Oricha And His Display Of Rare Leadership Qualities Brings Back A Dry Bone Back To Life

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By Balogun Omeiza David (BOD), Lokoja.

It is widely believed that trapped within every human being is the spirit of leadership. As true as this may sound, it is only those who capture the spirit of leadership that ever become truly effective leaders. Alh. Dr. Umaru Oricha Shuaibu presently the Director General, Government House Administration, Lokoja (a man I will be referring to as Oricha in this piece) is a true definition of who a true leader should be. Without any attempt of hyping Oricha, he understands that genuine leadership is one’s internal disposition, which relates to a sense of purpose, self worth, and self-concept. Where we have others who have failed woefully thinking it is the title given to the office they occupy that makes them a leader, Oricha understands that real leadership is manifested in performance and results and not just labels.

Some months back, a particular video and audio was fed into the public domain by a group in Lagos known as Ebira Sons and Daughters about a particular Ebira man simply known as Captain. It was gathered from the video and audio clips that this man formerly belonged to the cream of the society. It was revealed that he was part of the rich class driving big cars within Lagos during his heydays. Still from the video and audio clips, information about Captain traced him to be the son of one of the elder sisters of the late Ohinoyi of Ebira land, HRM Alh. (Dr.) Ado Ibrahim.

This same man is also related to the former Governor of Kogi State, Alh (Dr.) Yahaya Bello (CON) from the maternal side. The video and audio clips also made it clear that Captain as at the time he had enough money was a man that never replied greetings in Ebira language even though he was an Ebira man. We were told of how he preferred speaking English language to his Ebira brothers and sisters residing in Lagos State with him even more than Wole Soyinka that won the Nobel Laureate price for Literature in 1986. The title Captain became part of his name as he was a staff on the ships that do travel abroad when he was full of life.

As short as the audio and the video was, it was a motion and audio clip that made us understand that a man can actually live his life twice here on earth before he dies physically. Captain who we learnt was formerly well to do now had to be sleeping under one of the many bridges in Lagos State. Life actually happened to him as his marriage crashed. This now made him according to the audio clip in particular to start speaking his native Ebira language he was jettisoned for the white man’s tongue. It suddenly dawned on him that the Ebira proverb that says, “when the head is full with much hair, it is normally brought home for it to be shaved.” This was what made the Ebira Sons and Daughters Group in Lagos State to now interview him as to them, his ordeal of now sleeping and waking under the bridge was becoming a general insult to the entire Ebira nation.

From the interview, Captain lamented that his wife made away with all his wealth and also absconded with the children that were from his loins. He was no longer a house owner in Lagos State neither was he able to access his properties in abroad. All he could beat his chest to have as possessions included his international passports that has now localised him under the bridge, his dirty and turn wrapper, and his staff used in supporting his ailing and frailed body. Just as we heard in the Bible of the man who suffered from paralysis staying in one spot for 38 years waiting for healing, Captain was glued to the bottom of the bridge hoping that one day the sun will shine on him again and he will have a proper place to lay his head.

Like others who watched the video and listened to the audio clips of Captain, Oricha was moved with compassion when he heard of Captain’s ordeal. The part that moved him most was the point that says, “the condition of Captain at the moment has now become an insult to the entire Ebira nation in a faraway Lagos State.” Right from the word go, Oricha is a son of the soil that has never and also not planning to one day point a left hand to his father’s land. He understands the proverb that says, “It is one unknown person that defecated on a road plied by all and the insult is now for everybody.” Oricha knows too well that he is not related by blood to Captain but he reasoned within his godly self that he cannot deny the fact that Captain is Ebira by tribe just as he is. This made Oricha to make proper arrangements for mobility from Lokoja to Lagos State to bring back home a Captain that his “bones were already dry” for a possible refreshing and rejuvenation of his system.

It was when Captain got to Lokoja that we discovered his real name as Yakubu Yusuf. He appeared as an old man with white fluffy beards. He stood towering in height in front of those who travelled to bring him to a new zoar. His shoe size became a thing of worry for everyone. The story of the giant Goliath and the children of Anakites with big toes that we heard about in the Bible was staring at us as reality. A special cobbler was invited by Oricha to take Captain’s shoe size for a start. Do not bother asking of the size of his shoe the cobbler arrived at. His dirty clothings were removed and a tailor was saddled with the responsibility of sewing different native clothes for him. Having lived for a long time under the bridge in Lagos State where he was formerly a lord of his own, one will expect his health to have deteriorated. Oricha made sure Captain Was admitted at Shifaa Hospital in Lokoja. He made it known to the medical personnels that he is a patient that must be given the best of medical attention. Everything needed by Captain whose original name is Yakubu Yusuf were made available. With this, he was gradually entering into a new phase of life.

Let it be known to us all that a true leader that Oricha is do not seek power but are driven by a passion to achieve a noble cause just as we have in the case of Captain that he made available his hard earned resources to bring him back home to cater for him. Before Captain was discharged from Shifaa Hospital in Lokoja, a well equipped accommodation had already been made available for him to stay. A care giver was hired for him to be well properly taken care of. This was to douse the fear nursed by Ebira Sons and Daughters in Lagos State who made the video and audio clips that they would not have seen it as anything to bring Captain home to the Attah’s family in Okene he claimed to have hailed from, but what if his people deny knowing him. The fear of returning him back to his abode under the bridge was their major concern should Captain face a rejection. Based on this already laid down foundation of doubt, Oricha made sure he considered the prons and cons before bringing Captain to Kogi State. He never left any stone unturned.

Some people may not be convenient with the proper analysis made about this “dry bone” of a situation faced by Captain that the leadership acumen of Oricha has been able to attend to with a higher percentage of success. Some people are always of the opinion that when you help a soul with the right hand the left hand should be placed in the dark about it. It is high time we checkmate those with such questions racing through their minds that politicians needed to let the public know their social responsibilities towards men, women, bodies and associations. The medical bills spent on one patient at times is enough to build a three bedroom flats based on how serious the sickness is. Many of the electorates have this wrong impression registered on their minds that all monies available to government officials are always siphoned by their leaders.

Another reason why this matter has been brought to the public domain is because the condition of Captain before Oricha got wind of it and stepped in to provide him succour actually started from the public domain. Even after much help has been rendered to Captain, we discovered that the video and audio clips are still appearing to some people as a fresh story to the point that some people are trying to get across to Captain in a Lagos State that he has been taken away from getting to some weeks now.

Most importantly, it has been genuinely established that Yakubu Yusuf (Captain) is actually having blood relationship with the Attah’s family. We are glad to point out to the whole world that this family is a big name in Ebira land. Not only are they a big name, they are a type of family that they have sons and daughters doing so well in their different areas of endeavours. We will love this written piece to serve as a prompting for them to be aware that there is a brother of theirs that has been rescued from the fangs of shame and embarrassment. The clause for them to come and start fending for their own Yakubu Yusuf popularly known as Captain that God Almighty used Oricha to bring life back to his already dry bones should also be considered. It will also not be a step taken in the wrong direction if they send a delegation to appreciate the kind gesture of Oricha towards their brother of which the same should be extended to Kogi State Government as a whole. Reason being that Oricha will never do a thing as a lone ranger. That was why I said earlier that he rubbed minds with the former Governor of Kogi State, Alh. (Dr.) Yahaya Bello (CON) before going neck deep into this matter.

Lastly, Oricha’s leadership qualities has shown that all the money in the world can make you rich, and all the power in the world can make you strong, but these things can never make you a leader. Oricha’s own type of rare leadership is to be likened to the shepherd described in the Bible who left behind his ninety nine (99) sheep to look for the only one that was missing. Oricha has shown to us all that leadership is a calling and not an act. He has also successfully opened a new page in our hearts for us to see leadership as a manifestation of a spirit and not as a technique, a style or the acquisition of skills. Oricha’s godly steps always taken to help the plight of humanity is enough for us to idolize him in our hearts. May God bless all men of good will.

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