AHMED USMAN ODODO: CONGRATULATIONS TO A BROTHER & WORTHY SUCCESSOR!
Fate has a way of playing out in human life regardless of the vicissitudes occasioned by life’s mysteries. It is the very reason that we, as a people must watch our actions and inaction in the trajectory of life for tomorrow is pregnant. When His Excellency, Governor Yahya Adoza Bello, the White Lion lost in the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries that saw late former Kogi State Governor, Abubakar Audu win the primaries in 2015, it never occurred to him what fate held in stock for him until the unexpected happened. And today, Governor Yahya Adoza Bello is on the last lap of his two-term tenure. Akin to the man cosmopolitan as the White Lion, a similar kismet may have played out in the circumstance that threw up his likely successor, all things being equal, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo, the Auditor-General of Kogi State.
Life is indeed a mystery. The Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo that I know is a career man, a worthy public servant and a thoroughbred professional. He is no doubt an accountant and a forensic and fraud expert to the core. Our paths crossed some years back when we had a degree together at Achievers University, Owo, Ondo State. The unassuming, genteel and debonair financial expert is a man reticent and self-effacing. But of course, he knows his onions when it comes to public service and accountability. He would not pass for your regular politician because he is more given to his core profession – accounting and fraud detection. When I first read of his name as one of the guber hopefuls for the Lord Lugard House in the Confluence State, I had to call two of his closest allies while we schooled together – Messrs Adams Onota and Onimisi Momoh Jimoh to be sure it is the same ‘ègbón’ Ododo whom I was his Class Representative that was to contest. The calls were missed only for Onimisi to call me back in less than 5 minutes with a different line and with laughter. He murmured, ‘Gbolahan. I still have your number.’ He had said. I did not know he still has my contact after nearly 10 years of incommunicado. Life!
The three musketeers and I way back shared some camaraderie while in school. And while that relationship lasted, it was a mutually beneficial comradeship. If Kogi State were to be looking for a man who works to precision, then, I would say, without an iota of equivocation that Governor Yahya Adoza Bello has made the right choice in Ododo. If the Confluence State were to be looking for a go-getter, a man whose philosophy is about delivery and never again a goner, then, I would say Ahmed Usman Ododo is a perfect choice – a round peg in a round hole. For me and everyone who has come across Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo, it suffices to say Kogi State has found a man with the Midas touch. A man with an overdose of empathy and altruism. With his combined experience as a public servant, not the regular politician, a new dawn may have birthed in Kogi State and Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo may be the best legacy of Governor Yahya Adoza Bello.
On a final note, let me seize this medium to officially congratulate Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo, a brother, a friend, a trustworthy scion of Okene on his election at the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial primaries held on Friday, April 14, 2023 as the Party’s candidate for the next gubernatorial poll in the State later this year. I am more than convinced that your choice of a guber candidate was not by happenstance. Unbeknownst to you, your principal, the incumbent governor may have put you under close watch. And by divine providence too, your candidacy was made possible by Party delegates who were convinced of your personal integrity and comportment to take the State to a higher pedestal. It is a celestial kismet that cannot be pooh-poohed by any homo sapien regardless of their jiggery-pokery and for this, I say big congratulations to you, sir! Going forward, let’s take your message of Kogi’s new horizon and rebirth across the length and breadth of the State.
May your victory be sealed eventually on the D-day in sha Allåh.
Omogbolahan L.A. BABAWALE
Convener, The Think-Tinubu Initiative (3TI)
Member, Policy, Research & Strategy Directorate
All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council (PCC)