It was in the peak of the Covid-19 anxiety, and I had the good fortune of supplying a few bottles of hand sanitizers to Hon. Ozurigbo Ugonna (OZB), as part of his immediate palliatives to his constituents. On the suggestion that the bottles of hand sanitizers should be customized in his name, he told me something that has hardly left my consciousness till date. He said; \”My brother, sometimes, we politicians have to do something for purely humanistic reasons, and not for political mileage. I do a lot of such things many times, without seeking for any validation or image laundering.\”
Ozurigbo was among the politicians that distributed the most palliatives to his constituents and friends in the height of the pandemic lockdown, but, I think, he was the one that got the least publicity in comparison to his interventions. For him, every good deed is not for the media.
Ozurigbo is a young man who, through a dint of hardwork and modesty scaled the hurdles of poverty early in his life, and at less than 35 had become a member of the House of Assembly. He has reasons to be boastful and possibly forget his roots or his friends, but he never does that. He set a new standard in representative democracy within his time as a member of the House of Assembly, such, that anyone getting into the shoes he left behind, would have no option but to measure up or be booed out by constituents, who have become so used to getting cars, motorcycles, cash for business startups and constant reprieve from their representatives, that anything short of that would be unacceptable.
OZB is that kind of person who would think about the next person without really thinking of what he could get in return. I remember, a few months into his inauguration as a member of the House of Representatives, I ran into him somewhere in Abuja, and the next thing he told me was; \”Ehen, bro, if you know any of these our boys, wey wan join police, make them send their details, as long as they are qualified, I will try to push it.\” He is not even my representative, but, he is a representative of the people. For him, wherever the people are, he could do something for them, and wherever there is a need for intervention, his job as a representative comes in.
He is one of the few politicians whom you could see with the same set of aides for more than a decade, and everyone of them is always delighted to be around him. At his private businesses, if you are observant, you would notice that he rarely sacks his workers and on the rare occasion, that he does, these workers mostly want to come back. There is only one reason for that – he treats them well.
I interact a lot with his workers, especially, those at the hotels and his communication outfit. As a writer, I like to hear life stories, that don\’t usually come freely. I can tell you that he is one of the few entrepreneurs, whose staff love, genuinely. At his telecommunications outfit, especially, you see some of the most intelligent youngmen, sweating their talents out and taking special care to protect the brand, because they know the owner protects their interest. There are few places, I have seen workers so attached and do willing to serve the best interests of their employees, as I see in the OZBs.
OZB doesn\’t like to be addressed as a philanthropist. He tells you that he is doing the work of the Lord, and if you ask further, he would tell you that he is a servant of the people, and whatever he does for the people, is a responsibility he owes them.
So, when you hear or read about the recent tsunami of empowerment he gave to his people of Isu/Njaba/Nwangele/Nkwere Federal Constituency, do not see it as one of those usual political shows, meant solely to oil one\’s political machinery, but see it as a genuine servant of the people, doing what he loves to do. When it is time to play politics, he will play it well, because he is one man who gives his heart to everything he wants to do.
Author Credit: ONWUASOANYA FCC JONES