly pandemic that is threatening our lives, we are hopeful that with the efforts of leaders like Dr. Pius Odubu in Edo State, it will soon become a thing of the past.
Felix Osemwengie Isere,Esq.
Writes from Benin City.