I have been around great men and women and I am currently opportuned to be close to Dr. Uche Ogah, the gubernatorial candidate of All Progressives Congress in the just concluded election in Abia state. He is one of the exceptional Nigerians I know and I have been privileged to understudy.
Whenever I have the privilege to relate with an important personality, the first thing I try to do is to know what makes them thick. Sometimes when you take a deeper look on some of those who are considered influential, you come to discover that they are but a fluke. Especially in Nigeria, many of those who are considered influential are nothing but products of PR and over hyped importance. They just want to be relevant as a way to earn public respect and to gain something for themselves. A thorough review of their activities will always expose them for who they truly are; some of them lack the substance required for greatness.
Hence, I don’t take important people on their face value and I usually don’t get around them for material reasons.
This is why I discourage young people from hanging around important people just for material things. Rather, I often encourage them to lookout for the things that makes them great.
Based on this philosophy, the first thing I did when I got around Dr. Uche Ogah was to take a deeper look at him. I have known him now for almost 6 years. I may not have known him well enough but I have taken time to study him, I have come to appreciate some of the things that makes him who he is.
Dr. Uche Ogah is not a perfect man. Just like anyone of us. He has his weaknesses despite many obvious strengths. Unfortunately, some of his weaknesses could considered a strength in a perfect clime. But they are seen as weaknesses in a society like Nigeria.
So, I will attempt to present some of his sterling qualities in this piece in order to encourage millions of young Nigerians who have come to see him as their hero. Because as the saying goes, if you travel the same route with a man you will most likely encounter the same outcomes with him.
It is important that I do this in order to help young people to identify the most important things they can gain from him.
So, I looked a look at the man Uche Ogah and I asked myself: why him? Why is he so loved, respected, admired and followed by many despite not being the being the richest man in Abia state.
As I have said saverally, Dr. Uche Ogah is not the richest man in Abia State. He came to limelight about 10 years ago. We have always had rich men in the state but they have not been able to garner such enormous good will in Nigeria and Abia State. There is so much love for Dr. Uche Ogah that if you see anybody from Abia State who says he hates him, you will be shocked to discover that such a fellow is envious of him. Because he has endeared himself to the people.
Dr. Uche Ogah has never worked for Abia State government and he does not do contract with them. Rather he has lost a lot by going against some oppressive elites of the state who had expected him to join them in their criminal enterprise. And for refusing to do so they are fighting him with everything in their power.
But they have always failed and we continue to fail. Because the prayers of the poor masses whom he stands for will continue to put them to shame. Already, evidence abound of the disgraceful end of those who are part of this gang up against him; including the former chief justice of Abia State and the recently disgraced CJN. They hardly go unpunished for hating him for nothing.
So because of time, let me do a quick rundown of those things I have discovered about Dr. Uche Ogah. I will like our youths to take note of them because they are fundamental to being like him. I want to encourage them to make out time to read through. Because you can’t be too busy to ignore an information that will be of help to your achieving greatness.
1. The first thing I noticed about Dr. Uche Ogah is that he is not just a Christian, he is a man of prayer. From his office to his home and everywhere his businesses are located, there are places dedicated for prayers. He does not only dedicate spaces for prayers, he is actually a praying machine and a worshipper of God. Round the clock prayers go on around him and he respects men of God.
My attention was drawn to this sometimes in 2014. We had finished having a meeting in his home in the village around 11:30 pm and we left for Okigwe to settle for the night. On arrival in Okigwe, I discovered that my phone was not with me. I forgot my phone where it was being charged in his seating room. Then I told my driver to take me back to Uturu that night, because I wouldn’t want to go back to his home in the morning before going to Umuahia. And to my greatest surprise, when I got back to his house around 1am midnight I met this man praying. This was after a long day of several meetings.
That was in year 2014. But again since then I have come to observe that this is a routine practice. And people wonder how come he is a success.
Honestly it is important that I let our youths know this because that is one of his major strengths. Especially, because Nigeria is not a country you should operate without being spiritually strong. You are either here or you are there. You don’t expect to achieve much in a country where there is so much diabolism without being spiritually awake. And i think that it is better for you to follow God in prayers than to get involved in things that will mortgage your soul.
2. Dr. Uche Ogah is a dangerous giver. Honestly I don’t know any Abian living or dead who gives like Dr. Uche Ogah. There maybe others like him at lower scale but amongst notable personalities in Abia State he has no rival.
The point as I observed earlier is that he is not the richest man in Abia State. But his giving has made him a household name in Nigeria. Dr. Uche Ogah has given so much that many find it difficult to believe that there are times he doesn’t cash with him. He is addicted to giving that he borrows to meet people’s need. There are times when I know that he doesn’t have money but i could still see him running around to help people. Not because he is under any obligation but because he can’t stand the sight of suffering people. And this will lead me to the next point; which I also consider a weakness in Nigeria.
3. Dr. Uche Ogah opens his door to everybody. Apart from those moments when security men will insist on doing their job, Dr. Uche Ogah will always welcome anybody into his house or office and he will try to give that person attention. Some of his chatting friends are ordinary people that many important personalities in Abia can never spare a moment for. When he gets to his village unannounced and there are not people around his home, he will send for them. He will seat around with the least person in his village to gist. This man is that simple. In fact I think he is more comfortable around ordinary people than those we refer to as Nde Apata Ukwu. And that is a great lesson for all of us.
4. Uche Ogah is a workaholic. I don’t want to discuss much about this because it is a public knowledge and I have written particularly about it in the past to encourage people to know that real successful people are hard working people. From Dangote to Bola Tinubu, Orji Kalu to Bukola Saraki, you can hardly find anyone of them that is not hard working. It doesn’t matter what they do, good or bad, they are notable for putting in their best. And the same goes for Dr. Uche Ogah. He is more at work on various fronts than people who have achieved nothing in their lives. Unfortunately, many of our youths wants to become successful without working and there they fail fundamentally to be like Dr. Uche Ogah. This man flies in and out of 4 cities every week and goes to bed at 4 am to wake up by 7am. Please don’t envy him, learn from him.
5. Uche Ogah has good taste. Apart from being a rich man, once you set your foot around his environment; I mean anywhere he does his things, you will see excellence. His likes good finishings notwithstanding how small the environment.
6. Dr. Uche Ogah is a great dreamer. A man of many ideas and never afraid to venture. He is never discouraged by his failures, he sees them as temporary set backs. Why many clutch to their failures Dr. Uche Ogah forgets his quickly and moves on. Those contemplating suicide should take note of this. Dreamers are hardly frustrated or demotivated. They are always forward looking and fired up like Dr. Uche Ogah.
7. Dr Uche Ogah takes responsibility. You can goggle and read for yourself how he has transformed his community without waiting for Abia State Government. There was a time under a former Governor w hen Abia State could not pay salaries lecturers, Dr. Ogah gave them money to offset the bill. They called off their strike and Abia youths were able to go back to school. At the height of youth unemployment in Abia State, Dr. Uche Ogah sponsored a government empowerment project where he gave 350 cars and buses to Abia youths through the government, to get them gainfully engaged. He built a multimillion Naira auditorium for Abia state university and has given scholarships to over one thousand youths in the state. He is not doing all these because he is richer than others but because he knows how to take responsibility. Amongst many other things too numerous to mention, he has shown that he has a great sense of responsibility towards his people and his environment. Unlike those with hopeless sense of entitlement who have milked Abia State to comatose. Our youths should learn from Dr. Uche Ogah.
8. Dr. Uche Ogah loves his people but he is not a tribal bigot. In his company there are Yoruba and Hausa managers as there are Igbos, both from Uturu, Ngwa and other clans. In the same manner he is benevolent to his people, he is also to outsiders. I have seen Dr. Uche Ogah buy over 10 keke for physically challenged Hausa boys who come to Arch Bishop Vining church, Ikeja, Lagos, to beg for money every Sunday. He is such a broadminded man.
9. Dr. Uche Ogah has no time for frivolous things. All these things our “Big Men” see as fantasies, like sleeping with small girls, throwing parties and going to clubs, does not entice him. So, many of our youths needs to know that this is one of his greatest strength.
10. Dr. Uche Ogah is a planner. If you are in Abia State nobody needs to explain this to you, his manifesto says it all. So young people must learn to plan.
11. Dr. Uche Ogah does not joke with his time. As much as he loves to see people around him, he likes to maximise every time spent with anybody. This also reflects in his communication style. When he writes to you, he goes straight to the point, he does not like embellishments. At first I was not used to his style because as a writer I deal on heavy text. But after a thorough review of his style, I discovered it was best for a man of his status. This man interacts with hundreds of people everyday on interpersonal level. His phones never stops ringing. As they are wringing, text messages, e-mails and WhatsApp messages are coming in. Aside activities being handled by his numerous aides, he makes effort to respond to people by himself. I don’t know where he gets his energy from but he is goes out of his way to at least respond to so many people. Yet there are people who will complain about his not being able to give them attention. They are hardly aware that there are millions of others who equally want his attention. For the kind of responsibilities he is involved with it a society like Nigeria, I bet you that he is miles ahead of many influential people like himself. And this is one of the things that makes him relevant amongst the people. He gives genuine attention to people, despite his busy schedule.
12. Dr. Uche Ogah’s milk of human kindness is unparalleled. He is not just a giver, he has genuine love for people and he hates to see people oppressed. If Uche Ogah has the power to magically change everyone’s life for good, he will do it without blinking. He derives joy in putting smiles on the faces of people. For many years he was the only petroleum marketer East of the Niger selling products at regulated prices. He does not tamper with his pump and does not hoard his product.
As I do say to people, many billionaires we know are callous. But amongst billionaires Dr. Uche Ogah is one the angels. If he had been selfish, he would have become much more wealthy and he wouldn’t have been close to poor people. But beyond being a giver, he is a man with great sympathy for others. He is constantly seeking for ways to improve people’s lives. You can’t be like him if you don’t understand this.
13. Dr. Uche Ogah is humility personified. He honours the poor, the elderly, his workers, those in leadership, men of God and even the least of of people in society. Sometimes when we visit important people and they want to give him a special treatment he will refuse. We eat from the same table and we seat around to chat with him. With all his wealth, he is comfortable around all manner of people; no ego, no discrimination and no looking down on anybody. You can’t beat that.
I can go on and on to mention many other good qualities that have set him apart and have made him one of the most influential persons in Nigeria and the most respected in Abia State; despite his not being a media attention seeking fellow. It is important for anyone who want to be genuinely loved, followed and respected like him to know all these. These are his secrets and they have become his culture. If you imbibe his culture, you will have his kind of influence. Especially, those governing Abia State should learn from him. Looting state resources in order to achieve a “Big Man” status can only guarantee you much material possession but you can never be respected like Dr. Uche Ogah. It doesn’t matter how much you like to hate him for his popularity in Abia State.
Ogah is exceptional
Great Imo Jonathan