Edward Onoja: I Have Been Prepared and I Am Ready for Work 

The defining characteristic of the New Direction Administration in Kogi State is the courage with which it undertook difficult reforms, much of which was initially misunderstood in the early days. Despite plenty of misconceptions, our leader, His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello led us to embrace the toughest challenges.

It is now 100 months into my principal’s tenure and If I am to supply one quote which summarizes his stewardship in Kogi State, it is this one by the leadership expert, Rosalynn Carter: “A LEADER takes people where they want to go. A GREAT LEADER takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”

As of today, every person of truth and goodwill who examines where we are developmentally as a State can come to only one conclusion, which is that Governor Yahaya Bello has not only met the above criteria and should be classified as a great leader but that he has exceeded it and ought to be called the transformational leader that he is.

I believe that the single most important resource for leadership success is preparation. The late Colin Powell, former United States Secretary of State concluded that ‘There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.’

GYB came prepared from years of passion and performance in public and private sectors. I also paid my dues in the private sector before getting into politics and I have indeed been fortunate in that from inception to now I have held front row seats to the exploits of #TheEssentialGYB in the public sector.

Over the duration, His Excellency has entrusted me with two key offices, Chief of Staff and Deputy Governor, from which he exposed me to his personal mentoring firsthand. Most importantly those offices exposed me more than anyone else in His Excellency’s team to the key nature, functions and processes of both Government and Governance.

In fact, I have been my Oga’s right hand man even from before we arrived Government House, Lokoja and I have not shifted loyalties once. More than loyalty, I have happily and humbly learnt from his words and deeds in office. President John F. Kennedy rightly noted that ‘Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.’

I assure all Kogites that GYB’s tutelage has been a wonderful learning curve for me and it has enabled me to acquire the critical knowledge and experience in leadership, administration, politics and statesmanship which have equipped me to start where His Excellency will stop when the time comes, and advance our State with no downtime at all.

This is the basket of benefits that I am bringing to the table as I campaign to succeed my boss as the next Governor of Kogi State. I am seeking the prayers and blessings of the good People of Kogi State for this quest. I also solicit the votes and support of our Party stakeholders and members across the state during the forthcoming Primaries.

My promise to all of us who love this State is that when I succeed in this quest by the grace of God, the next Administration will work for all of us.

Jack Welch said something that I find compelling as a leader: ‘Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.’

My name is Edward David Onoja.

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