EDWARD ONOJA: BEYOND A SPARE TYRE
Spare tyres are meant to provide support only in cases of emergencies. It is also particularly meant to serve as a replacement for a damaged tyre amongst a complete set. In the political parlance, it is a phrase commonly used to describe the offices of a nation’s vice president and that of State Deputy Governors.
The users of such phrase are of the opinion that these offices are just mere accessories of a full dressing or appendages of the main making it look “irrelevant” in the scheme of governance. Many consider such offices as justing existing without serious constitutional responsibilities.
In Kogi State, at least in contemporary times particularly the current dispensation of Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello, the narratives has since changed as the Deputy Governor under his leadership in person of Chief Edward David Onoja has provided more that what we call “Complimentary” roles for the office of his principal the Governor. Governance in kogi state has never suffered for a second as official and social functions are being attended to either by the Governor or his deputy on many occasions.
Am sure onlookers from other states of the federation particularly those who occupy same position might be tempted to envious of the kind of relationship that exists between the duo. This is due to the delegation of serious constitutional duties to the office of the deputy Governor of Kogi State. His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello at some point to the surprise of many delegated the Deputy Governor to present the state’s fiscal documents to the general attendance of the State legislature, on several occasions of note were the swearing in of the State’s chief judge and presidents of customary courts.
He has enviosly performed delegated duties to the admiration of all including the administrative oversight of several MDAs under his office.
Rarely in Nigeria will you see a State Governor that gives his deputy the privilege of attending the meeting of it’s forum, Chief Edward Onoja has attended the Northern Governor’s forum meeting courtesy of his boss and other high profile engagements. I also see him as the most travelled Deputy Governor in Nigeria as he has consistently represented his boss in several functions accross the nation including courtesy visits to high profile traditional institutions. One is certain that such has never been part of the history of our beloved state. All this courtesy of his boss’s benevolence.
Unofficially, His Excellency Chief Edward Onoja has played very critical roles in the development of human capital by granting scholarships to persons from the various senatorial district of the state. He is also a consistent donor to the Igala Educational Foundation where first class students of Eastern extraction are gifted some reasonable cash sums to encourage interest in learning. He has also made himself a purpose vehicle for securing employments for teaming youths across federal parastatals, state establishments and the private sector.
A God sent he is to widows and the needy as 17 makes it the number of shelter he has provided for them spread across the state without tribal or religious bias. All these he does effortlessly without waiting for a thank you.
His office has been avenue to attract lofty developments to the eastern flank of the state where he comes from as the area has witnessed rapid speady development in recent times despite producing elected Governors at some point.
Opinion moulders will also attest to the fact that he happens to be the most accessible public servant in the state since the return of democracy as he finds time to attend to numerous requests even when it’s not convenient.
Many of his achievements can only be made possible when whom he serves as deputy gives him such privilege.Special kudos to His Excellency Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello for using him beyond a spare. Evidence abounds to show that he is part of the whole and not one used during emergency.
Indeed in Chief Edward Onoja, we have found a part of the whole and not a spare part.