Though politics is generally accepted as a game, only few politicians recognise the significance of imparting the masses positively, within their tenure.
In Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, stories of official corruption, embezzlement of public funds and the total neglect of the masses’ fundamental rights aren’t far-fetched. Anybody in government who shows concern for the governed is distinguished among the crowd of public servants that pay deaf ear to citizens cry for dividend of democracy.
With the downhearted evidence that most of Nigeria’s public servants see themselves as opportuned to loot the nation’s resources for themselves and unborn children, a man who commits his own resources to the betterment of his community is a glorified soul.
“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy”, said African American minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr.
By implication, those desirous of leadership must have a cause that is legendary and they’re expected to stand for that cause no matter what life throws at them.
In Edo State, one politician that has distinguished himself in words, works and inclination is Honourable Godwin Aigbokhaode, the Counsellor representing ward 7 in Owan East Local Government Area, Afuze Edo State.
Hon. Aigbokhaode as a Counsellor do not just know what he wants but is dedicated to helping his constituents get what they deserve.
He’s proven one thing in different occasions: that great leaders are consistent with their believes; when the future is uncertain; when everything seems difficult and the going gets tough; when the wave of life is contrary to one’s aspirations; when friends depart because of adversity and when there’s abundance of everything good.
The CONSTITUENT Newspaper, Editor-in-chief, Augustine Nwaobi, writes that the 36-year-old educationist turned politician is respected for his sagacious disposition towards people and situations.
Hon. Aigbokhaode had in a statement refused to follow Governor Godwin Obaseki to the Peoples Democratic Party. Others from ten wards followed but two returned to the All Progressives Congress fold.
He Refused To Join Bandwagon of Political Prostitutes
His decision to stay loyal to the APC earned him suspension. Recall that Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki joined the PDP after his efforts to get APC reelection ticket ahead of the September 19 poll ended in futility.
His suspension by local government Chairman in person of Mr Andy Osigwe (who moved to PDP with the governor) was greeted with condemnation across socio-political and cultural spheres.
In a statement titled: “Condemning the suspension from office of Hon. Godwin Aigbokhaode the APC Ward 7 Councillor in Owan East LGA, of Edo state, by the Now PDP Chairman of the LGA”, a group known as the Focus Otuo Change Initiative frowned at the act describing it as Gestapo style.
“We want to express our disappointment against the purported illegal suspension of the Ward 7 councillor in Owan East LGA, Hon. Godwin Aigbokhaode from performing his constitutional functions, which he was duely elected, for refusing to join the current bandwagon of political prostitutes and decampees in the local government who are running in a zigzag pattern alien to traditional party loyalty”.
The statement noted that the suspended counsellor “single handedly used personal funds of over 2million naira, to procure COVID-19 relief materials for Edo citizens living in various communities”.
It added that Hon. Aigbokhaode, “has consistently pledged his loyalty to the party and is committed to the development of his ward, which won him the admiration, respect and love of his people.
The group also, called for immediate reversal of the suspension, “his suspension did not reduce anything from the love we have for him”, they insist.
His Records Are Second To None
On June 15, Chairman of Owan East APC, Mallam Kasimu Shabah disclosed the unparalleled scorecard of Hon. Aigbokhaode while speaking with newsmen at the Local Government Council, “This kind of event is unprecedented in the history of Afuze, that a Counsellor will call a meeting and spend his personal money to assist his people, the significant thing here is that he did it without excommunicating any of the eleven wards in the LGA”, Shabah said.
Similarly, ward 7 Chairman, Peter Ohizhioya pointed out that Hon. Aigbokhaode’s acts of kindness has greatly benefited the people, “I am very happy that a Counsellor in person of Hon. Aigbokhaode found it worthy to share his resources with the people of this Local Government. He has shown that he’s not selfish because giving palliative to eleven wards is not an easy task. It hasn’t happened before, not even a Chairman has done what he did today”, Ohizhioya added.
He Is His Best When Carrying Out Big Assignment
Speaking with the writer, Comrade Ekene Okonkwo a former coursemate to Hon. Aigbokhaode from the Department of Education, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State revealed that the Honourable was the number one man in their class.
“He was not elected, he was appointed because the entire class found favour in him as a result of his devotion in leadership. He knows how to be in contact with the lecturers and students. He is hardworking and always ready to assist those who walk up to him for assistance” he said.
Relating academic prowess with community leadership, Comrade Ekene who is the Chairman of the Young Citizens of Nigeria (YCN) noted that Owan East Local Government Area needs Hon. Aigbokhaode considering the enormous people oriented projects that he had executed while working as a public servant.
In his words, “He is someone who performs better when given bigger task. He is his best when carrying out big assignment. He did well as class governor. He also did well as a Counsellor. I know that he will do well as a local government Chairman or State Commissioner”, he added.
Mom, Community Struggled To Train Him In School
Shedding more light on the personality of Hon. Aigbokhaode, a family relative, who identified himself as Kuta revealed that the Owan born legislator is motivated by his background.
According to Kuta, life was tough during Hon. Aigbokhaode’s childhood days when his biological parent were doing menial jobs.
When he was in school, “there was a time his mother wanted to borrow fifteen thousand naira but the money lender declined saying that the family is yet to pay him the money they borrowed earlier. Things were really rough for their family at that time. But as God would have it, he thrived through school as a success story”.
Kuta continued, “I am happy that today, he is not just a success story but is helping others to succeed. Within the community, he had done various empowerment programmes aimed at up scaling the living standards of our people. Many youths are now self employed courtesy of his initiatives.
Reproducing the customary difference between Hon. Aigbokhaode and other statesmen, Kuta said, “In Afuze, both men and women have benefited from him. And it’s not as though he has all the money, what makes him different is that he has his people at heart. He is a man of the people. He can spend his last hard cash to put a smile on someone’s face and he derives pleasure doing that.
“So in my opinion, I think that the environment of poverty and suffering which he experienced in his young years fashioned him into the rich, compassionate leader that he is today”.